A stack of polymer electrolyte fuel cells is formed from a plurality of unit cells where each unit cell includes fuel cell components defining a periphery and distributed along a common axis, where the fuel cell components include a polymer electrolyte membrane, an anode and a cathode contacting opposite sides of the membrane, and fuel and oxygen flow fields contacting the anode and the cathode, respectively, wherein the components define an annular region therethrough along the axis. A fuel distribution manifold within the annular region is connected to deliver fuel to the fuel flow field in each of the unit cells. The fuel distribution manifold is formed from a hydrophilic-like material to redistribute water produced by fuel and oxygen reacting at the cathode. In a particular embodiment, a single bolt through the annular region clamps the unit cells together. In another embodiment, separator plates between individual unit cells have an extended radial dimension to function as cooling fins for maintaining the operating temperature of the fuel cell stack.