Italian Panettone

The Taste of an Italian Christmas

Italian Panettone

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Italian Panettone is world-famous and no Christmas in Italy ( view guide) would be complete without this classic Italian Christmas cake.

You may well be surprised to discover that Panettone is not at all difficult to make and it is always way tastier when homemade.

So why not make this Christmas an Italian Christmas? Start baking your very own Homemade Italian Panettone. 


1 cup flour.

1/8 Teaspoon salt

1 Package yeast, dry, fast-rising

2 Tablespoons of lukewarm water

3 Tablespoon Sugar, divided

2 Eggs

8 Teaspoons of butter

1/2 Teaspoon Orange peel, grated

1/2 Teaspoon Brandy extract

3 Ounces of mixed dried fruit, coarsely chopped 


1) Sift together flour and salt onto a sheet of wax paper; set aside.

2) In a small bowl, sprinkle yeast over water, add 1 teaspoon sugar, and stir to dissolve. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.

3) In a mixing bowl, using an electric mixer at medium speed, beat eggs with the remaining sugar until frothy; add margarine and beat until well combined. Continue to beat while adding orange peel and brandy extract. Add the yeast mixture, then gradually beat in the sifted flour; beat at high speed for 5 minutes. Add the dried fruit, beating until thoroughly combined.

4) Cover the bowl with a clean, damp towel or plastic wrap and let it stand in a warm, draft-free area until the dough has doubled in volume, about 30 minutes.

5) Preheat the oven to 400ºF/200ºC. Spray the fluted mold with non-stick cooking spray. Punch the dough down, then turn it into the prepared mold; bake in the middle of the center oven rack for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325ºF/160ºC and bake until top is browned and cake begins to pull away from mold, about 30 minutes longer (cover with foil if Panettone is browning too quickly).

6) Unmold onto a wire rack and let it cool.

Your Panettone Questions Answered

What is Panettone?

Panettone is a traditional Italian sweet bread originating from Milan. It is a festive treat typically enjoyed during the Christmas season. Panettone is characterized by its dome shape, soft and airy texture, and is studded with candied fruits and raisins. It often comes in decorative packaging and is a popular gift during the holidays.

When is panettone typically consumed?

Panettone is a staple during the Christmas season in Italy. It is often enjoyed on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Nowadays, panettone is enjoyed throughout the year. In recent years, its popularity has spread globally, and many people around the world now incorporate Panettone into their festive celebrations.

What is the origin of panettone?

The origin of Panettone, the iconic Italian Christmas sweet bread, is steeped in legend and history. The word "Panettone" itself is believed to derive from "panetto," meaning small bread loaf, with the diminutive suffix "-one" added to convey its larger, dome-shaped form.

One popular legend traces the origins of Panettone to the 15th century in Milan, Italy. The story involves a young nobleman named Ughetto degli Atellani, who fell in love with the daughter of a poor baker named Toni. In an attempt to win her heart, Ughetto disguised himself as a baker's apprentice and created a rich, sweet bread using butter, eggs, candied fruits, and raisins. The resulting creation, Panettone, not only won Ughetto the girl's affection but also became a sensation, gaining popularity among the Milanese elite.

Historically, panettone has been linked to Christmas and festive celebrations. It is said that the Christmas Eve feast of the Duke Ludovico il Moro in 1490 featured the grand presence of Panettone, cementing its association with the holiday season. Over the centuries, the bread evolved, with different regions in Italy developing their own variations.

While the legend of Ughetto degli Atellani adds a romantic touch to Panettone's origin, historical records also suggest that sweet, leavened breads have been enjoyed in Italy since Roman times. The use of natural fermentation to create a light and airy texture became a hallmark of Panettone, setting it apart from other bread varieties.

Is panettone only available in traditional flavors?

While the classic Panettone features candied fruits and raisins, there are numerous variations available to suit different tastes. Some modern twists include chocolate chips, various glazes, or fillings such as cream or fruit compote. Additionally, artisanal bakers often experiment with unique flavor combinations to offer a diverse range of panettone options.

How should panettone be served?

Panettone is typically sliced into wedges, like a cake, and served at room temperature. It can be enjoyed on its own or paired with beverages such as coffee, tea, or sweet wines. Some people like to enhance the experience by toasting or grilling slices and serving them with a dollop of mascarpone or a drizzle of chocolate.


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