fbpx

Easy Italian Christmas Cake: fluffy panettone recipe

Jump to Recipe

Italian Christmas cake panettone recipe – Welcome to the world of Homemade Italian Christmas Panettone – a delightful holiday treat that will captivate your taste buds and warm your heart with its traditional charm! This easy Italian Panettone recipe is a great simple recipe that even novice bakers can use to make delicious panettone. It’s easy to make at this delicious authentic panettone recipe at home! Plus, you get the classic panettone in a simple-to-make version and a just as tasty vegan panettone recipe! Yum!

This Panettone recipe is an authentic Italian Christmas cake that embodies the spirit of the holiday season. The soft, fluffy texture and rich flavors of this time-honored Italian type of sweet bread loaf dessert will transport you to the enchanting streets of Italy during Christmas time.

Crafted with love and care, this Homemade Panettone is a must-have addition to your Christmas dessert table. Its unique taste, a perfect blend of sweet and fruity notes, comes from the luscious combination of candied citrus peel, raisins or dried cranberries, and chopped almonds or hazelnuts.

But what makes this sweet Christmas bread Panettone truly special is its heartwarming story rooted in Italian holiday traditions. Passed down through generations, this cherished recipe brings families and friends together, making it an unforgettable part of your festive gatherings.

The best easy Italian Christmas bread recipe

The best part? You can effortlessly master this Easy Panettone recipe with our step-by-step guide. The process is a delightful adventure, and the joy of creating this Traditional Italian Panettone from scratch is unmatched.

Savor each heavenly bite, and let the magic of the season envelop you with every delectable mouthful. Whether it’s a Christmas gift for a loved one or a treat to indulge in yourself, this Italian traditional Christmas bread holiday dessert is a true celebration of flavors and emotions.

So, embrace the joy of baking and create lasting memories with this Homemade Italian Christmas Panettone. It’s a wonderful addition to your Christmas dessert ideas, and it will surely become a cherished favorite in your holiday repertoire. Happy baking and buon Natale! 

What we’re covering in this Italian Christmas Panettone recipe

Origins of Italian Christmas Panettone: history of panettone

The origin of Italian Panettone can be traced back to Milan, Italy, where it has a fascinating and legendary history. There are several popular stories surrounding the creation of this beloved Christmas cake:

1. Toni, the Apprentice Baker: One popular legend tells the tale of a young apprentice baker, a kitchen boy named Toni, who worked in the kitchens of the nobleman Ludovico il Moro during the 15th century. On Christmas Eve, the royal kitchen’s desserts were accidentally burned, leaving no time to prepare an alternative. Toni, desperate to salvage the situation, used the leftover ingredients he found in the kitchen – flour, butter, eggs, and candied fruits – to create a new cake. The result was a sweet, airy bread-like cake that became an instant hit and was named “Pan de Toni,” which later evolved into “Panettone.”

2. The Love Story: Another romantic legend revolves around a young nobleman named Ughetto Atellani who fell in love with a baker’s daughter named Adalgisa. To impress her, Ughetto disguised himself as a humble baker’s apprentice and began working in her father’s bakery. He used his creative skills to create a special cake that soon gained popularity, and he named it “Pan del Toni” in honor of his assumed identity. The cake’s success led him to reveal his true identity and marry Adalgisa.

While the exact origin remains uncertain, what is clear is that Panettone has become an integral part of Italian Christmas traditions over the centuries. Today, it is enjoyed not only in Italy but also around the world, spreading joy and delight during the holiday season. 

How do you pronounce panettone

“Panettone” is pronounced as “pah-neh-TOH-neh.” The stress is on the second-to-last syllable, which is “TOH.” The “a” in the first syllable is pronounced as “ah,” similar to the “a” in “father.” The “o” in the second syllable is pronounced as “oh,” like the “o” in “go.” The “e” in the third syllable is pronounced as “eh,” like the “e” in “pet.” And the final “e” in the last syllable is pronounced as “eh,” similar to the “e” in “pet.”

So, when saying “panettone,” it’s “pah-neh-TOH-neh.” Enjoy saying the word while savoring this delicious Italian Christmas cake! 

Other names for Italian Christmas cake

Panettone is a beloved Italian Christmas cake known by various names and regional variations. Some other names for Italian Panettone or similar sweet bread-like cakes include:

1. Panettoncino: A smaller version of Panettone, often referred to as “little Panettone.”

2. Pandoro: Another popular Italian Christmas cake, similar to Panettone but without the candied fruits and raisins. It has a golden color and is often dusted with powdered sugar.

3. Panforte: A dense and chewy Italian dessert from Siena, made with nuts, candied fruits, and spices, often enjoyed during the holiday season.

4. Torrone: An Italian nougat confection made with almonds, honey, sugar, and egg whites, sometimes found in a similar tall and cylindrical shape.

5. Colomba di Pasqua: A traditional Italian Easter cake, shaped like a dove, with candied fruits and almonds on top.

6. Kugelhopf: A traditional German and Alsatian cake similar to Panettone, often enjoyed during the Christmas season.

7. Baba au Rhum: A French dessert made with yeasted cake soaked in rum syrup, sometimes found in a tall and cylindrical shape.

These cakes are treasured treats during different holiday seasons and celebrations, each with its own unique flavors and textures. Whether it’s Panettone or one of its variations, these delightful cakes hold a special place in festive traditions around the world. 

Tips and tricks for making the best Italian Christmas Panettone cake

Making Italian Panettone is a rewarding and delightful experience. Here are some tips and tricks to ensure your Panettone turns out beautifully:

1. Plan Ahead: Panettone is a time-consuming recipe that requires multiple rising and resting times. Plan your baking day accordingly, so you have enough time to devote to the process. This recipe makes making this Italian yeast-leavened bread much simpler…but it’s still a good idea to plan ahead.

2. Use High-Quality Ingredients: Since Panettone relies on simple yet premium ingredients, use the best-quality flour, vegan butter, dried fruits, and candied citrus peel available for the best flavor. Whether you’re making your Italian Christmas bread as a delicious fruit cake, or as a chocolate panettone, using good quality ingredients will take the buttery bread to the next level of Sweet Italian bread deliciousness.

3. Activate the Yeast: Make sure your yeast is fresh and active by dissolving it in warm water with a bit of sugar. If the mixture becomes frothy after about 10 minutes, the yeast is ready to use.

4. Knead Thoroughly: Kneading the dough well is crucial for developing gluten and achieving a light and fluffy texture. Knead the dough until it becomes smooth and elastic.

5. Add Dried Fruits Carefully: When adding dried fruits like golden raisins or dried cranberries, soak them in warm water for a few minutes to plump them up. Drain the excess water and pat them dry before incorporating them into the dough.

Extra tips to make the best panettone

6. Use Panettone Molds: For the traditional tall and cylindrical shape, use special Panettone paper molds, a traditional panettone pan, or panettone tins. These molds help the dough retain its shape during rising and baking.

7. Cross the Top: Before baking, make a cross-shaped cut on top of the Panettone. This helps the cake rise evenly and creates a signature look.

8. Slow Baking: Bake the Panettone at a lower temperature for a longer time to prevent the outer crust from becoming too dark. The low heat makes the delicious Italian sweet bread extra moist and buttery. Cover the top with foil if needed to avoid over-browning.

9. Cool Upside Down: After baking, cool the Panettone upside down by inserting wooden skewers or thin dowels through the bottom. This prevents the cake from collapsing as it cools.

10. Enjoy the Aging Process: Panettone improves in flavor and texture after it rests for a day or two. Allow it to cool completely, wrap it in parchment paper, and store it in an airtight container for a couple of days before serving.

Extra top baking tip:

Prepare your own Panettone aroma to get the authentic panettone taste in this easy Italian Christmas cake recipe.

Panettone aroma ingredients

  • 1 tbsp of brandy or dark rum
  • 1 vanilla bean 
  • 2 orange zest
  • 1 lemon zest

To infuse your Panettone with authentic Italian flavors, prepare a delightful aroma mix. In a small cup, combine 1 tablespoon of brandy or dark rum, a split vanilla bean, and zests from 2 oranges and 1 lemon. Cover the cup and let the aromatic blend meld together. Soak the dried fruits like raisins or cranberries in the mixture, allowing them to absorb the rich scents. This infusion ensures your Panettone captures the essence of the classic Italian original, leaving your kitchen and taste buds filled with festive joy.

With these tips and tricks, you’ll be on your way to creating a delicious and authentic Italian Panettone that’s sure to impress your family and friends during the holiday season. Happy baking! 

Equipment needed to make Homemade Italian Panettone bread

To make this delicious Italian Panettone cake at home, you will need the following equipment:

1. Mixing Bowls: You’ll need a small bowl to activate the yeast and a large mixing bowl to combine the dry and wet ingredients for the dough.

2. Measuring Cups and Spoons: Essential for accurately measuring the flour, sugar, warm water, plant-based milk, and other ingredients.

3. Stand Mixer with Dough Hook (Optional): While kneading the dough by hand is possible, a stand mixer with a dough hook can make the process easier and less tiring.

4. Floured Surface: For kneading the dough, prepare a clean and floured surface, like a clean countertop or a large cutting board.

5. Greased Bowl and Clean Cloth: After kneading, place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover it with a clean cloth for the rising process.

6. Panettone Paper Mold or Cake Tin: For the traditional tall and cylindrical shape, use a special Panettone paper mold or a tall, greased and floured cake tin to bake the Panettone.

7. Baking Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) for baking the Panettone to golden perfection.

8. Sharp Knife: Use a sharp knife to make a cross on top of the Panettone before baking.

9. Regular Butter or Vegan Butter: To brush the top of the Panettone before baking, use small pieces of vegan butter.

With these essential pieces of equipment, you’ll be fully equipped to create a delightful Panettone right in the comfort of your own kitchen. Enjoy the process of making this beloved Italian Christmas cake and savor the delicious results! 

How to make Panettone at home

Embrace the magic of the holiday season with the joyous tradition of making Homemade Italian Christmas cake, the iconic Panettone! This delightful confection holds a special place in Italian holiday traditions, captivating taste buds with its heavenly flavors. Crafted with love and care, each Panettone is a masterpiece of tender crumb, studded with luscious candied citrus peel that adds a burst of zesty sweetness. And guess what? You can create the Best Panettone ever right from scratch in the cozy warmth of your kitchen. The process is a rewarding adventure, allowing you to infuse every step with your personal touch. From kneading the dough to watching it rise, and finally savoring the heavenly aroma as it bakes to golden perfection, the experience is truly magical. So, this year, immerse yourself in the joy of baking and treat your loved ones to this Italian Christmas delicacy that’s made with love, passion, and the finest ingredients. Enjoy the festive spirit with Panettone from scratch – it’s the perfect way to share the love and warmth of the holiday season! 

Classic Italian Christmas cake recipe

Classic Italian Panettone cake Ingredients:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour (500 grams)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (200 grams)
  • 1/2 cup warm water (120 ml) (110°F/45°C)
  • 1 packet (7 grams) active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup regular milk or plant-based milk (120 ml) (e.g., almond, soy, oat)
  • 1 cup regular butter or vegan butter (240 grams), softened
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins or dried cranberries (80 grams)
  • 1/2 cup chopped candied orange peel or mixed citrus peel (80 grams)
  • 1/4 cup chopped almonds or hazelnuts (40 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Step-by-step Panettone Instructions:

1. In a small bowl, combine the warm water and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Sprinkle the yeast over the water and let it sit for about 10 minutes until it becomes frothy.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, remaining sugar, and a pinch of salt.

3. Add the activated yeast mixture, plant-based milk, softened vegan butter, and vanilla extract to the dry ingredients. Mix well until a dough forms.

4. Knead the dough on a floured surface for about 10 minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic. You can also use a stand mixer with a dough hook for this step.

5. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover it with a clean cloth, and let it rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours or until it doubles in size.

6. Punch down the dough and knead in the chopped candied orange peel, raisins or dried cranberries, chopped almonds or hazelnuts, lemon zest, and orange zest.

7. Shape the dough into a round or cylindrical shape and place it in a greased panettone mold, a panettone paper mold or a tall, greased and floured cake tin.

8. Cover the panettone batter with a clean cloth and let it rise for an additional 1-2 hours until it rises to the top of the mold or tin.

Baking classic panettone step-by-step guide

9. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).

10. Using a sharp knife, make a cross on top of the panettone and place small pieces of vegan butter on the surface.

11. Bake the panettone in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes or until it turns golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

12. Remove the panettone from the oven and let it cool completely before serving.

Enjoy your homemade Italian Christmas Panettone! It’s a wonderful treat to share with family and friends during the holiday season. Buon Natale! 

Top Panettone baking tip – make your own aroma and add to the panettone for a real panettone flavor

Vegan Panettone recipe: best plant based Italian Christmas cake

Vegan Panettone Ingredients:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour (500 grams)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (200 grams)
  • 1/2 cup warm water (120 ml) (110°F/45°C)
  • 1 packet (7 grams) active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup regular milk or plant-based milk (120 ml) (e.g., almond, soy, oat)
  • 1/2 cup regular butter or vegan butter (120 grams), softened
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips or dried cranberries (80 grams)
  • 1/2 cup chopped candied orange peel or mixed citrus peel (80 grams)
  • 1/4 cup chopped almonds or hazelnuts (40 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

How to make Panettone at home Instructions:

1. In a small bowl, combine the warm water and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Sprinkle the yeast over the water and let it sit for about 10 minutes until it becomes frothy.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, remaining sugar, and a pinch of salt.

3. Add the activated yeast mixture, milk or plant-based milk, softened butter, and vanilla extract to the dry ingredients. Mix well until a dough forms.

4. Knead the dough on a floured surface for about 10 minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic. You can also use a stand mixer with a dough hook for this step.

5. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover it with a clean cloth, and let it rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours or until it doubles in size.

6. Punch down the dough and knead in the chopped candied orange peel, chocolate chips or dried cranberries, chopped almonds or hazelnuts, lemon zest, and orange zest.

7. Shape the dough into a round or cylindrical shape and place it in a panettone paper mold or a tall, greased and floured cake tin.

8. Cover the panettone with a clean cloth and let it rise for an additional 1-2 hours until it rises to the top of the mold or tin.

How to bake Panettone

9. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).

10. Using a sharp knife, make a cross on top of the panettone and place small pieces of vegan butter on the surface.

11. Bake the panettone in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes or until it turns golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

12. Remove the panettone from the oven and let it cool completely before serving.

Enjoy your homemade Italian Christmas Panettone! It’s a wonderful treat to share with family and friends during the holiday season. Buon Natale! 

Panettone aroma ingredients

  • 1 tbsp of brandy or dark rum
  • 1 vanilla bean 
  • 2 orange zest
  • 1 lemon zest

To infuse your Panettone with authentic Italian flavors, prepare a delightful aroma mix. In a small cup, combine 1 tablespoon of brandy or dark rum, a split vanilla bean, and zests from 2 oranges and 1 lemon. Cover the cup and let the aromatic blend meld together. Soak the dried fruits like raisins or cranberries in the mixture, allowing them to absorb the rich scents. This infusion ensures your Panettone captures the essence of the classic Italian original, leaving your kitchen and taste buds filled with festive joy.

More Popular Italian Christmas Desserts

Italy is renowned for its delectable Christmas desserts, each region boasting its own unique and cherished creations. Here are some popular Italian Christmas desserts enjoyed during the festive season:

1. Panettone: We can’t talk about Italian Christmas desserts without mentioning Panettone. This sweet and airy Christmas cake, studded with candied fruits and raisins, is a staple on Italian tables during the holiday season.

2. Pandoro: Another iconic Christmas cake, Pandoro hails from Verona. Unlike Panettone, Pandoro is buttery and without candied fruits, featuring a star-shaped profile and a generous dusting of powdered sugar.

3. Torrone: Originating from the city of Cremona, Torrone is an Italian nougat made with honey, sugar, and egg whites, packed with nuts like almonds or hazelnuts. It comes in both hard and soft varieties and is a delightful treat during the holidays.

4. Ricciarelli: These chewy almond cookies from Siena are flavored with orange zest and are traditionally dusted with powdered sugar, resembling snow on top.

5. Struffoli: Hailing from Naples, Struffoli are small deep-fried dough balls, coated in honey and sprinkled with colorful candied fruits or nonpareils. They are often piled into a towering cone shape.

6. Panforte: A dense and spiced fruitcake from Siena, Panforte is packed with nuts, candied fruits, and aromatic spices like cinnamon and cloves, making it a flavorful Christmas treat.

Even More delicious Italian desserts

7. Buccellato: Originating from Sicily, Buccellato is a ring-shaped fruitcake filled with nuts, dried fruits, and chocolate chips. It’s often served during the Christmas season.

8. Zelten: A traditional fruitcake from Trentino-Alto Adige, Zelten is rich with dried fruits, nuts, and spices, making it a deliciously fragrant Christmas dessert.

9. Cannoli: Though enjoyed year-round, Cannoli, crispy pastry tubes filled with sweet ricotta cheese, candied fruits, and chocolate chips, make a popular appearance during the holidays.

10. Amaretti: These almond-based cookies are loved throughout the year but are often seen during Christmas celebrations, especially in northern Italy.

These delightful Italian Christmas desserts showcase the country’s rich culinary heritage and bring joy and sweetness to holiday gatherings across Italy and beyond. 

Panettone mold substitute

If you don’t have a Panettone paper mold or a specific Panettone tin, don’t worry! There are several good substitutes you can use to shape your Panettone:

1. Round Cake Pan: Use a round cake pan of the appropriate size to hold the dough. Make sure to grease and flour the pan before placing the dough inside.

2. Bundt Pan: A bundt pan can create a beautiful shape for your Panettone. Grease and flour the bundt pan thoroughly before adding the dough.

3. Deep Loaf Pan: A deep loaf pan can work as a substitute for Panettone. Grease and flour the pan well and ensure it’s deep enough to accommodate the dough.

4. Coffee Can: Clean and grease an empty coffee can to create a tall and cylindrical shape similar to a traditional Panettone mold.

5. Mixing Bowl: You can use a large, oven-safe mixing bowl to shape the dough into a round Panettone. Be sure to grease and flour the bowl beforehand.

6. Parchment Paper Bundling: Create a parchment paper collar by cutting a long strip of parchment paper and securing it around the dough to help it rise and keep its shape.

7. Mason Jar Ring: Remove the flat part of a mason jar lid and place the ring in the center of a baking sheet. Grease and flour the ring, then fill it with the Panettone dough.

Remember to adjust the baking time and temperature based on the size and material of the substitute you choose. The important thing is to shape the dough and let it rise adequately before baking. Enjoy your homemade Panettone, regardless of the mold you use! 

How to store Panettone Christmas Cake

If you don’t have a Panettone paper mold or a specific Panettone tin, don’t worry! There are several good substitutes you can use to shape your Panettone:

1. Round Cake Pan: Use a round cake pan of the appropriate size to hold the dough. Make sure to grease and flour the pan before placing the dough inside.

2. Bundt Pan: A bundt pan can create a beautiful shape for your Panettone. Grease and flour the bundt pan thoroughly before adding the dough.

3. Deep Loaf Pan: A deep loaf pan can work as a substitute for Panettone. Grease and flour the pan well and ensure it’s deep enough to accommodate the dough.

4. Coffee Can: Clean and grease an empty coffee can to create a tall and cylindrical shape similar to a traditional Panettone mold.

5. Mixing Bowl: You can use a large, oven-safe mixing bowl to shape the dough into a round Panettone. Be sure to grease and flour the bowl beforehand.

6. Parchment Paper Bundling: Create a parchment paper collar by cutting a long strip of parchment paper and securing it around the dough to help it rise and keep its shape.

7. Mason Jar Ring: Remove the flat part of a mason jar lid and place the ring in the center of a baking sheet. Grease and flour the ring, then fill it with the Panettone dough.

Remember to adjust the baking time and temperature based on the size and material of the substitute you choose. The important thing is to shape the dough and let it rise adequately before baking. Enjoy your homemade Panettone, regardless of the mold you use! 

Delicious flavor variations to Italian Christmas cake

There are numerous delightful flavor variations you can add to Panettone to give it a unique and personalized touch. Here are some delicious ideas to consider:

1. Chocolate Panettone: Add cocoa powder or chocolate chips to the dough for a rich chocolatey flavor.

2. Limoncello Panettone: Infuse the dough with limoncello liqueur and add lemon zest for a refreshing citrus twist.

3. Pistachio Panettone: Incorporate chopped pistachios into the dough for a nutty and vibrant green-hued Panettone.

4. Almond Amaretto Panettone: Use almond extract or amaretto liqueur in the dough and add almond slices for a delightful almond flavor.

5. Orange Cranberry Panettone: Substitute the candied orange peel with fresh orange zest and add dried cranberries for a festive combination.

6. Nutella-Filled Panettone: Fill the Panettone with layers of Nutella for a heavenly chocolate-hazelnut experience.

7. Rum Raisin Panettone: Soak the raisins in rum before adding them to the dough, imparting a warm and boozy flavor.

8. Dried Fruit Medley Panettone: Combine various dried fruits such as apricots, cherries, and figs for a burst of different flavors and textures.

9. Apple Cinnamon Panettone: Mix diced apples and cinnamon into the dough for a comforting and aromatic taste.

10. Mixed Spice Panettone: Use a blend of warm spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves to give the Panettone a festive and cozy flavor.

Remember to adjust the quantities of additional ingredients to maintain the right consistency of the dough. Get creative and experiment with flavors to create a Panettone that suits your taste and brings joy to your holiday celebrations! 

Traditional way to serve italian Christmas cake panettone

The traditional way to serve Italian Panettone is simple and delightful. Here’s how it’s typically enjoyed:

1. Slice it: Use a sharp serrated knife to slice the Panettone into wedges or vertical slices. It has a soft, airy texture, making it easy to cut.

2. Serve at Room Temperature: Panettone is best served at room temperature, allowing its flavors and aromas to fully develop.

3. Accompaniments: Enjoy Panettone on its own or pair it with a cup of hot coffee, espresso, or tea for a delightful combination.

4. Toast or Butter (Optional): Some people enjoy toasting slices of Panettone and spreading a bit of butter on top for an extra indulgent treat.

5. Garnish (Optional): For an elegant touch, you can dust the top of the Panettone with powdered sugar or drizzle it with a simple glaze made with powdered sugar and water.

6. Share the Joy: Panettone is often shared with family and friends during the holiday season. It makes a wonderful gift or a centerpiece for festive gatherings.

7. Leftover Ideas: If you have leftover Panettone, don’t let it go to waste! Use it to make delightful French toast or bread pudding for a delicious twist.

Remember to store any leftover Panettone properly to keep it fresh for as long as possible. Enjoy the delicious flavors and festive spirit of this beloved Italian Christmas cake!

Making Italian panettone gluten free

How to adjust this Italian Christmas pudding recipe to make it the best gluten free panettone recipe

To make this Classic Panettone recipe completely gluten-free, you can use the following gluten-free substitutes:

1. Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour: Replace the regular all-purpose flour with an equal amount of gluten-free all-purpose flour. Look for a blend that is specifically formulated for baking to ensure the best results.

2. Gluten-Free Chocolate Chips or Dried Cranberries: Choose gluten-free chocolate chips or dried cranberries to add to the Panettone. Make sure to check the packaging for any gluten-containing ingredients or cross-contamination.

3. Gluten-Free Candied Orange Peel or Mixed Citrus Peel: Use gluten-free candied orange peel or mixed citrus peel to maintain the delicious flavor and texture of the Panettone.

4. Gluten-Free Vegan Butter (if using vegan butter): If you’re using vegan butter, make sure it is gluten-free. Some vegan butter brands may contain gluten-containing ingredients, so always read the labels carefully.

5. Gluten-Free Plant-Based Milk: Opt for gluten-free plant-based milk, such as almond, soy, or oat milk, to replace the regular milk in the recipe.

By using these gluten-free substitutes, you can create a delicious and safe gluten-free version of the Classic Panettone, perfect for those with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease. Enjoy the festive flavors of Panettone without worry!

Italian Panettone FAQs

What is Panettone?

Panettone is a traditional Italian Christmas cake that originated in Milan. It is a sweet and airy bread-like cake filled with candied fruits, raisins, and nuts, often enjoyed during the holiday season.

What does Panettone taste like?

Panettone has a soft and fluffy texture with a delicate, sweet flavor. The combination of candied fruits and nuts adds a delightful contrast of textures and tastes.

How is Panettone different from other Christmas cakes?

Panettone stands out from other Christmas cakes due to its unique airy texture and specific ingredients, including candied citrus peel and raisins. It is traditionally made with a long and slow rising process.

What are the traditional Panettone ingredients?

The main ingredients in Panettone include flour, sugar, eggs, butter, candied citrus peel, raisins, and sometimes nuts like almonds or hazelnuts.

Panettone popularity and more FAQs

Why is Panettone popular during the holidays?

Panettone is deeply rooted in Italian holiday traditions and is considered a symbol of Christmas in Italy. Its festive appearance and delightful taste make it a cherished treat during the holiday season.

How do I store Panettone?

To keep Panettone fresh, wrap it in parchment paper and store it in an airtight container at room temperature. Avoid refrigeration, as it can dry out the cake.

Can I freeze Panettone?

Yes, you can freeze Panettone for longer storage. Slice the Panettone, wrap the individual slices tightly in plastic wrap, and place them in an airtight container or freezer bag.

How can I serve Panettone?

Panettone is typically served in slices at room temperature. It can be enjoyed on its own or paired with a cup of coffee, tea, or espresso.

Frequently asked dietary questions and more about Italian Christmas cake

Is Panettone vegan-friendly?

Panettone can be made vegan-friendly by using plant-based ingredients such as vegan butter and plant-based milk in the recipe. You can find all my vegan substitute suggestions on the recipe card below.

Is Panettone only for Christmas?

While Panettone is strongly associated with Christmas, it can be enjoyed throughout the year as a delightful treat.

What are some variations of Panettone?

There are various regional and flavored variations of Panettone, including chocolate-filled, limoncello-infused, and pistachio Panettone.

What to serve with Italian Christmas cake – dairy-free ideas

Looking for an easy homemade gift idea? Try making my crowd-pleaser fan favorite dairy-free and vegan hot chocolate in a jar gift 

Are you looking for more easy and delicious cookies and treats? You might like some of these:

Italian Christmas cake panettone recipe

Welcome to the world of Homemade Italian Christmas Panettone – a delightful holiday treat that will captivate your taste buds and warm your heart with its traditional charm! This easy Italian Panettone recipe is a great simple recipe that even novice bakers can use to make delicious panettone. It’s easy to make at this delicious authentic panettone recipe at home! Plus, you get the classic panettone in a simple-to-make version and a just as tasty vegan panettone recipe! Yum!
Course Cake, Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Keyword cake, dessert, vegan dessert
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
resting time 2 hours
Servings 1 cake (8-10 people)
Calories 299kcal
Author Simone – Munchyesta.com

Ingredients

Vegan Panettone Ingredients:

  • 4 cups (500g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (120ml) warm water (110°F/45°C)
  • 1 packet (7g) active dry yeast
  • ½ cup (120ml) milk (plant based or regular) (e.g., almond, soy, oat)
  • ½ cup (120g) butter (plant based or regular) softened
  • ½ cup (80g) chocolate chips or dried cranberries (I like to use vegan dark chocolate chips)
  • ½ cup (80g) chopped candied orange peel or mixed citrus peel
  • ¼ cup (40g) chopped almonds or hazelnuts
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

For Classic panettone (optional)

  • 4 eggs

Instructions

How to make Panettone at home Instructions:

  • In a small bowl, combine the warm water and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Sprinkle the yeast over the water and let it sit for about 10 minutes until it becomes frothy.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, remaining sugar, and a pinch of salt.
  • Add the activated yeast mixture, milk or plant-based milk, softened butter, and vanilla extract to the dry ingredients. Mix well until a dough forms. (if you're making the classic panettone, add the 4 eggs at this point and combine).
  • Knead the dough on a floured surface for about 10 minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic. You can also use a stand mixer with a dough hook for this step.
  • Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover it with a clean cloth, and let it rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours or until it doubles in size.
  • Punch down the dough and knead in the chopped candied orange peel, chocolate chips or dried cranberries, chopped almonds or hazelnuts, lemon zest, and orange zest.
  • Shape the dough into a round or cylindrical shape and place it in a panettone paper mold or a tall, greased and floured cake tin.
  • Cover the panettone with a clean cloth and let it rise for an additional 1-2 hours until it rises to the top of the mold or tin.
  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  • Using a sharp knife, make a cross on top of the panettone and place small pieces of vegan butter on the surface.
  • Bake the panettone in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes or until it turns golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Remove the panettone from the oven and let it cool completely before serving.
  • Enjoy your homemade Italian Christmas Panettone! It’s a wonderful treat to share with family and friends during the holiday season. Buon Natale!

Notes

Panettone aroma recipe

Panettone aroma ingredients 

  • 1 tbsp of brandy or dark rum
  • 1 vanilla bean 
  • 2 orange zest
  • 1 lemon zest
To infuse your Panettone with authentic Italian flavors, prepare a delightful aroma mix. In a small cup, combine 1 tablespoon of brandy or dark rum, a split vanilla bean, and zests from 2 oranges and 1 lemon. Cover the cup and let the aromatic blend meld together. Soak the dried fruits like raisins or cranberries in the mixture, allowing them to absorb the rich scents. This infusion ensures your Panettone captures the essence of the classic Italian original, leaving your kitchen and taste buds filled with festive joy.

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating




Skip to content