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how to make an Italian Christmas cake: PANETTONE

Updated on December 19, 2015

Panettone is a Christmas cake which originated in Milan but is now widely served all over Italy. The ingredients used to make it are simple and inexpensive but the preparation and baking can be quite tricky and time consuming.

The original cake is flavored with raisins and candied oranges and citron but there are variations were other fruits are used (like glazed cherries) or fruit is replaced with chocolate chips.

Although I buy a Panettone or two every Christmas time I also like to make one myself with the help of my children.

The ingredients to make a 1.5 Kg traditional Panettone





SUGAR 160 G + 1 teaspoon








Make Your Own Panettone

Preparation step by step

First thing to do is to put the raisins in a cup of water to soften (or rum if you prefer)

A good Panettone is prepared in 3 steps.

To make things a little easier I will list the ingredients for every step:


flour 100 gr

yeast 10 gr

1 teaspoon sugar

milk 60 ml

Put the yeast and the sugar in warm milk and dissolve

Add the flour and mix. Cover with cling film and leave at about 30 C for about 1 hour. The mixture should double in size.


flour 180 g

yeast 2 g

2 eggs

soften butter 60 g

sugar 60 g

Add to the mixture the eggs, yeast and flour. Mix well with your hands.

Add the sugar and butter. This mixture should be quite sticky. Cover and leave to rise for 2 hours. The mixture should double in size.


flour 220 g

sugar 100 g

2 eggs and 3 yolks

salt 5 g

soften butter (not melted)100 g

lemon peel

candied orange 40 g

candied citron 40 g

the drained raisin 120 g

1 vanilla pod

Add the eggs and yolks to the mixture then add the flour.

Work the dough for about 10 minutes so that its consistency is quite elastic.

Add sugar and salt.

Work the dough until the sugar has been absorbed well. Add half the butter, work the dough and then add the other half.

Finally add the candied fruit, lemon peel, the raisin and vanilla.

Leave the dough to rise for another 2 hours.

When the dough has doubled its size put in a greased oven tin, 18 cm in diameter and 10 cm tall.

Leave it to rise in the oven tin for another couple of hours.

With a knife cut a cross on top of the surface, and put a small cube of butter in the middle of the cross.

Preheat the oven at 200 C. Place a cup of water on an oven tray at the bottom of the oven. Put the cake mixture in the tray above the water and cook at 200 C for 10 -15 minutes. Turn the oven down to 180 C and cook for a further 45 minutes.

Leave to cool and enjoy it!!!!!

The ingredients given in this recipe are for the traditional Panettone. You could replace them with a similar amount of your favorite ingredients. My children love chocolate so I replace the candied fruit with dark, milk and white chocolate chips.

Another Italian Christmas cake: PANDORO

If Panettone is too rich for your taste you could try Pandoro. Just as popular as Panettone over the Christmas holidays Pandoro is a buttery sponge cake served with a dusting of icing sugar. It is fluffier and lighter than Panettone and without candied fruit.

The classic Pandoro is a plain sponge but there are also variations filled with chocolate or custard.

Christmas cakes!

Which is your favorite Christmas cake?

See results

Have you tried Panettone?

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    • Heidi Vincent profile image

      Heidi Vincent 

      4 years ago from GRENADA

      No but it does look delicious!

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Yes, loved it!

    • smine27 profile image

      Shinichi Mine 

      4 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      I love panettone.

    • Adventuretravels profile image


      4 years ago from UK

      We have traditional Panettone with Prosecco sparkling wine every year to bring in the new year, however I have never made it. Your recipe is fantastic. So much work goes into to , I bet it delicious! Well done.

    • PNWtravels profile image

      Vicki Green 

      4 years ago from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA

      I've seen Panettone for sale, but have never tried it. I think I'll have to try it.

    • esmonaco profile image

      Eugene Samuel Monaco 

      4 years ago from Lakewood New York

      Wow!! I haven't had Panettone for years, thanks for reminding me, I'll have to give a try. If I fail I guess I can always buy one. Thanks Again


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