Panettone (Italian Christmas Cake)

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Panettone (Italian Christmas Cake)

By Paula Jones

Panettone {pan-eh-tony} is one of my all time favorite Christmas goodies (right up there with my Grandma’s Divinity & my Mom’s Sugar Cookies) and this year I’m making my rendition of them for my friends & family (lucky ducks)! If you’re not familiar with Panettone - I’m gasping of course, I really hope you are but if not, fear not - I’m here to help hold your hand and guide you to the state of deliciousness that is Panettone.

It’s an Italian Christmas Cake that originated in Milano & is quintessentially Milanese! As with all Italian traditions there are many versions as to its origins. For me, I like the romantic story of a man who was enamored with a beautiful girl and to impress her father, Toni, he came up with the bread and named it Pan di Toni (Toni’s bread)! Of course they were married, made lots of Panettone and lived happily ever! This, of course, may or may not be true, but I’m going with it! Yes, I admit it; I’m a complete sucker for a love story!

I decided to make little baby Panettone’s this year, Panettonini’s if you will (sounds so cute doesn’t it?). Individual bite-sized ones and slightly larger ones that can be shared. The Panettone wrappers are amazing and you can find them in upscale baking stores or you can simply order them online like I did. I live in Mayberry, USA and well let’s just say it’s a hike to get to a store that would carry them.

If you’d like to make one giant Panettone (which is the traditional size) you can do that as well (just remember you’ll have to cook it longer). And, if you’re simply so excited about making the Panettone & can’t bear the thought of waiting for the mailman to arrive with your molds, here’s a trick you can do…wrap your cake pan in parchment paper, making a collar which will allow your Panettone to keep its signature shape & there you have it!

If you’re lucky enough to have any leftovers, the Panettone makes a great bread pudding or French toast!


1 stick unsalted butter - room temperature
2 eggs
3 egg yolks
1 cup milk
1 cup sugar
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 orange - juiced & zested
1 lemon - juiced & zested
6 ounces dried cranberries
6 ounces dried golden raisins
3 ounces almond slivers
Panettone Wrappers (you can look for these in your local baking stores or order them online)

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. In your stand mixer combine butter & eggs & mix with your paddle attachment on low - medium until ingredients combine (just a few minutes).

Add your sugar, baking soda, salt & cream of tartar & continue mixing.

Once everything is incorporated, reduce your mixer to LOW & gradually add in your flour & milk (alternating each one). Mix until it’s a nice creamy, silky consistency.

Add in your zests & juices & mix through. With your mixer still on low gradually add in your cranberries, raisins & almonds.

Spray your Panettone molds with cooking spray & fill them HALF way with Panettone batter. Do not overfill. Place them onto a baking sheet & give them a little shake/whack to even out the mixture & release any air bubbles.

Bake for 25-35 minutes or until it passes the toothpick test. If you’re using the largest molds you will have to bake them longer. It’s best to turn the baking sheet once during baking to ensure even browning. Allow Panettone to cool on a wire rack before slicing.

Buon Appetito!

Paula Jones is a food writer and recipe developer specializing in Italian cuisine. Paula believes that beautiful food doesn’t have to be complicated. is her culinary outlet where she showcases her delicious recipes and mouth watering food photography. Buon Appetito!

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Reader Comments:


Panettone cake moulds, do you sell them? How much and what size include postage and packing? I love to receive your email for English purchase in stirling.

By Miss Mary Clair Sanders on October 13, 2011


A good idea for ur page: To have a tab that customers can look at for frequently asked questions like what sifting is or yeilding and what nots that some may be hearing for the first time. Im sorta a newby at cooking real food but i think i would enjoy it more and more often if i knew what what the world it all meant. Thank u for ur comment page and ur show does reach many of all ages,culutes,and personalities.Have a wonderful day to who reads

By amanda on December 19, 2010


Paula, I have always wanted to try a Panettone, that looks really wonderful, but I was wondering what size of paper pan you are using for this recipe? there are several sizes and I would like to make them before Christmas. Thank you for sharing all your great tasting recipes I make them all the time and just made one of your cupcake ones, and everyone raved over them. thank you for all your time on our behalf. Kim

By Kim on December 12, 2010

I noticed that you first called it cake, but then changed it to the proper bread, especially since “pane is Italian for “bread.”  Check out the King Arthur Flour website - they not only have the wrappers, but the proper pan, all of the ingredients and even a panettone mix that is outrageously delicious.
From an Italian - Southern Italy, of course!!

By Linda Diorio on December 07, 2010

I saw you on Oprah’s show and just loved you. I want to try Pantattone but I’m not sure how to zest a lemon or an orange. Do you need all the zest? A New Fan!

By Jane on June 01, 2010

A friend sent me a link to this recipe; she knew I’d love it and boy was she right!  I can’t wait to try these—and I’ve got time to make them as a special treat for Christmas or New Years!  The zest, cranberries, golden raisins, and almonds are right up my alley.  Your photo is beautiful.

By Leslie on December 15, 2009

Hi Valeria! I actually purchased my wrappers from Amazon. Also if you google “Panettone Wrappers” you’ll find a load of other links as well ; ) Hope that helps! Happy Baking! <3 Paula - bell’alimento

By Paula - bell'alimento on December 15, 2009

This looks so tempting that I must try it - I love the display as well - Great idea for gifting to family & friends - This is a must try - Thank you for sharing this recipe and idea!

By Gail on December 15, 2009

This beautiful site just keeps getting better. Great recipe, gorgeous photo, and a lovely introduction ~ what more could one ask for?
Happy holidays!

By marlene koch on December 08, 2009

I can’t believe I’m leaving a comment until now! I fell in love with this the minute I saw it and have been obsessing about it ever since. I absolutely adore Panettone, could have it every day, all day for the rest of my life. I’m so excited to try this, you know I am, I’ve told you. Thank you!!! Baci e abbracci!

By Mariana @ Tasty-Pastry on December 04, 2009

Where did you purchase the wrappers from?  Could you share the site, please?


By Valeria on December 02, 2009

I prefer to think of panettone as a “bread” instead of a “cake” which allows me to justify having more than one slice (who eats one slice of bread?)...  Looks absolutely beautiful.

By Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction on December 01, 2009

My fiance loves pannetone!  Now I can make him some for Christmas!  Thanks for the fantastic recipe!

By Mylynka on November 30, 2009


These are beautiful, and the photo… Wow!  I’m going to make a batch of these and gift them!

By Diana@Spain in Iowa on November 30, 2009

Just beautiful! I LOVE Panettone and have always thought it was much too complicated to try and make at home. But now I Can’t wait to try this. Brava!

By Natasha on November 30, 2009

These are beautiful.  What a great gift idea and just a little different from traditional Christmas baked goods.  Thanks.

By lisa Bailey on November 30, 2009

I’ve always wanted to make these. Thanks for the great recipe!! Yum

By Christy on November 30, 2009

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