Panettone Recipe

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Are you looking for something sweet to add to your holiday cooking repertoire? Panettone is a traditional holiday bread, with roots in Italy from around the fifteenth century.

It is said that eating a slice of panettone in early January will give you good health and fortune in the coming year! This tasty bread can come in several different varieties, with candied fruit, chocolate icing, or cream filling.

By Nicola (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 licence)

Here are the steps to create a basic, traditional panettone bread for you and your family or friends to enjoy!

How to Make Panettone


  • 1/4 cup of warm milk.
  • 3 teaspoons of dried yeast.
  • 7 tablespoons of sugar.
  • 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) of softened butter.
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract.
  • 1 zested lemon.
  • 1 zested orange.
  • 5 medium-sized eggs.
  • 2 1/4 cups of white bread flour.
  • A pinch of salt.
  • 3/4 cup of raisins.
  • 3/4 cup of sultanas.
  • 3 tablespoons dark rum.
  • One cup of chopped candied lemon and orange peel.
  • 1/4 cup of roughly chopped blanched almonds.
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar.
  • 1 tablespoon egg whites.
  • 1 tablespoon icing sugar.


One: Get a Panettone Tin or Case

Panettone is a deep cake, so be sure to have a cake tin that is at least eight inches deep.

Many stores have panettone tins or panettone cases available for purchase that are already the perfect size and shape!

Two: Mix Ingredients in Two Bowls

Combine the warm milk and dried yeast. Have your sugar ready, and add one teaspoon of the sugar to the bowl before letting the bowl stand for a few minutes.

panettone bread
By Pasticceria Cucchi dal 1936 (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 licence)

While you wait, put the rest of the sugar in another bowl. Beat the mixture together with the softened butter and add the vanilla extract.

The result should be a very light, creamy, and pale combination.

Three: Zest it Up

Zest one lemon and one orange, and mix the zest into the bowl. Lightly beat the eggs and add them to the mixture a little at a time, so that all the ingredients are completely mixed together.

If the mixture begins to curdle, spoon in a tablespoon of flour.

Four: It’s Flour Time!

In a large bowl, place the white bread flour. Mix the flour with a pinch of salt and make a well in the center of the mixture.

Into this well, add first the yeast mixture, and then the egg mixture. Fold the mixtures with a large spoon. This will form a soft dough.

Knead the dough in the bowl until it comes together as a sticky dough. This may take about five minutes.

Five: Keep Kneading

Place the dough on a floured surface and continue kneading for about ten more minutes, until the dough is soft and stretchy. Then place the dough into a greased bowl and cover it with cling film.

Leave the dough to rise in a warm place for about two hours, or until the dough has doubled itself in size.

Six: Prepare the Fruit

Put the raisins and sultanas into a small saucepan, adding dark rum to the pan as well.

Heat this fruity combination gently for five to seven minutes, until the fruit absorbs the liquid and becomes juicy and plump. Set the fruit aside to cool.

This is a good time to prepare some candied lemon and orange peel as well, by finely chopping the peels.

Seven: Kneading Again

Once the dough has finished rising, knead it some more on a lightly floured surface, gradually adding the soaked raisins and sultanas, as well as the chopped candied peel.

Shape the dough into a ball and put it into the cake tin.

panettone recipe

If you are using an eight-inch cake tin instead of a specifically-designated panettone tin, wrap a layer of baking parchment around the outside of the tin and tie the paper securely with string. The paper will help to contain the dough as it rises above the rim of the pan.

Cover the pan with cling wrap and leave it to rise until it has risen to the top of the tin or the paper. This may take another hour.

Eight: Ice It and Bake It

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure that the oven shelf is at a good height for the bread!

As a pre-baking ice topping, mix together the chopped blanched almonds, the caster sugar, and the egg whites, and brush this topping over the panettone gently.

Place the loaf in the oven and bake it for forty to fifty minutes, until the bread is golden and risen.

To check its doneness, insert a skewer into the middle of the cake. If it comes out clean, it’s ready!

Nine: Serve It

Leave the cake to cool in the tin for ten minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack. When it is completely cooled, dust the cake lightly with icing sugar, and cut it into wedges to serve to your family and friends!

In total, baking this panettone recipe takes twenty minutes of preparation, three hours of proving time, and forty to fifty minutes to cook.

This might seem a challenge, but the result is well worth every effort you put into this delicious, festive cake!

Here’s a video showing an example of how to make panettone.

Do you have any tips for panettone bread?

1 thought on “Panettone Recipe”

  1. Martha Stuart suggests using brown or white lunch bags to bake bread in. You first fold the tops down three times (make a cuff at the top of bag) then brush melted butter inside the bag and place one fourth of the dough that has been rolled into a ball shape into the bottom of each of 4 bags. They seem to work beautifully. And it’s cheap!


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