Panettone, the best ever Italian christmas cake. Originally a Christmas cake, with lots of texture and filled with raisins and candied orange, this simple cake is so tasty and full of flavors you’ll want to enjoy it all year round.
I know I do and this is why I’m making this recipe again now.
The Panettone cake recipe is basically a sweet bread that is baked in a round pan, which gives it a lighter-than-air fluffy texture.
There are also plenty variations of the classic recipe, some including a plain cake, chocolate or other candied fruits and usually served next to hot beverages or wine.
Some even add a drop of mascarpone cheese to make it taste even more “Italian”.
Here’s the thing about this Italian Panettone:
It looks like it would be hard to make, but in reality, it’s one of the easiest desserts you’ll ever prepare.
As long as you follow the instructions and muster up a good dose of patience (it’s time-consuming!), you’ll be a master of the Panettone bread in no time.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PANETTONE AND PANDORO?
You may have heard of Pandoro, especially when searching for Panettone recipes. They are both delicious Italian sweet breads, but made in a different manner:
- Panettone is very time-consuming in order to make it so airy and fluffy. The dough would rise and collapse three times for many hours before baking. It is packed with raisins, candied orange, citron and lemon zest.
- Pandoro (golden bread) comes from Verona and is a sweet bread enriched with butter, eggs and sugar, and dusted with confectioner’s sugar. These cakes were reserved for high-class nobility, as sugar was a very expensive commodity. It usually has an eight pointed-star shape.
Not sure which one to choose? Try both! After that, get back to us and tell us which one you loved more. Also, share with us any unusual Panettone ingredients or recipes, as well as useful tricks that helped you bake the most delicious Panettone.
ITALIAN PANETTONE RECIPE FROM SCRATCH
SERVINGS: 1 Panettone
- 4 tbsp warm milk
- 1 tbsp dried yeast
- 8 tbsp sugar
- 2 sticks butter room temperature
- 5 large eggs beaten
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- grated zest of 1 lemon
- grated zest of 1 orange
- 2 1/4 cups flour plus extra for dusting
- pinch of salt
- 7 tbsp raisins
- 3 tbsp rum extract
- 8 tbsp candied lemon and orange peel finely chopped
- butter for greasing
For the topping
- 1 tbsp egg white
- 1 tbsp icing sugar
- more icing sugar for dusting
- Panettone cake pan
- large mixing bowl
- silicone brush
- large spoon
- hand mixer
- small saucepan
- Grease a Panettone pan with softened butter
- Place the warm milk in a bowl and add the yeast and 1 tsp of sugar, mix well and leave for a few minutes.
- Put the remaining sugar in a large bowl and beat together with the butter and vanilla extract, using a hand mixer, until light and creamy.
- Add lemon and orange zest and mix.
- Add the eggs a little at a time until all are well incorporated.
- If the mixture starts to curdle, add a tablespoon of the flour and beat in with the eggs.
- Place the flour in a large bowl and mix with a pinch of salt and make a well.
- Add the yeast mixture then the butter and egg mixture, folding in with a large spoon to make a soft dough.
- Knead for 5 mins in the bowl until the mixture starts to come together and is pretty sticky.
- Put the dough onto a floured surface and knead for a further 10 mins, until everything has come together and you get a soft, stretchy dough. Add a light sprinkling of flour to the surface and your hands as you go to stop the mixture sticking.
- Place in a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap; keep in a warm place for 2 hrs or until it doubled in size.
- Place the raisins in a small saucepan with the rum extract and heat on low for about 5 mins or until the fruit has absorbed the liquid; set aside to cool.
- When the dough is risen, tip it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for another 5 mins. Gradually knead in the soaked raisins and chopped candied peel. Shape the dough into a ball and pop into the prepared Panettone pan. If using an 8″ deep cake pan, wrap a layer of baking parchment around the outside of the tin, to come up about 2″ above the rim, and secure the paper with string. This will help contain the dough as it rises.
- Cover lightly with plastic wrap and leave to rise for another hour until it has risen to the top of the pan or paper.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F
- Mix together the icing sugar and egg white and gently brush over the top of the Panettone.
- Place the Panettone in the oven and bake for 40 – 50 mins or until golden and risen. Insert a skewer into the middle of the cake to test if done.
- Leave to cool in the pan for 10 mins before turning out onto a cooling rack.
- Leave to cool completely before dusting with icing sugar.
- Cut into wedges to serve.