Traditional Panettone recipe for the famous rich Italian sweet bread stuffed with brandy-soaked dried fruit. Make this the Christmas season!

A loaf of Italian Panettone is one of the most classic holiday bread recipes. It is sweet, fruity, and rich, much like another holiday staple, Fruit Cake. Instead of spice cake, the fruit is baked into a rich, buttery bread flavored with citrus and honey.


Panettone Recipe

This Panetonne recipe is the conventional method for making the classic Italian sweet bread. It takes some time, but it is well worth it as you bite into the delicious, buttery fruit-studded bread. If you look at the recipe, it may appear overwhelming, but don’t worry; we’ve broken it down into simple stages. With a little patience, advance planning, and our guidance, you’ll be able to bake handmade Panetonne like the Italians.


Panettone Ingredients

  • Dried Fruit: A mixture of dried raisins, currants, and cranberries is steeped in brandy or rum overnight. The large, juicy bits provide bursts of sweet, alcoholic fruity delight that balance the creamy egg bread.
  • Yeast Mixture: To speed up the rising process, this recipe includes quick yeast. You may use ordinary yeast, but you will need bread allow more time for it to rise properly. Make sure the milk is not too hot; otherwise, the yeast will be killed and the bread will not rise at all.
  • Sweeteners: Because the dried fruit is inherently sweet, you only need a little honey and brown sugar to sweeten the bread dough. It offers a touch of warm sweetness to temper the fruity aromas.
  • Eggs: This bread contains a lot of eggs, resulting in a brioche-style dough that is rich, aromatic, and extremely moist. Make sure your eggs are at room temperature so they blend easily and evenly, resulting in more air for lighter bread.
  • Citrus Zest: The fresh citrus zest perfectly complements the rich, buttery, and sweet flavors of this delectable Italian bread. Plus, orange is a famous holiday taste!
  • Butter: Add the butter in portions so that the dough can absorb it without becoming too heavy. This provides your bread a rich buttery flavor without being heavy, chewy, or oily.
  • The egg wash helps to trap in moisture, resulting in a more delicate bread, as well as developing that gorgeous golden color on top. It also helps to prevent the top from burning.

Kitchen Tools & Equipment

  • Paper form: To bake the bread dough, use a 7-inch wide x 4-inch high paper panettone form. These paper molds give this bread a towering cylinder form with straight edges.
  • Aluminum Foil: Using aluminum foil in the first half of the baking time prevents the bread from burning as it cooks. Because there is a lot of butter and sugar in the bread dough, it will color rapidly, therefore the foil is essential.

How to Make Panettone

Time needed: 1 day.

Soak the dried fruits.
In a bowl, combine the raisins, golden raisins, cranberries, currants, brandy, and water. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a cool, dry location to soak overnight.


Make the first dough.
In a stand mixer, combine warm milk and dried yeast. Allow to settle for approximately 10 minutes, or until frothy. Knead the flour, brown sugar, honey, and salt into the yeast mixture using the dough hook until well blended. Begin adding the eggs one at a time, kneading and mixing until the dough separates from the edges of the basin.


Knead the dough.
Incorporate the vanilla, orange zest, and lemon zest into the bread dough and stir until smooth. The dough will be sticky at first, but should smooth out. If not, add flour one tablespoon at a time until smooth.

Add Butter to the Dough.
Using the dough hook, incorporate ⅓ of the softened butter into the dough ingredients until incorporated. Let the dough rest for ten minutes. Repeat with another ⅓ cup butter and rest for 10 minutes. Add the remaining butter and stir until the dough is mixed. Finish with a 10-minute rest period.

Mix in the dry fruit and drain any excess liquid. Pat dry. Fold the fruit mixture into the dough and knead it for 5 minutes until thoroughly incorporated.


Proof the dough.
Grease a large baking dish with oil or butter. Shape the soft dough into a ball and set it in the bowl. Cover the bowl with oiled plastic wrap. Set in a draft-free area with a warm room temperature. Allow proofing for 1 ½ to 2 hours.


Second Proofing Time
Push gently into the bread dough to remove some air. Re-form into a ball. Place the paper panettone mold on a baking sheet. Brush a piece of plastic wrap with oil. Place the dough in the mold and cover with oiled plastic. Proof for another hour or two, until the dough has risen significantly.


Prepare for Baking.
Preheat the oven. Score the dough in the mold approximately ¼ inch down in a cross shape. Combine the egg yolk and 1 tablespoon water. Brush the egg mixture on top of the dough. Tent the paper mold with aluminium foil.


Bake the panettone.
Bake the loaves of bread for 25 minutes. Uncover and remove the foil. Bake for another 30 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the bread is cooked through.


Baking Panettone Tips & Tricks

Perfectly fluffy bread.

While this bread won’t be as fluffy as cake, it shouldn’t be overly thick or dense. Prevent this by using quick active yeast and not killing it with boiling milk. If you don’t produce a frothy yeast combination within 10 minutes, toss it and start over with fresh yeast. Also, make sure your milk is at the proper temperature.

Be patient and follow each step. Closely

Traditional Panettone is not difficult to prepare, but it is a labor of love, so patience and care are essential. Each step is vital, and you should allow plenty of proofing time, but it will all be worthwhile when you cut into a fluffy, soft loaf of buttery bread.

How to Store Panettone

  • Store: Wrap the cooled bread in plastic or store pieces in an airtight container. Keep at room temperature for up to three days or refrigerate for approximately a week.
  • Reheat: Individual pieces are best reheated in the oven, but you can toast them in a skillet with a little butter for a delightful extra buttery bread.
  • Freeze: Allow the bread to thoroughly cool before freezing. Wrap the whole loaf or individual pieces in plastic wrap and place in a freezer bag. Keep frozen for up to two months, then defrost before baking.


Is Panetonne cake or bread?

Panettone, despite its cake-like appearance, is a rich, leavened bread. It is comparable to brioche bread since it has a lot of eggs and butter.

How do you serve Panettone?

The Panetonne loaf is sliced into thick slices similar to a cake, which can be served warm or cold. Panetonne slices can be eaten simple or topped with butter or honey. It is commonly consumed heated with milk or coffee.

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Recipe Card



Traditional Panetonne recipe for the famous rich Italian sweet bread stuffed with brandy-soaked dried fruit. Make this the Christmas season!
Prep Time 3 hours
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Course sweet bread
Cuisine Italian
Servings 16


Dried Fruit Mixture:

  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup dried currants
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 1/4 cup water


  • 2/3 cup whole milk warm to the touch 105-110 degrees
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast
  • 5 cups flour divided
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar packed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened

Egg Wash:

  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon water


Fruit Mixture:

  • Combine the raisins, golden raisins, dried cranberries, dried currants, brandy, and water in a small mixing basin.
  • Cover and leave aside overnight.


  • In the bowl of your stand mixer, add the milk and yeast. Allow it sit for 10 minutes until frothy.
  • Knead in the flour, brown sugar, honey, and salt with the dough hook until thoroughly incorporated.
  • Mix in the eggs one at a time until well mixed.
  • Continue to knead the dough for 8 minutes or until it pulls away from the edges of the stand mixer bowl.
  • Mix in the vanilla essence, orange zest, and lemon zest until blended.
  • Mix and knead until the dough is cohesive and smooth, which may take some time due to its initial stickiness.
  • Note: If it is still sticking, add a couple of tablespoons of flour to loosen.
  • Add ⅓ of the butter and knead with the dough hook until well integrated.
  • Allow 10 minutes for the mixture to rest before adding another ⅓ of the butter and repeating the process. Knead in the remaining butter.
  • Drain the leftover liquid from the soaking fruit and gently pat it dry.
  • Add the fruit mixture and knead for 5 minutes until fully combined.
  • Grease a large mixing basin, then shape the dough into a ball.
  • Place in the bowl and cover with a greased piece of plastic wrap.
  • Allow to rise for 1.5–2 hours.
  • Gently deflate the dough, then make it into a ball and place it in the wrapping, pinched side down.
  • Cover the dough lightly with oiled plastic wrap.
  • Allow to rise again for at least an hour until very puffy, then remove the plastic wrap.
  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Egg Wash:

  • Score the top of the panettone approximately 1/4″ deep to form a cross shape.
  • Mix the egg yolk with 1 tablespoon of cold water.
  • Brush the mixture onto the dough.

To Bake:

  • Gently tent the dough with foil, avoiding contact with the dough as much as possible.
  • Bake for 25 minutes.
  • Remove the foil and bake for another 30 minutes, until golden brown.
Keyword Panettone

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