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Easy Italian Panettone Recipe

Family traditions are important to me, especially those that celebrate my Italian heritage. Each holiday, I try to find an Italian recipe I can incorporate into my own little family’s traditions. This year, I tried my hand at a panettone bread recipe. My grandparents are from Italy and my dad speaks nostalgically about my grandmother’s cooking.  Unfortunately, my grandfather died before I was born and I was very young when my grandmother died. I have faint memories of her, but missed out on the opportunity to learn her cooking and baking secrets–and very few of her recipes survived her. Prior to this holiday, I had never heard of panettone bread. My Italian friend told me about it because she picked up a loaf to bring to a Christmas party. I asked my dad if my grandma made panettone when he was a kid, and he told me no. Despite the fact that he hadn’t enjoyed this bread as a child, I still wanted to give it a try. I searched and searched for a good recipe. I settled on this recipe but adapted it to suit our taste preferences. We chose to use orange zest instead of lemon because I read oranges are more traditional. I also thought oranges would taste better with the cherries and apricots. If you’re intimidated by the thought of making bread from scratch, don’t be! This panettone recipe was actually super easy to make and turned out so well. The bread is super moist and the addition of the honey butter on the top of the loaf created just the perfect touch of sweetness.

Are you looking for other Italian recipes? Check out my Italian Easter Cookies and Italian Wedding Cookies.

Yield: 12 servings

Easy Italian Panettone Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon honey (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine yeast, water, and sugar. Cover and let stand 10 minutes, or until foamy.
  2. Add eggs, yogurt, vanilla, orange zest, and salt and mix well.
  3. Stir in flour 1/2 cup at a time until dough forms into a manageable ball.
  4. Place dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 to 10 minutes, adding flour as necessary, until dough is soft and pliable, but not sticky. (You may need up to 5 cups of flour.)
  5. Place dough in a large, lightly pan-sprayed bowl and cover. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray an 8-inch round cake pan with non-stick spray.
  7. In a small bowl, toss dried fruit with confectioners' sugar. Punch down dough in the bowl, transfer to a floured surface, and knead in the fruit.
  8. Form dough into a ball, place in the prepared cake pan, cover loosely with a dish towel, and let rise for 30 minutes. (Loaf may rise above the pan sides.)
  9. Brush with melted butter, if desired. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the loaf is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  10. Once done, brush the top of the loaf with an equal mixture of melted butter and honey. 

Nutrition Information

Yield

12

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 248Total Fat 3gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 1gCholesterol 36mgSodium 82mgCarbohydrates 48gFiber 2gSugar 14gProtein 6g

Traditional Italian Panettone Recipe

Ingredients

1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted (optional)
1 tablespoon honey (optional)

 

Directions

In a medium bowl, combine yeast, water, and sugar. Cover and let stand 10 minutes, or until foamy. Add eggs, yogurt, vanilla, orange zest, and salt and mix well. Stir in flour 1/2 cup at a time until dough forms into a manageable ball. Place dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 to 10 minutes, adding flour as necessary, until dough is soft and pliable, but not sticky. (You may need up to 5 cups of flour.) Place dough in a large, lightly pan-sprayed bowl and cover. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray an 8-inch round cake pan with non-stick spray. In a small bowl, toss dried fruit with confectioners’ sugar. Punch down dough in the bowl, transfer to a floured surface, and knead in the fruit.

Form dough into a ball, place in the prepared cake pan, cover loosely with a dish towel, and let rise for 30 minutes. (Loaf may rise above the pan sides.) Brush with melted butter, if desired. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the loaf is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Once done, brush the top of the loaf with an equal mixture of melted butter and honey. 

 
Stacey Freeman: I am a Style Maven, Mommy, Educator, and Traveler.

View Comments (22)

  • Rose Saad says:

    Can I use dough hook on mixer to knead? If so, what would the time be? Thanks

    • I made this for the first time. I did use my dough hook for 5 minutes. I only used 4 cups of flour but that would depend on where you live and humidity, etc. The dough came out great!

      • Stacey Freeman says:

        This is such a great tip! Thank you.

  • Elisabeth sousan says:

    I maked with this recipe, it was very delicious, I only changed sugar with Syrap map. When I finished baking, I bounced on the cake 130 ml of fresh orange juice, said it was delicious and only 1 hour later it was completely finish with my friends . Thank you so much for thí recipew

    • Stacey Freeman says:

      Thank you for your comment! I'm SO glad you and your friends enjoyed the recipe!

  • Kathleen Colarusso says:

    Great recipe!!!! Used chopped cherries, gold raisins, currants for a sweet moist bread. I had no apricots at this attempt. The bread came out moist and tasty!!! Thank you!!!! I will make this again with other fruits. Kathleen

    • Stacey Freeman says:

      I'm so glad it turned out well and your fruit choices sound great!

  • Colleen Cailes says:

    I have made this twice now and have to be careful not to eat the whole loaf myself!! I always thought panettone would be a fussy recipe and this is so easy just like it says. Thank you so much.

    • Stacey Freeman says:

      I'm so glad you love it!

  • can i make this with chocolate instead of dried fruit?

    • Stacey Freeman says:

      Absolutely , it would be worth drying it with chocolate! I'd love to hear if you tried it and how it turned out!

  • I made this bread yesterday. Easy recipe, but very bland, pretty tasteless, had no sweetness to it at all. I am going to try again, but with some changes. Sorry.

    • Stacey Freeman says:

      I'd love to hear what you changed and how it turned out this time? If you didn't find it sweet, I'd suggest adding more fruit (possibly different types of dried fruits that are sweeter).

  • I love baking. I made this Pannettone, found it to be bland, dry and pretty tasteless. Not at all what I expected. Sorry, but my family didn’t like it at all.

    • Stacey Freeman says:

      Hi Susan, I'm sorry you felt it was bland and dry. The dry part could be for so many reasons - bread can be tricky - too much flour, over-proofed, under-kneeded, over-baked are all reasons it could be dry. Mine was very moist, so I'm not sure what to say about that. In terms of the taste - there are lots of ways you might improve that - you could try chocolate instead of fruit, add more zest, add more (or different types) of dried fruits. I think the base of this recipe is a winner, so hopefully with some tweaks you can find one you love too!

  • Found this recipe last Christmas and has become the only panettone recipe that I use... love it! I usually use cranberries and chocolate chips in panettone. Great recipe, easy to make and tastes delicious! Thanks!

    • I’m so glad you love it! How much fruit and chocolate do you use?

  • Hi can I use a springform pan to make the panettone?

    • Stacey Freeman says:

      I think it should work!

  • Josie Bonaventura says:

    I have paper panettone molds I'd like to use - would baking times and temperatures change?
    Can't wait to try your recipe!