16 servings
Prep Time 3 hours
Cook Time 30 minutes
Marinate 1 day
Total Time 1 day 3 hours 30 minutes

Traditional Panetonne recipe to make the classic rich Italian sweet bread filled with brandy soaked dried fruit. Make this holiday season!

When it comes to Holiday Bread Recipes, it doesn’t get more traditional than a loaf of Italian Panettone. Similar to another holiday favorite, Fruit Cake, it’s sweet and fruity and rich. Instead of spice cake though, the fruit is baked into a rich, buttery bread with hints of citrus and honey.

Sabrina’s Panetonne Recipe

This Panetonne recipe is the traditional way to make the classic Italian sweet bread. It takes quite a bit of time, but it is worth it when you take a bite of the rich, buttery fruit-studded loaf. If you glance at the recipe, it might be a bit daunting, but don’t worry, we’ve broken it down into easy to follow steps. With a little patience, planning ahead, and our guide, you’ll learn how to make homemade Panetonne like the Italians.

Panettone ingredients in individual prep bowls
Back to
Table of Contents


  • Dried Fruit: An assortment of dried raisins, currants, and cranberries are soaked in brandy, or rum, overnight. The plump, juicy pieces add bursts of sweet, boozy fruity goodness to offset the rich egg bread.
  • Yeast Mixture: To help the rising time go a little bit faster, this recipe uses instant yeast. You can use regular yeast, but you’ll have to add some time to get a proper rise. Make sure your milk isn’t too hot or you will kill the yeast and the bread won’t rise at all. 
  • Sweeteners: Since the dried fruit is naturally pretty sweet, you only add a little honey and brown sugar to sweeten the bread dough. It adds a little warm sweetness to balance the fruity flavors.
  • Eggs: This bread is made with lots of eggs for a brioche-style dough that is rich and flavorful and super moist. Make sure your eggs are room temperature so they mix easily and evenly and create more air for lighter bread.
  • Citrus Zest: The fresh burst of citrus really balances all the rich, buttery and sweet flavor in this delicious Italian bread. Plus orange is a classic holiday flavor!
  • Butter: You add the butter in batches so that the dough has time to absorb it without weighing it down. This gives your bread lots of buttery flavor without it being heavy, chewy, or greasy.
  • Egg Wash: The egg wash helps lock in the moisture for a more tender bread and it helps develop that beautiful golden color on top. It also helps protect the top from burning.

Kitchen Tools & Equipment

  • Paper Mold: You are going to use a special 7-inches wide x 4-inches high paper panettone mold to bake the bread dough in. These paper molds give this bread its tall cylinder shape with straight sides.
  • Aluminum Foil: Using aluminum foil in the first half of the baking time keeps the bread from burning while it cooks through. Since there is a lot of butter and sugar in the bread dough, it can brown quickly so the foil is super important.
Back to
Table of Contents

How to Make

Time needed: 1 day.

  1. Soak the Dried Fruit

    In a bowl, mix the raisins, golden raisins, cranberries, currants, brandy, and water. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a cool, dry place to soak overnight.Panettone fruit and nut mixture in bowl and soaking ingredients in prep bowl, before combining

  2. Make Initial Dough

    Combine the warm milk and dry yeast in the stand mixer. Let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes. Using the dough hook, knead the flour, brown sugar, honey, and salt to the yeast mixture until combined. Begin adding the eggs one at a time, continuing to knead and mix until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Panettone collage of preparing dough

  3. Knead the Dough

    Add the vanilla, orange zest, and lemon zest to the bread dough and mix until a smooth dough. It will be a sticky dough at first but should smooth out. If it doesn’t, you can add flour a tablespoon at a time until it’s smooth.

  4. Add Butter to Dough

    Still using the dough hook, add ⅓ of the softened butter to the dough ingredients until it’s combined. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes. Repeat with another ⅓ cup butter and rest again for 10 minutes. Add the remaining butter and mix until dough is combined. Rest a final 10 minutes.

  5. Mix in the Fruit

    Drain any liquid from the dried fruit mixture. Pat dry. Fold the fruit mixture into the dough and knead the dough for 5 minutes until well combined. Panettone collage adding mixed fruit and after it's mixing in

  6. Proof the Dough

    Grease a large baking bowl with oil or butter. Form the soft dough into a ball and place in the bowl. Cover the bowl with a greased piece of plastic wrap. Set in a draft-free place with a warm room temperature. Let proof for 1 ½ to 2 hours.Panettone dough in bowl before and after proofing collage

  7. Second Proofing Time

    Carefully push into the bread dough to deflate some air. Re-form into a ball. Set paper panettone mold on a baking sheet. Brush a piece of plastic wrap with oil. Place dough in mold and cover with the greased plastic. Proof another hour or two, until the dough has risen a lot.Panettone top down view of dough in paper mold before rising

  8. Prep for Baking

    Preheat your oven. Score the dough in mold about ¼ inch down in a cross shape. Combine the egg yolk with a tablespoon water. Brush the egg mixture over the top of the dough. Tent the paper mold with aluminum foil.Panettone top down view of risen dough in paper mold before baking

  9. Bake the Panettone

    Bake the loaf of bread for 25 minutes. Uncover and remove the foil. Bake another 30 minutes, until the top is golden brown and bread is cooked in the middle.Panettone baked loaf in brown paper mold with string wrapped around the middle, foreground decorated with mixed fruit and nuts

Back to
Table of Contents

Nutritional Facts

Nutrition Facts
Amount Per Serving
Calories 349 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Fat 14g22%
Saturated Fat 8g50%
Trans Fat 0.5g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 101mg34%
Sodium 179mg8%
Potassium 197mg6%
Carbohydrates 47g16%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 12g13%
Protein 7g14%
Vitamin A 476IU10%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 42mg4%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Back to
Table of Contents

Baking Panetonne Tips & Tricks

  1. Perfectly Fluffy Bread
    • While this bread isn’t going to be as fluffy as cake, you don’t want it to be too heavy or dense. Prevent that by using instant active yeast and not killing your yeast with hot milk. If you don’t get a frothy yeast mixture within 10 minutes, discard and start over with fresh yeast and make sure your milk is the correct temperature.
  2. Be Patient and Follow Every Step Closely
    • Traditional Panettone isn’t hard to make, but it is a labor of love so patience and attention is key. Each step is important and you want to give yourself plenty of proofing time but it will be worth it when you cut into a fluffy, tender loaf of buttery bread.
Back to
Table of Contents

What to Pair With Panetonne 

Toppings: While you can enjoy Panetonne plain, it also tastes delicious served warm with toppings like butter, honey, or brown sugar. For dessert, try it with some Salted Caramel Sauce or sprinkle it with cinnamon sugar for crunchy sweet topping.

Drinks: Similar to a Biscotti, classic Panetonne is made to be dunked so it soaks up the liquid and melds the flavors together. It goes best with a glass of milk or a strong cup of coffee, or even a cup of Hot Chocolate if you want to sweeten it up!

Back to
Table of Contents

How to Store

Store: Once the bread has cooled, wrap in plastic or store slices in an airtight container. Keep at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the fridge for about a week.

Reheat: It’s best to reheat individual slices either in the oven or you can toast them in a little butter in a skillet for a tasty extra buttery bread.

Freeze: Let the bread cool completely before freezing. Either wrap the whole loaf or individual slices in plastic wrap and store in a freezer bag. Keep frozen for up to 2 months, then thaw before reheating in the oven.

Back to
Table of Contents

Frequent Questions

Is Panetonne cake or bread?

While it may look like a cake because of the shape, Panettone is a rich, leavened bread. It is similar to a brioche bread because it is made with lots of eggs and butter.

How do you serve Panettone?

You slice the Panetonne loaf into thick slices similar to a cake, and can serve the slices warm or cold. The slices of Panetonne can be served plain or with toppings like butter or honey. It is often enjoyed warm with milk or coffee.

Back to
Table of Contents

Recipe Card


Traditional Panetonne recipe to make the classic rich Italian sweet bread filled with brandy soaked dried fruit. Make this holiday season!
Yield 16 servings
Prep Time 3 hours
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 day 3 hours 30 minutes
Course Bread
Cuisine Italian
Author Sabrina Snyder


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:

  • Add the raisins, golden raisins, dried cranberries, dried currants, brandy and water to a small bowl and mix.
  • Cover and set aside overnight.


  • In the bowl of your stand mixer combine milk and yeast and let sit for 10 minutes until foamy.
  • Add the flour, brown sugar, honey and salt and knead with your dough hook until combined.
  • Add in the eggs one at a time until fully combined.
  • Continue kneading the dough for 8 minutes until pulling away from the sides of your stand mixer bowl.
  • Add in the vanilla extract, orange zest and lemon zest until combined.
  • Mix and knead until the dough is cohesive and smooth, it may take a while because it will be really sticky at first.
  • Note: If it is still sticking like crazy add a couple more tablespoons of flour to loosen.
  • Add in ⅓ of the butter, continue kneading with the dough hook until the butter is completely incorporated.
  • Turn off the mixer and let sit 10 minutes, then add in the next ⅓ of the butter and repeat and rest again for 10 minutes before adding in the last amount of butter and kneading it in.
  • Drain any remaining liquid from the soaked fruit and pat dry gently.
  • Add in the fruit mixture and knead for 5 minutes until well incorporated.
  • Grease a large mixing bowl and form the dough into a ball.
  • Put into the bowl and cover with a greased piece of plastic wrap.
  • Let rise for 1.5 to 2 hours.
  • Gently deflate the dough, then form into a ball and put the dough into the wrapper pinched side down.
  • Cover dough lightly with plastic wrap that you've brushed with oil.
  • Let rise again for at least an hour until really puffy then remove the plastic wrap.
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Egg Wash:

  • Score the top of the panettone about 1/4" deep into a cross shape.
  • Mix the egg yolk with the 1 tablespoon cold water.
  • Brush the mixture on the dough.

To Bake:

  • Gently tent the dough with foil, avoid it touching the dough as much as possible.
  • Bake for 25 minutes.
  • Remove the foil and bake an additional 30 minutes until golden brown.


Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour


Calories: 349kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 101mg | Sodium: 179mg | Potassium: 197mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 476IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 2mg

Pin this recipe now to remember it later

Pin Recipe
Back to
Table of Contents

Panetonne Variations

Dried Fruit: Feel free to swap in other dried fruit like dried apricots, sultanas, dried pineapple, figs, dates, and dried apple pieces. Mix and match the fruit to make a combination you like best.

Mix-Ins: Try adding other mix-ins like chocolate chips for extra sweetness or toasted chopped nuts for crunch. Walnuts or pistachios would taste especially good in this Italian bread.

Back to
Table of Contents

More Classic Italian Treat Recipes

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


Leave a comment & rating

Have you checked the FAQ section above to see if your question has already been answered? View previous questions.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.