Italian Panettone Bread Fruit Cake Recipe

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This classic Italian Panettone bread tastes amazing! Impress everyone with delicious homemade panettone for Christmas or Easter – this is the only panettone recipe you’ll ever need!

Italian Panettone Bread REcipe

Panettone fruit bread is a classic Christmas and Easter recipe that will be a perfect addition to your holiday feast!  Panettone is so soft, tall, round and loaded with fruit – this huge towering loaf is everybody’s favorite!

Panettone Christmas Bread Fruit Cake Recipe

Here’s a little panettone history – panettone originated in Italy in the 14th century – the oldest reference to panettone dates back to 1470 in Milan.  Italian word “panetto” means “small loaf cake”, and the Italian suffix “-one” changes to meaning to “large loaf cake”. And surely large it is!

How To Make Panettone

Is panettone a bread or cake? Because it’s sweet and has dried fruits in it, it’s often called a fruit cake.  I say panettone is a sweet bread! Panettone dough is made with yeast and has to rise like a bread dough, so that makes it a bread in my book :)

Because of its hybrid bread/cake nature, you can eat panettone many different ways – as a bread with the main course, as a cake for dessert or in the morning for breakfast!

Panettone Christmas Fruit Cake

Panettone makes a perfect Christmas morning breakfast and it also makes the best french toast ever!  Check out my baked french toast recipe – making it with panettone slices will be a killer dish for a holiday brunch!

Italian Panettone Recipe

Panettone also makes a great homemade holiday gift! Homemade Italian panettone bread made by you with love is the best Christmas gift ever!  Just let freshly baked panettone fully cool down, then put in a gift plastic bag, tie it with a ribbon and your panettone fruit cake gift is ready to go!

Homemade Panettone Bread Food Gift

To make a super-tall panettone bread like the one on the picture, you need a springform panettone pan (you can get them on Amazon). No pannetone pan? No problem! You can make pannetone in a regular 8-inch round cake pan.  If you use a regular round cake pan, the panettone dough will rise above the rim of the pan during the dough rising stage, and then rise even more in the oven, so you will still get a delicious soft and tall loaf of Italian panettone!

Homemade Christmas Pannetone

If you like Italian panettone bread, you will also love these recipes:

Bread Machine Dinner Rolls – these are so soft and delicious! If you don’t own a bread machine, you can just knead the dough by hand :)

Cranberry Orange Christmas Bread – another great holiday loaf recipe that is really easy to make!

Candied Lemon or Orange Slices – they are so addictive, that’s a must for all citrus lovers!

Christmas Pinwheel Cookies – these cookies are so festive with beatiful red, green and white spiral swirls!

Christmas Fruit Salad – everyone loves fruit salad, and this one is all about the colors red, white and green!

Irish Soda Bread – another beautiful classic bread, save this one to your Easter recipe collection!

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Italian Panettone Bread (Christmas Fruit Cake)

This is the best Italian Panettone bread recipe ever! It rises so tall and comes out perfect every time! Once you try this easy Christmas Panettone recipe, you'll never make it any other way!
Prep Time2 hours
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time2 hours 45 minutes
Course: Bread, Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 8 servings


  • 1 .25 ounce package active dry yeast
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp grated lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp grated orange zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour plus more if needed
  • 1/3 cup dried currants
  • 1/3 cup raisins


  • Pour lukewarm water in a large bowl and add yeast and sugar. Let stand for 10 minutes, or until foamy. (The foam shows that the yeast is working)
  • Add the yogurt, eggs, vanilla extract, lemon zest, orange zest and salt and mix until combined.
  • Add the flour 1/2 cup at a time and mix, until all the flour is incorporated.
  • Put the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes, until the dough is soft and pliable. If the dough is sticky, add more flour 1 tbsp at a time, until no longer sticky.
  • Spray a new large bowl with cooking spray, put the panettone dough in the bowl, cover and let rise at room temperature for 1 hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray a pannetone pan or a round 8-inch cake pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Punch down the dough in a bowl, move the dough to floured surface, add the dried currants and raisins and knead until the dried fruit is incorporated.
  • Form the panettone dough into a ball, put in a cake pan, cover loosely with a towel, and let rise for 30 minutes. (If you are using a regular round cake pan, the dough will rise above the pan sides).
  • Put the panettone in the oven and bake for 45 minutes.
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