Recipe for Italian Panettone Cake

Recipe for Italian Panettone Cake

This exceptional cake, inspired by Italian cuisine, requires several hours to rise and then cool down. Try making this incredibly fluffy delicacy full of dried fruits!


For the Starter Dough:

  • Powdered sugar – 35 g
  • Vanilla extract – 1 teaspoon
  • Egg – 2 pieces
  • Butter – 70 g
  • Wheat flour – 135 g
  • Honey – 5 g
  • Orange zest, grated – 1 tablespoon
  • Salt – a pinch
  • Egg – 1 piece

For the Main Dough:

  • Powdered sugar – 60 g
  • Egg – 1 piece
  • Butter – 75 g
  • Wheat flour – 280 g
  • Rum – 1 tablespoon
  • Egg – 1 piece


  • Butter – 30 g
  • Raisins – 50 g
  • Rum – 20 ml
  • Orange zest, grated – 50 g
  • Dried cranberries – 50 g


Preparing the Cake:

Starter Dough: Step 1: Kneading the Dough Add egg, egg yolks, rum, sugar, and flour to the starter dough. Knead the dough until it resembles crumbs.

Tip! The starter dough at this stage should be rather dry. If it sticks, add a little flour until you achieve the right consistency.

Step 2: Kneading the Dough Gradually add softened butter to the kneaded dough. After adding all the butter, knead the dough until it becomes smooth and elastic.

Form the dough into a ball, transfer it to a greased bowl, cover to prevent drying, and let it rise until doubled in size (about 4 hours at room temperature).

Main Dough

Step 1: Kneading the Main Dough In a bowl, mix all the ingredients except butter and the starter dough. Add this mixture to the risen starter dough and knead. Once both doughs are combined, gradually add softened butter. Knead until the dough is elastic, smooth, and not sticky.

Step 2: Shaping the Dough Soak raisins, cranberries, and candied orange zest in rum.

Flatten the dough on a work surface into a rectangle and spread the drained fruits over it. Then, cut the dough in half vertically and place one half on top of the other. Roll it into a log shape and lightly knead to distribute the ingredients evenly.

Divide the prepared dough in half and shape each half into a ball. Place them with the seam side down in panettone molds.

Tip! If you don’t have panettone molds, you can use regular cake pans with a diameter of 13 cm, placing a tall chimney made of baking paper inside.

Step 3: Proofing the Dough Cover both panettone molds with plastic wrap and let the dough rise until it triples in volume. The final proofing takes a long time and may take about 8 hours at room temperature; it needs careful observation to prevent over-rising.

Once the dough reaches the desired size, remove the plastic wrap and let it rest for an additional 15 minutes to allow the crust to slightly dry out. Before baking, make a cross-shaped cut on the top and place 15 g of butter in the center.

Step 4: Baking the Panettone Place a pan filled with boiling water at the bottom of the oven. Position the oven rack at the lowest possible level to allow the panettone to rise freely. Bake the cake for about 40 minutes. Check with a toothpick; if it comes out clean, remove the cake from the oven.

Tip! If the cake starts to brown too quickly, cover it with aluminum foil.

Step 5: Cooling the Panettone Insert long skewers into the base of the cake from both sides. Then, hang the cakes upside down, resting them on the edges of deep pots. This is the most complicated part of making this special cake, which gives the panettone its extraordinary fluffiness. The cake must cool in this position for a minimum of 10 hours.

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