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  • Writer's pictureChristine

Learn to Love Panettone

Is it cake? Is it bread? It's a little of both, but sometimes it's better when it's turned into something else....

Panettone is the traditional Christmas cake in Italy and is always a treat during the holidays. The standard flavor comes with raisins, candied orange and lemon peel. At specialty food stores and Italian markets you can find other flavors and sometimes they come soaked in amaretto, rum or limoncello. (If you’re in Dallas, Jimmy’s Food Store has a huge selection.)

Traditionally the flavor is slightly sweet and is typically on the dry side. So what is the best way to enjoy panettone? For dessert, a slice with cream, dessert sauce or ice cream is nice. For breakfast, I like to put it in the toaster and eat it with cream cheese and lemon marmalade.

You can also turn it into a bread pudding, french toast or a trifle. Here are a couple of our favorite recipes.

Buon Natale!

Chocolate Cherry Panettone Bread Pudding

5 large eggs 4 cups milk 1/2 cup white sugar

2 tablespoons amaretto 2 cups fresh cherries, pitted and halved 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

1 panettone cake (aprox. 1 lb in weight)

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup slivered almonds

Crack eggs into a mixing bowl. In a saucepan warm milk with the white sugar until sugar dissolves. Pour over the eggs and stir to combine. Scatter cherries across the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan. Top with the chocolate chips and then the sliced bread. Pour egg mixture over the bread and let sit for ten minutes to allow the liquid to soak into the bread. Sprinkle with the brown sugar and slivered almonds. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 35 to 45 minutes. (Note, you can use whatever fruit & nuts you like. Strawberries, blueberries, pecans or even white chocolate chips instead of dark.)

Italian French Toast

1 panettone cake (aprox. 1 lb in weight)

5 eggs

2 cups milk

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup fruit preserves (your favorite flavor)

Slice 1-inch thick slices of the panettone from top to bottom. Cut each slice in half. In a 9 x 13 baking dish whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla and cinnamon. Melt the butter in a cast iron skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. Dip both sides of the panettone slices in the egg mixture and place in the skillet. Cook until brown on one side for about a minute and then flip with a spatula. Brown the other side and then remove to a baking sheet. Place in a 200 degree oven to keep warm until ready to serve. In a saucepan over low heat combine the syrup and cherry jam. Stir until mixture is warmed and the jam has melted and combined with the syrup. Serve the syrup warm at the table along with the French toast. Makes eight to ten servings.

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