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The Italian fruit-studded sweet bread, all wrapped up for Christmas.

By Emma Knowles
  • 1 hr preparation
  • 1 hr cooking plus making fruit mixture, standing, proving, cooling
  • Serves 6
  • Print


  • 185 ml milk (¾ cup)
  • 50 gm honey
  • 2½ tbsp dried yeast
  • 785 gm plain flour
  • 200 gm raw caster sugar
  • 140 gm softened butter, plus extra, melted, for brushing
  • 50 ml golden rum
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 egg yolks
  • Finely grated rind of 2 oranges and 2 lemons
  • 400 gm light fruit mixture
  • For brushing: eggwash
  • For dusting: pure icing sugar


  • 1
    Warm milk and honey in a saucepan over low heat to lukewarm, remove from heat, stir in yeast, then 150gm flour until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and stand until foamy (10-12 minutes).
  • 2
    Combine sugar, butter, rum, eggs, yolks and citrus rinds in a food processor, add yeast mixture and process to combine. Combine remaining flour (reserve ¼ cup) and ½ tsp sea salt in an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, add egg mixture and knead on medium speed until smooth, sticky and elastic (3-4 minutes). Turn onto a lightly floured surface.
  • 3
    Combine light fruit mixture and reserved flour in a bowl, toss to coat evenly, scatter over dough, then knead to combine and form into a smooth ball. Transfer to a large bowl brushed with melted butter, brush top with melted butter, cover with plastic wrap and stand in a warm place until doubled in size (1½-2 hours).
  • 4
    Meanwhile, cut out six 35cm x 28cm sheets of baking paper; fold each in half lengthways. Lightly brush six 10cm-diameter cake tins with butter, then line sides with baking paper sheets, folded-edge upwards, to form a collar.
  • 5
    Knock down dough, divide into 6 and roll each piece into a ball. Place a ball in each cake tin, cover loosely with a tea towel and stand until dough rises to rim of cake tin (1-1¼ hours). Preheat oven to 180C. Brush tops with eggwash, cut a cross in the top of each with a small knife and bake until risen and golden and an inserted skewer withdraws clean (40-50 minutes; cover loosely with foil if tops get too dark). Cool for 5 minutes in tins, turn onto a wire rack to cool completely, then serve dusted heavily with icing sugar. Panettone will keep for 2 weeks wrapped in plastic and stored in an airtight container (refresh in oven or thickly slice and toast) or frozen for a month (defrost and refresh in oven).