Dating back to a Milanese baker from the early 1800’s, Panettone is found on every Italian Christmas table.  It has become very popular in other parts of Europe and South America and is spreading throughout North America as well. Popular brands are Maina, Tre Marie, Motta, Alemagna, Bauli and there are many more.

The best place to get a Christmas Panettone is fresh from your local pastry shop. Order in advance, as the yeasting process takes up to two to three days.

Most panettone are 1 kilo, but sizes also range from snack sized mini-panettone to extra-large 3 kilo panettone. Panettone is tall, looks like a chef’s cap, and  is made of fluffy sourdough cake with dried candied fruit, nuts and raisins. It’s usually served with a sweet mascarpone cream topping. Newer versions of panettone have been introduced into the market with chocolate chips or cream fillings.

After the panettone is baked, it is hung upside down so the dome shaped top doesn’t fall in, keeping it soft and fluffy. Just like Champagne can’t be called Champagne if it doesn’t come from France, you can only call a Panettone a Panettone if natural yeast is used.

The name Panettone comes from “panetto” used to describe a small loaf cake.  The suffix “-one” changes it to “large cake”.


An extra large 3 kilo Panettone / Abernethy

Best Panettone bakeries in Italy

Via Spadari, 9 – Milan

Pavè Milano
Via Felice Casati 27 -Milan

Vergani Milan
Corso di Porta Romana, 51 – Milan

La Cannoleria Siciliana
Piazza Re di Roma 10 – Rome

La Cannoleria Siciliana
Corso Trieste 100 -Rome

Il Vecchio Forno di Firenze
Via Guelfa, 32/34r – Florence

Pasticceria Bellucci
Via Vittorio Emanuele II, 67 – Florence


Make it

If you have a few days and want to try to bake a panettone yourself, read the instructions and recipe here from




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