Panettone classico alla Milanese: a sweet Christmas for all

Panettone is a Christmas cake coming from Milan that keeps quite well along the weeks: if you bake or buy over Christmas you will spare a slice for San Biagio’s day, on February 3.

Panettone is one of the most Italian cakes to bake, but try it with this pretty easy home recipe. And do not forget to let us know how it was it!

Total Time: 2 hours and 30 minutes


  • 3 cups less 2 tablespoons (350 g) flour
  • 1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons (125 g) unsalted butter
  • The grated zest of an organically grown lemon
  • 1/4 pound (100 g) sultana raisins, plumped in warm water and drained well
  • 4/5 cup (80 g) sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 2 ounces (60 g) baker’s yeast (live yeast cakes)
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 2 ounces (60 g, or about 3/4 cup) candied fruit peel, diced
  • A pinch of salt


1. First, dissolve the yeast in a little warm water, and mix it with 7/8 cup flour.
2. Then, knead well, make from the dough a loaf, make an X in the top of the loaf and wrap it in a cloth,. Let it rise in a warm place for about 25 minutes.
3. Mix the loaf with 1 1/8 cups flour and the milk. Knead until the dough is smooth,  make a loaf, and wrap it in the cloth. Put it to rise in a warm place for 2 hours.
4. Put the sugar in a bowl with a little hot water, thus having a syrup. Beat in the yolks, one at a time, and about half an egg white. Keep the mixture always warm over a double boiler, but don’t let it cook. Melt aside 1/2 cup of butter.

5. Make a mound of the rest of flour in a bowl and form a well into it. Put the risen dough in the well, together with the melted butter, the grated lemon zest, a pinch of salt, and the warm syrup mixture you have made.

6. Mix  for 15 minutes, adding a little warm water; the dough should result firm and elastic.

7. Incorporate the raisins and the candied fruit into the dough. Shape the dough into a ball and put it in a bowl, in a warm place. Let it rise until it doubled in volume.

8. Preheat your oven to 440 F (220 C). Melt the rest of the butter.

9. Put the dough into a high-sided mold lined, make an X in the top of it, and bake it for about an hour. After 10 minutes, carefully pour the melted butter into the X on top of the panettone and continue to bake it until it is done. Gradually lower the oven temperature as the top browns.

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