What is Panettone?

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PANETTONE

Olivieri 1882 Classic Panettone
Olivieri 1882 | Classic Panettone

Panettone is an iconic Italian sweet bread that looks like a tall cake. Panettone is delicious year-round, but it is traditionally served at Christmas and New Year’s. Italian bakeries bake thousands of panettone each holiday season.

What is Panettone and How is it Made?

Panettone is an Italian sourdough yeast-leavened sweet bread from Milan, Italy. The sweet bread’s name is derived from pan del Ton, Italian for “Toni’s bread.” It is traditionally made with rum-soaked raisins and citron. 

This Italian pastry has been eaten since the Middle Ages. True panettone is authenticated by the Italian government to ensure it’s made the traditional way with 16% butter and 20% candied fruit.

Ubiquitous at Christmastime, this iconic Italian dessert takes several days to make. First, the dough is cured and then it is proofed for two to three days. Then, dried citrus fruits and raisins are added. The result post-baking is a light and fluffy cylindrical sweet bread with a domed shape that is taller than its width. 

Panettone is not to be confused with pandoro. Pandoro is an Italian sweet bread from Verona that resembles the Italian Alps in shape and look. Pandoro is a tall, eight-pointed star-shaped cake dusted with icing sugar.

Read More: WHAT IS A CANNOLI?

Settepani Restaurant & Bakery Nutella Panettone
Settepani Restaurant & Bakery | Nutella Panettone
Settepani Restaurant & Bakery Red Velvet Panettone
Settepani Restaurant & Bakery | Red Velvet Panettone

How to Eat Panettone

Panettone is often sold festively wrapped in cellophane or in a box. First, unbox and unwrap the bread. The round pastry typically has a paper wrapper covering its sides. Use a serrated knife — the same you would use to cut bread — to cut the loaf. 

Start from the center and slice like you would a piece of pie. It can be tricky to cut panettone, so aim for tall, thin, triangular slices. It may be easier to cut when the paper liner is still on it. Be sure to remove the paper before serving. 

Panettone is traditionally served alone as a dessert with a glass of sweet wine. It can also be served with mascarpone, crème anglaise, or Nutella. Many Italians enjoy a slice of panettone as a snack and even toasted panettone for breakfast during the holidays. Wrap up any leftovers to keep the air out. When stored properly panettone can stay moist and fresh for at least one month.

How to Pronounce Panettone

Panettone is a four-syllable Italian word. Panettone is pronounced pan-net-TOW-neh, with the emphasis on the third syllable.

Where to Buy Panettone: Most Famous Panettones

Doughn’t you know we love sweet breads? The most famous panettones are shipping nationwide on Goldbelly!

Olivieri 1882 Summer Fruit Panettone

Authentic Award-Winning Panettones: Olivieri 1882

Since 1882, the Olivieri family has been making award-winning panettones. Their panettones are made from natural sourdough that has been through a 48-hour double fermentation. Made in Arzignano, Italy, the family’s classic panettones have been recognized by the Gambero Rosso food guide and won the 2019 International Great Taste Awards in London.

Settepani Restaurant & Bakery Traditional Milanese Panettone

Traditional Milanese Panettone: Settepani Restaurant & Bakery

Opened in 1992, New York City’s Settepani Restaurant & Bakery has made its panettone with dough that is nurtured for three days. Settepani Restaurant & Bakery’s Traditional Milanese Panettone is flavored with honey and orange and dotted with raisins and candied fruits. The Italian bakery also has creative panettone flavors that include:

Ferrara Bakery Panettone Alto

Classic Handmade Panettone Alto: Ferrara Bakery

Since 1892, the famed bakery in NYC’s Little Italy has been making classic Italian desserts like Panettone Alto. Ferrara Bakery’s Panettone Alto is a fragrant and fluffy sweet bread studded with raisins and candied fruit.

That’s amore! The best bakeries and patisseries are shipping the most legendary Italian pastries like panettone nationwide on Goldbelly!

Lauren-Mack
Lauren Mack

Lauren Mack is a journalist who writes about all things food for Goldbelly. She is passionate about exploring the world one meal at a time. Her favorite things to Goldbelly include cakes, biscuit sandwiches, and ice cream.

Lauren has been a journalist for more than two decades and has specialized in writing about travel and food for much of that time. Her work has appeared in 150+ websites, magazines, apps, and guidebooks, including Cheapflights, CultureTrip, INSIDER, Lonely Planet, Newsweek International, Savory Traveler, Seeker, The Daily Meal, ThoughtCo (formerly About.com), Thrillist, Time Out, TripSavvy, and Zagat.

A lover of Taiwan's night markets, Singapore's hawker centers, and New York City's food trucks, Lauren has never skipped a meal or dessert. She has an insatiable appetite for exploring the world's best food and will try — almost — anything. Her favorite foods are pizza, ice cream, dim sum, sushi, and Taiwanese braised pork rice, and she can't resist a chef's tasting menu.

From backpacking across Europe and Asia to circumnavigating the globe by ship to living like a local in multiple cities, her travels have taken her on food explorations to 60+ countries on five continents. She has called Miami, Beijing, Taipei, and New York home.