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    Chocolate and Orange Panettone Bread Recipe

    Published December 2, 2019. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

    If you’re looking to take your Christmas holiday to the next level than this classic Italian Panettone Recipe is the perfect light, fluffy delicious recipe to get you there!  Follow my instructions below!

    Chocolate and Orange Panettone Recipe wrapped in parchment paper with coffee

    When I was younger I actually skipped out on this bread quite a bit and always regret it because it is seriously one of my favorite bread recipes out there.  It’s really similar to buttery Brioche Bread except you can load panettone up with lots of ingredients like chocolate chips, dried fruits, citrus zest, and nuts.

    While you can purchase panettone pre-made at the store, it is MUCH better homemade and much easier to make than you may have thought.  Just like my Red Wine Poached Pear Tart, this is a beautiful elegant dessert that you will really dig!

    What Is Pannetone

    This is a classic Italian recipe from Milan, Italy and stems from the word panetto, which translates to small loaf cake that is cooked in a panettone mold to give it that perfect shape and height.  While its origin is in Italy it has grown to popularity throughout the world, especially around the holidays.  It is traditionally enjoyed with a glass of champagne or prosecco.

    Is It Bread or Cake

    Panettone can be whatever you’d like it to be.  You can certainly slice it up and treat it like bread with butter spread on it, or enjoy it as an after-meal dessert.

    It also makes a great breakfast bread to serve up at brunch with hot coffee.

    zest, powdered sugar and almonds on top of a panettone bread

    Basic Ingredients and Options

    Here is the shortlist of the bread ingredients needed to make it:

    • Yeast (active)
    • Water
    • Milk
    • Eggs
    • Salt
    • Vanilla Extract
    • Butter
    • Flour

    Here are ingredients you can add to the bread dough or even the top of the bread cake:

    • Dried Fruits (raisins, plums, cherries, etc.)
    • Candied Orange Peel or Zest
    • Candied Lemon Peel or Zest
    • Orange or Lemon Liqueur
    • Chocolate Chips
    • Almonds

    For me personally since I’m not a huge dried fruit fan I like the combination of chocolate and orange!

    How to Make Panettone

    1. In a stand mixer whisk together the yeast with warm water, milk and 1 tablespoon of sugar.
    2. Let the mixture stand until a raft is formed on the top, about 5-7 minutes.
    3. Immediately add in the rest of the sugar, egg, salt, vanilla and orange zest and mix on low speed with the hook attachment.
    4. Slowly add in the flour in 3 batches until combined and knead for 5 minutes on medium speed.

    At this point you want to proof the bread and my little secret is to place it in an unused oven with the oven light on.  This is the PERFECT temperature for proofing, which is around 85° to 90°.

    Fold in the chocolate chips until they are mixed in and transfer the dough to a panettone mold or a prepared 4″ tall by 8″ wide cake mold lined with parchment paper.

    Let it rest for another 30 minutes before baking it up in the oven at 350° for about 60 minutes or until it is golden brown on top and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

    Completely cool the cake to room temperature on a rack before slicing and serving.

    What Do You Hang It Upside Down

    This is something I actually do not do but there are plenty of recipes that suggest it.  You do this to keep the bread from falling to maintain its tall shape and soft fluffy inside texture.  If you are interested in doing it, simply immediately invert the cake once it comes out of the oven until it’s cool.

    Chef Billy Parisi

    chef notes + tips

    • When mixing the yeast in at the beginning to the stand mixer, make sure your milk and water are on the hotter side of  at least 115°.  The reason being is because stand mixer bowls are cold and will drop the temperature out of the optimal raft creating a stage for the yeast.
    • For the easiest proofing tip on earth, proof in an unused oven with only the oven light on.  It gives it the perfect proofing temperature between 85° and 90°.
    • It’s important to fold chocolate chips in at the end so they do not melt while proofing in the oven with the light on.
    • Use a pre-made (yes this is an aff link) –>> panettone mold or you can use a prepared tall cake pan that is lined with parchment paper!
    • Panettone has quite a bit of sugar and butter in it and it can sometimes burn, so if you notice that happening, immediately cover with foil before cooking it the rest of the way.
    • To ensure your bread is soft, fluffy and cooked through, it is imperative that it is completely cooled on a rack before slicing and serving.
    sprinkling powdered sugar onto a panettone bread cake recipe

    How to Serve It

    It is best served warm so you can do either:

    • Add some slices to a microwave, and heat it.
    • Place slices on a sheet tray and bake it in the oven for 5-10 minutes until warm with a slight outer crisp edge.

    You can enjoy it with hot coffee or with Prosecco as an after-meal treat.  I actually love it for breakfast so you should try it for that as well!

    How Long Does It Last

    You have to treat it just like any bread as it will lose moisture and become dried out over time.  Keep it covered up at room temperature for up to 5 days or in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.  Also, just be sure to look at it and smell it to ensure it’s freshness.

    More Dessert Recipes

    Be sure to follow me on FacebookYoutube, Instagram, and Pinterest and if you’ve had a chance to make this then definitely drop me a comment and a rating below!

    Let's Cook - Chef Billy Parisi

    Chocolate and Orange Panettone Recipe

    5 from 5 votes
    Get in the holiday spirit and learn how easy it is to make a delicious Chocolate and Orange Panettone Recipe that is topped off with almonds!
    Servings: 20
    Prep Time: 30 minutes
    Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
    Let sit: 1 hour 35 minutes
    Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes

    Ingredients 

    • 1 packets of yeast
    • 1 cups of water heated to 110° to 115°
    • 1 cups of whole milk heated to 110° to 115°
    • 1 cups of sugar + 1 tablespoon
    • 1 egg + 1 egg white
    • Pinch of salt
    • 3/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract
    • Zest of 1 orange
    • 1/3 cup of melted butter
    • 5 1/2 cups of Bob’s Red Mill all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup of chocolate chips

    Instructions

    • Preheat the oven to 350°
    • Sprinkle the yeast into a bowl with the warm water and milk and whisk in 1 tablespoon of the sugar. Let sit for 5 to 7 minutes or until it becomes very foamy.
    • Next, whisk in the rest of the sugar, 1 egg, salt, vanilla, orange zest, and melted butter until combined and transfer it to a standing mixer with the hook attachment.
    • Slowly pour in the flour and mix on low speed until combined and kneed for 5 to 10 minutes.
    • Let sit for 1 hour or until it doubles in size.
    • Add the chocolate chips and fold them in the dough until they are completely folded in. Put the dough into a prepared 4” tall by 8” cake pan or use a panettone liner and let rise for more 30 minutes.
    • Brush the top of the bread with the egg white and sprinkle on the 1 tablespoon of sugar and bake at 350° for 60 to 70 minutes or until browned on top and the inside is cooked.

    Notes

    Chef Notes:
    • When mixing the yeast in at the beginning to the stand mixer, make sure your milk and water are on the hotter side of at least 115°.  Reason being is because stand mixer bowls are cold and will drop the temperature out of the optimal raft creating stage for the yeast.
    • For the easiest proofing tip on earth, proof in an unused oven with only the oven light on.  It gives it the perfect proofing temperature between 85° and 90°.
    • It’s important to fold chocolate chips in at end so they do not melt while proofing in the oven with the light on.
    • Use a pre-made (yes this is an aff link) –>> panettone mold or you can use a prepared tall cake pan that is lined with parchment paper!
    • Panettone has quite a bit of sugar and butter in it and it can sometimes burn, so if you notice that happening, immediately cover with foil before cooking it the rest of the way.
    • To ensure your bread is soft, fluffy and cooked through, it is imperative that it is completely cooled on a rack before slicing and serving. 

    Nutrition

    Calories: 339kcalCarbohydrates: 60gProtein: 6gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 59mgPotassium: 80mgFiber: 2gSugar: 22gVitamin A: 192IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 41mgIron: 2mg
    Course: Dessert
    Cuisine: American, Italian
    Author: Chef Billy Parisi