Panettone: How to pronounce (and then serve) Italy’s favorite Christmas cake

Italian christmas cake known as panettone




However, you say it, panettone is Italy’s ubiquitous Christmas cake.

Yes, there are other holiday treats but it is the panettone that reigns supreme.

During the holiday season (which runs through 6 January), the stores and bakeries are piled high with the sweet cake.

If you are visiting someone’s home or throwing a party, you are very likely either giving or receiving a panettone.

My first Christmas in Rome, I wrote about how to eat panettone like a savage.

But if you want to serve panettone correctly, here’s what you do:

Unwrap or unbox the cake. (I got mine from Artenio’s bakery stall in the Testaccio Market).

The high rising cake is supported by a band of thick paper. This is usually peeled back prior to cutting, but you can leave it as it does make it easier to cut the buttery, airy cake. The paper must be removed before serving.

You will need a serrated knife (a bread knife) to cut the panettone. I find the cake to be fairly delicate, so there is no need to saw away.

Cut cleanly, from the center out, dividing the cake into narrow slices.

Traditional panettone is filled with raisins and candied fruit. Not being a huge raisin fan, I am also not a huge panettone fan.

However, you can’t get through the holidays in Rome without serving at least one slice!

Enjoy for dessert, as a snack, or even breakfast.


8 thoughts on “Panettone: How to pronounce (and then serve) Italy’s favorite Christmas cake

  1. Kelly says:

    I am also not a fan (raisins), but my husband loves it. He likes to make French toast out of it! I suspect the boxed up kind we get here in the states is not nearly as good as something you could get at a bakery though.

    • Paul says:

      I like panettone very much. I have never been to Italy, and I buy them in the US, especially from Costco. They taste good to me. My family is originally from Asia. Panettone tastes better than most of other bakery to us.

  2. Dena says:

    The ones here in the United States are not to good. Taste like they are a year old, and probably are. I have to put yogurt on it to eat. Is there a good brand that you could recommend that is sold here to try

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