The best panettone to taste this Christmas


6 December 2023
Written by
Lucrezia Worthington

From traditional to more innovative flavours


To put is simply, the Panettone is an art, a tradition, a means of expression for all Chefs & Patissiers. Born in Milan, this Christmas cake is a dome shaped sweet bread traditionally made with flour, eggs, yeast, sugar, butter, raisins and candied fruit. Italians bring it to the table after Christmas dinner (alongside an array of other traditional foods such as torroni, mandarins (yes, Italians love their mandarins), chocolate log (traditionally french actually) and pandoro with mascarpone. This not only serves as desert but as breakfast throughout the following mornings. In this article we have rounded up a selection of innovative versions of the Panettone you can purchase not only in store but on the website as well, with worldwide delivery. From triple chocolate to marzipan decorations, here’s what’s on offer this Christmas.

Iginio Massari

The master of pastry Iginio Massari has followed tradition since opening his first Pasticceria Veneto back in 1971. Since, he has won numerous recognitions as well as being referred to as “The greatest Italian Pastry Chef in the world”. His creations are divine, yes, but its the meticulous technicality, elegance and attention to the minute detail that makes his pastries stand out. This Christmas, the Panettone Tradizionale, as the name suggests, is Iginio Massari’s special panettone that undergoes four leavening times and two kneading sessions for a total of 62 hours. Inside, small cubes of candied orange and raisins and on top, an almond and cacao glaze to wrap this soft ball of sweetness together. WEBSITE

Iginio Massari and his Panettone

Fiasconaro

Fiasconaro

From the very modest village of Castelbuono in Sicily, Mario Fiasconaro opened a small ice cream shop in 1953 and later, due to its success, expanded into the patisserie business. Today, the three sons Fausto, Martino and Nicola represent the family business keeping in line with the ‘Made in Sicily’ philosophy: each ingredient used in the leavened product has been specially sourced from the island from pistachios to oranges, Modica chocolate, apricots, almonds and the prized Manna of the Madonie. This year marks 70 years since the opening of that little ice cream shop and to celebrate this, the company decided to reinterpret the first ever panettone made by master Nicola Fiasconaro. A selection of iconic leavened products: traditional, citrus and saffron from Sicily, apricot, and ‘Chocolate of Modica PGI,’ are wrapped in a special packaging, giving life to a collection that celebrates and recalls the journey of craftsmanship over these seventy years. WEBSITE

Courtesy Marchesi 1824

Marchesi 1824

We were wondering when this recognition would arrive: Marchesi 1824 came first in the “Panettoni Artist 2023” competition and this comes to no surprise considering every year, this cafe amazes passers by with the incredible creations in the shop window. This year, Christmas by Pasticceria Marchesi is a fairy-tale aimed at both adults and children. In addition to the classic pandoro, panettone and marzipan decorated ones, this year Marchesi 1824 enriches its collection with an Apple, Cinnamon, and Caramel Panettone as well as the Pistachio Panettone. WEBSITE

Ciccio Sultano x Fabrizio Fioriani

Ciccio Sultano and Fabrizio Fioriani, the dynamic duo behind Giano at the W Rome, continue to feed your guilty pleasures with their sensational sweet doughs. This Christmas, the panettone (in a 1kg format), is as soft as ever, rested for seventy-two hours (perhaps we should take that into consideration for our beauty sleep!). Three are the flavours this year: the traditional, with a hint of vanilla, almond, candied orange and raisin; The chocolate made with cacao, almonds and hazelnuts and finally the Re Moro, the king of panettoni glazed and covered with slices of candied lemon and orange, and chocolate biscuit. WEBSITE

Ciccio Sultano and Fabrizio Fioriani

Gucci Osteria x Tiri 1957

Courtesy Gucci Osteria

This year sparks many interesting collaborations among which, Gucci Osteria and Tiri 1957. Since 1957 in fact, the Tiri family have been baking panettoni, winning numerous awards throughout the years. It is Vincenzo Tiri to represent his family business in the southern region of Basilicata. Gucci Osteria, on the other hand, is the Michelin starred restaurant in Florence by Massimo Bottura and co-executive chefs Karime López and Takahiko Kondo. A spirited collaboration that brings together creativity and savoir-faire in a refined, elegant and high quality bake. WEBSITE

Giacomo Milano x Cabana

Giacomo Milano x Cabana

This panettone stems from the traditional recipe by Giacomo Pasticceria, featuring over thirty hours of natural leavening and high-quality ingredients. Fragrant Bourbon vanilla from Madagascar, Calabrian orange zest and Turkish raisins are some of the special ingredients that make this bake. This year, in addition to the classic panettone and artisanal pandoro, the Christmas selection expands to include a special limited edition panettone created in collaboration with Cabana. This panettone, filled with choco-gianduia pieces, is presented in a precious tin designed by Cabana, is inspired by the floral designs of Mongiardino and the interiors of the restaurant itself. WEBSITE

Cremeria Capolinea

Simone, Monica and their panettone tradizionale

Simone De Feo is the ice-cream wizard of Cremeria Capolinea, in Reggio Emilia which, in case you didn’t know, can be delivered to your home upon request (great for those hangover days!). For some time now he and his partner Monica have been experimenting with leavened products which they release during Christmas. This collection of Panettoni (five) is unveiled in an array of exquisite flavours and combinations (yes you can order a Panettone with chocolate spreads for the double-trouble). Think hazelnuts, tonks, coffee mixed with candied fruit – a successful experiment in our eyes to help achieve that heavenly delight. WEBSITE

Dolcemascolo

Dolcemascolo

With an exciting opening on the horizon for Matteo Dolcemascolo, who is soon due to open a store on Viale Mazzini in Rome, the pastry chef continues to uphold the family’s artisanal philosophy when it comes to Panettoni. Each dough is characterised by a very slow processes – 72 hour minimum, and is then enhanced with new flavours and toppings. This year, alongside the OG traditional panettone, Dolcemascolo unveils a mixed berries, chocolate and pear, chocolate and raspberries and pistachio with a spreadable cream. Not bad hey? WEBSITE

Luca Pezzetta

Luca Pezzetta, pizza and leavening expert learnt these arts from his family, representing the third generation of pizza makers and restaurateurs. He opened his pizzeria Clementina in Fiumicino, Rome, in 2021 after a series of courses that led him to meet the true Pizza Master Gabriele Bonci as well as a series of work experiences within Michelin starred restaurants, working alongside Niko Romito, Heinz Beck, Pino Cuttaia, Errico Recanati and Daniele Usa . As much as we would love to take about Pizza, we’re here to discuss Panettoni. As you can guess, with a hefty curriculum on his shoulders, it comes to no surprise Luca aces the Panettone. A perfect bouncy dough infused with bourbon vanilla and candied goodies from Calabria. WEBSITE

Luca Pezzetta
Panettoni in the making at Villa d’Este

Villa d’este

Pastry Chef Fabrizio Bertola has carried out an exceptional recipe for Villa d’Este’s panettone this Christmas. Filled with raisins, candied fruits and a slow leavening process, this soft dough is coupled with a Bicciolano sauce created in-house. The Bicciolano is a shortcrust pastry biscuit typical of the Vercelli area, made with spices such as cloves, cinnamon, white pepper and coriander. The recipe ? Simple, slowly boil 1L of milk with cinnamon and cloves. In a separate bowl add 10 egg yolks, 20g sugar and 15g of cornstarch. Mix everything together at slow heat and voilà, served warm, this sauce can be drizzled over the Panettone. WEBSITE

Olivieri 1882

Limoncello flavoured panettone with Sorrento Limoncello

Voted by Gambero Rosso as one of the best Artisanal Panettone in Italy and mentioned in The New York Times, Nicola Olivieri’s panettone is one of the most exquisite doughs to bring out to the table at Christmas time. Light and fluffy, due to the natural and highly searched ingredients. The dough is leavened for over 48 hours and contains, as well as raisins and sultanas, Bourbon vanilla from Madagascar. This year, Nicola has unleashed two three flavours: the first, a pistachio flavour served with a sac-a-poche filled with pistachio cream and the second, a limoncello flavoured made with Sorrento limoncello and the third, with balsamic vinegar. WEBSITE

Antonino Cannavacciuolo

This year, Antonino Cannvacciuolo delivers eight different variants including a stellar Vegan bake with orange and pistachio. Each panettone undergoes a 36-hour leavening time, 5 kneading steps and artisanal workmanship to ensure the soft, cloud-like texture. Back on track this year are the Campania favourite Melannurca, Pear and Chocolate and Limoncello. New is the limited edition Marron Glacé, synonymous with winter in Italy and Hazelnut and Lemon, a combination of the Chef’s two lands: Piedmont and Campania. This can be enhanced with a sac-à-poche filled with home made choco-hazelnut to spread on your panettone slice. WEBSITE

Panettone with Hazelnut, Lemon and choco-hazelnut spread


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