Panettone & Italian Cakes

This year, make Christmas extra special with our collection of Panettone and cakes from the best artisan bakers in Italy. Add luxury with Panettone from award-winning Sal de Riso, indulge in De Vivo Chocolate Panettone and Olivieri’s Salted Caramel varieties – take a look, there’s something for everyone. Buon Natale!

Panettone Christmas Bread

Panettone is a traditional Italian Christmas bread originating from Milan. It's a sweet, fluffy, and dome-shaped bread that's often typically studded with candied fruits and raisins.

The history of Panettone dates back centuries, with roots deeply embedded in Italian tradition. While there are variations of stories surrounding its origin, the most widely accepted tale traces the roots of Panettone to Milan, Italy.

One popular legend attributes the creation of Panettone to a young nobleman named Ughetto degli Atellani in the 15th century. According to the story, Ughetto fell in love with the daughter of a poor baker named Toni. To win her over, he disguised himself as a baker's apprentice and created a rich, sweet bread to impress her father. The result was the precursor to Panettone, a leavened bread made with flour, butter, eggs, and candied fruits.

Over time, Panettone gained popularity in Milan and became a Christmas tradition. The bread's name itself is said to be a combination of "pane" (bread in Italian) and "tono" (a suffix expressing largeness or bulk), reflecting its large and domed shape.

In the early 20th century, Angelo Motta and Gioacchino Alemagna, two Milanese bakers, played significant roles in commercializing and popularizing Panettone. They introduced innovations in the production process, making it more consistent and widely available.

Today, Panettone is not only a symbol of Milan but has become a cherished Christmas tradition throughout Italy and around the world. It's enjoyed in various forms, with bakers creating new flavours and variations while still honouring the traditional recipe. The delightful sweet bread has become an integral part of holiday celebrations, embodying the spirit of warmth and festivity.

UK's Largest Range Of Panettone

Every year we search Italy for the very best artisan bakers of classic and flavoured Christmas Panettone and only present the very best Panettone we find, so everyone in the UK can enjoy the very best at their Christmas table.

While panettone is technically a type of sweet bread due to its yeast-based dough, it is commonly considered a festive dessert or cake-like treat. Its dome-shaped appearance, often adorned with candied fruits and raisins, reinforces its cake-like presentation.

So, whether you choose to call it a cake or a bread, one thing we can all agree on it that it most definitely a delicious treat!

Italian Christmas Panettone

Italian Panettone is traditionally served at Christmas, the crowning glory of the festive dinner table. At this time, it is typically served as it is, carved into thin slices and shared at the end of the meal. But it is a very versatile treat and can be enjoyed in various ways.

Try it toasted which gives it a slightly crispy texture. You can spread butter or jam on the toasted slices for extra flavour. Some people enjoy dipping panettone slices in hot chocolate, coffee, or even sweet wine for added decadence.

Classic Panettone can be used in various dessert recipes, such as trifle, bread and butter pudding, or as a base for ice cream sundaes.

Panettone Christmas Gift

However you serve it, a Panettone cake makes a fabulous Christmas gift, wrapped and boxed beautifully.

Panettone from Italy is ideal for sending as a Christmas food gift or for treating your family to an Italian Christmas cake this year as an alternative to traditional Christmas cake. There are several variations and recipes of panettone available, each with its own unique flavours and ingredients.

Classic & Flavoured Panettone

The Traditional Panettone is a classic, made with candied fruits and raisins. You’ll find award-winning varieties such as this Classic Panettone by Sal de Riso, acclaimed for its fragrance and sweet, open dough. If you’re not a fan of candied fruit though, Classic Panettone might be more to your taste, containing just plump raisins.

Looking for something sweeter? Chocolate Panettone is gaining popularity with chunks of chocolate baked into the dough. Or an extra indulgent Salted Caramel variety.

There are many different flavours but one that really caught our eye was a Red Wine Panettone by Agrumato with cubes of red wine jelly jewels hidden within.

Gluten Free & Vegan Panettone

Those with special dietary requirements such as gluten intolerance and lactose intolerance or people following a vegan diet won’t miss out either. Award-winning Gluten-Free Panettone and Vegan Panettone from Lazzaroni means that everyone gets to enjoy this delicious Italian Christmas treat.

Buy Pandoro Christmas Cake

Pandoro is a traditional Italian sweet bread that is particularly associated with Christmas and New Year's celebrations. The name "Pandoro" translates to "golden bread" in Italian, reflecting its characteristic golden colour and star-shaped profile.

Pandoro originated in Verona, Italy, and is typically made with flour, butter, eggs, sugar, and yeast. It is a leavened bread, similar to Panettone, but with some distinct differences. Unlike Panettone, Pandoro is devoid of candied fruits and raisins, and it is often dusted with powdered sugar to resemble the snowy peaks of the Italian Alps.

The preparation of Pandoro involves a meticulous process of proofing and rising the dough, resulting in a light and airy texture. It is commonly served in slices, and its rich, buttery flavour makes it a delightful treat during the holiday season.

Pandoro and Panettone are both cherished Italian Christmas specialties, offering a sweet and festive touch to holiday celebrations.

Buy your hand wrapped or Italian Panettone in tins now for a truly delightful and memorable celebration.

Read more about what is Panettone in our latest blog

Panettone & Cakes FAQ's

What’s the history of Panettone?

One popular legend dates back to the 15th century and involves a young Milanese nobleman named Ughetto Atellani who fell in love with the daughter of a baker named Toni. To win her heart, Ughetto disguised himself as a baker's apprentice and created a rich and delicious bread using ingredients like butter, eggs, candied fruit, and raisins. This special bread, known as "Pan de Toni" (Toni's bread), became a hit during the Christmas season and eventually evolved into the panettone we know today.

While the legends add charm to the history, the truth is that panettone's exact origins are complex and probably involve a mixture of stories and culinary traditions. Over time, the bread became associated with Christmas celebrations in Italy and beyond, and its popularity spread throughout the world.

What's the difference between Panettone and Pandoro?

Panettone and Pandoro are all Italian cakes traditionally eaten at Christmas but the first difference you’ll notice is the shape. Instead of the domed Panettone, Pandoro is in the shape of an eight-pointed star and dusted with icing sugar. And then, as you cut into the Pandoro, you’ll see that, unlike Panettone, there is no candied fruit or raisins either – just a light airy buttery cake. So if dried fruit isn’t for you, try a Classic Pandoro by Nannini and a luxurious Tiramisu Pandoro by Follador.

Where can you buy Italian Panettone online in the UK?

Sacla’ has one of the widest selections of traditional artisan Panettone ranging in price from £20-£50 from award-winning artisan producers including Vergani, Lazzaroni, Sal de Riso, De Vivo and Cipriani, with free UK delivery and a gift message – send the perfect Christmas gift from

How long does Panettone keep?

Because of the unique way Panettone is made – especially the artisan ones based around a sourdough 'mother' – it stays soft and airy longer than many breads and cakes. Classic fruited Panettone typically has a shelf life of around 4-6 months, while more modern versions (chocolate, pistachio, etc) tend to keep for 2-3 months.

Why is Panettone so expensive?

The cost of Panettone is a reflection of the quality of the ingredients, the labour-intensive process and the craftmanship that goes into creating this most loved treat. Panettone is made using high-quality ingredients, including butter, eggs, candied fruits, and sometimes premium ingredients like chocolate or dried fruits which can be costly. The traditional method of making panettone involves a lengthy and meticulous process, including multiple stages of rising and careful handling of the dough. Skilled bakers invest a significant amount of time and effort into crafting each panettone by hand. Many high-quality panettone varieties are produced by artisanal bakeries using traditional techniques. Artisanal production often results in smaller batches and more hands-on attention to detail, which can increase the overall cost of production.

And finally, the packaging and
presentation of a Panettone is truly special. Often wrapped and either boxed or placed in a tin, they make the best Christmas gifts for food lovers or
your Christmas hosts – or treat yourself!