by | Sep 14, 2021 | Holidays, Z

Last Updated: Oct 30, 2021 @ 4:38 pm.

What is the best panettone? We did a blind taste test with six brands to find the best tasting panettone cake. Here are the ones we thought were best at replicating that classic taste.

FYI: We've been reviewing and rating products for the home and families since 1994. We don't take money or freebies from the brands we review. Our work is 100% reader-supported!


A Brief History of Panettone!

Panettone is a dense sweet bread or cake with dried fruit and raisins originally from Italy. It’s a popular treat with an interesting history.

The cake itself dates back to the Renaissance in Milan. Panettone roughly translates to “large loaf cake” in Italian.

Until the 1800’s, panettone was made only in Milan—its modern form is credited to baker Angelo Motta. 

In 1919, a Russian emigre came into Motta’s bakery seeking traditional Russian cakes for a celebration. The emigre supplied Motta with a recipe, which seemed similar to Italian panettone. Motta made the cakes in the traditional manner of Italian panettone—wrapped in a paper ring. Hence modern panettone is a mix of both Italian and Russian tradition.

When the panettone bakes, it rises over the edge of the ring into a spectacular dome. 

How is Panettone Made?

To make panettone, yeast dough is fermented first for several hours up to a few days.

Then sugar, dried fruit and raisins are added (sometimes nuts and even chocolate), the dough is poured into paper rings and baked.

Our Taste Tests

To find the best panettone, we conducted blind taste tests (someone had to do it), looking for the best overall flavor and texture. Here are the ones we recommend:

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Best Classic Taste

Great for making French toast
Loved this dense sweet bread that tastes much like a hot crossed bun. Made from an original recipe that dates to 1952, we loved the presentation in a gold box with red ribbon handle.

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Best Budget-Friendly

Made from cage-free eggs
Excellent variety of flavor and texture, this cake is wonderful when toasted. Yes, it is very dense (some testers said too dense), but we thought it added to the flavor profile.

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Best Sourdough Version

Soft and buttery
Wow! Loved the moist, fluffy and rich cake by this baker in Italy. Sure, it is a bit pricey, but it's made in Fossano, Italy by bakers who clearly know what they are doing.

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Best Chocolate Panettone

Amazing breakfast treat
If you aren't a fan of dried fruit, this panettone substitutes chocolate chips for the fruit—and the results are rather amazing. We loved the moist texture that isn't too sweet.

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Why Trust Us

We’ve been rating and reviewing products for the home and families since 1994. We do extensive research, evaluating products with an eye toward quality, ease of use and affordability. When we purchase a product for hands-on testing, we do so with our own money.

Here’s another key point: we don’t take money from the brands we review. No free samples, no sponsors, no “partnerships.” Our work is 100% reader-supported!

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