Christmas Lemon Panettone

Christmas Lemon Panettone

I’m sharing this recipe for Christmas lemon panettone just in time for Christmas! This delicious cake is a true show-stopper and would be a unique and tasty dessert to accompany your holiday meal. My family loves finishing off our traditional Christmas lunch with this rich yet light and airy cake.

Panettone is a traditional Italian Christmas cake baked in a specific mold, which gives it a distinctive cylindrical look. The word panettone comes from the Italian word panetto, meaning ‘a small loaf cake’. I have fond memories of devouring panettone at our Christmas gatherings at my nonna’s home. Lunch would be finished, but the sweets stayed on the table all afternoon – which made it unbelievably easy to sneak a few bites of my favourite sweet dessert every time I passed by the table. They’re something so comforting about panettone – it’s soft, cakey texture and subtle sweetness. Even to this day when we open a fresh box of panettone, the aroma alone brings me back to my nonna’s house on Christmas Day.

Christmas Lemon Panettone

This year I decided to pay homage to Christmas at by nonna’s by preparing a homemade rendition of this traditional Italian cake. Nonna would be proud. This recipe for Christmas lemon panettone makes a soft, supple dough that is similar to a moist and airy brioche. Added to the dough is aromatic vanilla, lemon zest and lemon juice which adds a hint of freshness to this rich and buttery cake. Although the original recipe is very simple, you can add in other ingredients such as candied orange, lemon zest, as well as raisins or chocolate. Albeit it is fantastic served on its own, a hot beverage like espresso, tea, or even sweet wine or champagne is the perfect accompaniment.

Note that traditional Italian panettone is baked in a distinctive circular pan which gives it the typical cylindrical shape. I baked mine in a large shallow glass baking dish. Not the distinctive shape, but the same distinctive buttery flavour and moist texture as the classic cake.

Christmas Lemon Panettone

If you try this recipe (and love it!) be sure to snap a pic and tag me on Instagram with #bitesforfoodies so I can see your creation!

Christmas Lemon Panettone

: Serves 10-12
: 10 min
: 35-40 min

I’m sharing this recipe for Christmas lemon panettone just in time for Christmas! This delicious cake is a true show-stopper and would be a unique and tasty dessert to accompany your holiday meal. My family loves finishing off our traditional Christmas lunch with this rich yet light and airy cake. Panettone is a traditional Italian Christmas […]


Christmas Lemon Panettone
    2 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 1 cup lukewarm water or milk
  • 1/2 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt (optional)
  • 4 medium organic eggs
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 cups cake flour, sifted
  • About 1/3 cup icing sugar for garnish (optional)

Add the water to a small bowl and sprinkle the yeast and sugar over top. Let sit for about 10 minutes or until the yeast is thick and frothy. Add the yeast mixture to a stand mixer then add the eggs, one at a time, whisking with the whisk attachment until frothy. Add the butter, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla and whisk again until combined. Add the salt and flour (one cup at a time) and mix with the paddle attachment until combined.

Transfer the dough to a large bowl, coated in butter or oil. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel and place on the top rack in the oven. Turn on the oven light and let sit for an hour or until at least doubled in size.

Transfer the batter to a 9 x 13 inch baking dish, lined with parchment paper. Bake in the oven at 375 degrees for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Cut into desired portions. Store in the fridge in an air-tight container for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

73 thoughts on “Christmas Lemon Panettone”

  • Eric Jones 2 years ago

    The most irritating review in the world is a recipe review from a person that hasn’t made the recipe! what are you folks doing with your life that you write reviews for a recipe you haven’t made. Not one review from a person that actually made the recipe! It looks great is what everyone posted! My mind is blown!

  • Yay! This looks and sounds really delicious. Must try for everyone at home.

  • I have never heard of panettone but it looks great and I love to bake so I will totally be trying this!

  • That looks delicious! I will try this recipe in my kitchen too!

  • Jennifer Pritchard Kearney 7 years ago

    This looks so good. I love this kind and yours looks particularly declicious! Wish I could have a bite 🙂

  • This looks so delicious and moist! I never had a panettone but I know I would like to try it!

  • Oh goodness does this look good! I found a lemon poundcake recipe the other day, but I was on the fence about trying it. Definitely trying this recipe!!!

    • I love poundcake!!!! This is very similar…if you use cake flour it will be lighter and fluffier. The first time I made this I only have all-purpose on hand and it had more of a poundcake texture.

  • Fi Ni Neachtain 7 years ago

    This looks so delicious and you have my toddler saying “cakeeee!” 🙂 I love anything with lemon and that sponge looks so light and fluffy. I’d love to make this for myself, I know it’d be a hit.

  • I pretty much love lemon anything. This doesn’t even sound difficult to make. I’m terrible in the kitchen sometimes, but tend to do better with desserts.

  • Deals4Dummies 7 years ago

    This looks so very yummy! I will have to try this out for the holidays. That is great that you can store it for so long too!

  • That looks delicious! I absolutely love lemon desserts, especially lemon cake, I bet everyone really enjoyed it!

  • Weekends With Winter 7 years ago

    I love lemon anything in a dessert, this one looks super moist and delish!

  • This sounds so delicious. I love lemon flavored desserts and this one sounds so easy! I’d love to try this recipe!

  • Cat Davis 7 years ago

    Except for the yeast, I have everything I’d need to make this. My son would jump for joy if I made this today. He is a lemon cake fanatic and this one looks amazing.

  • Mistee Dawn 7 years ago

    Yum! I love lemon. This looks and sounds delicious! I will have to make this soon!

  • I need to make this for my mother-in-law soon. She loves this kind of cake and lemon is one of her favorite flavors.

  • Looks absolutely delicious, thanks for the recipe. I am pinning this for when I have some time to bake.

  • Alli Smith 7 years ago

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Panettone. Lemon is my favorite flavor and the way you described the cake really makes me want a big piece with my morning coffee.

  • Stephanie Pass 7 years ago

    That looks amazing! I’ve seen a Panettone, but I never knew what it was.

  • Now this looks delicious!! I love lemon flavored anything so I will definitely be making this soon!!

  • Heather Pfingsten 7 years ago

    This looks and sounds so light. With all of the heavy, rich foods that many of us eat during the holidays this would provide a great break or pallet cleanse. I absolutely love lemon. Thank you for sharing!

  • michele d 7 years ago

    This recipe sounds perfect. I’m a fan of Lemon cake so I know that I would love this.

  • taty 7 years ago

    I love the sound of this recipe. We are big fans of desserts with Lemon, so this is perfect for us – coolchillmom

  • The lemon panetone looks like a perfect dessert for the holidays. It doesn’t look so sweet and is just the right amount of sweetness.

  • This looks so good and yummy! I’ll have to try this recipe out and soon. Thanks

  • Megan Elford 7 years ago

    I just saw some Panettone in the store today, for the first time. I had no idea what it was, but now, thanks to your explanation, I do. And yours looks SO much better than the store-bought version!

    • Awe, thanks! The traditional ones sold at grocery stores are delicious…you could try one and then if you’re ambitious, you could make one yourself!

  • This looks so lemony delicious and light. I’m sending your link to my mom, she loves all things lemony as I do.

  • Ickle Pickle 7 years ago

    Oh wow this looks great! I love any sort of lemon cake, so I bet this is delicious. Kaz 🙂

  • Oh, so pretty! I’ve never had a panettone that wasn’t tall, cylindrical, and studded with fruit, so I’m intrigued. I love lemon desserts, so this is a must-try in my book!

  • Jaime Nicole 7 years ago

    This looks really tasty! It looks like it has the consistency of a really great cornbread, but sweet – will definitely have to try it!

  • Jeanine @ 7 years ago

    Yum. I am a HUGE lemon fan so anything lemon I would love. This looks so good and light, my type of treat!

  • Jennifer Van Huss 7 years ago

    Love this!! It would make a great dessert or breakfast!

  • Oh wow this looks absolutely delicious – so light and fluffy! x

  • Oh yummy! I love how light and fluffy that piece of cake looks. I can only imagine how wonderful it must taste. Have go to try it!

  • Tatanisha Pitts-Worthey 7 years ago

    Looks delicious! Love anything with lemon, they always taste delicious. Would love to try this for NYE since my menu list for Christmas is already set. 🙂

  • I’ve never heard of that before. That looks delish and pretty simple.

  • Rebecca Swenor 7 years ago

    I have to admit I have never made a lemon panettone before but it looks delicious. This is something I will have to try making for my dad who loves anything lemon. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  • That looks delish Lisa! It looks like it hits the spot especially with those raspberries. The powdered sugar and lemon make it seem really zesty.

  • Sarah 7 years ago

    Oh wow, this looks so good. I’d love to have this at Christmas or maybe even NYE. Sarah- Must Have Mom

  • Deals4Dummies 7 years ago

    This looks heavenly! I will have to try this out for Christmas brunch!

  • PennyPincherJenny 7 years ago

    This looks delicious!!! I have started eating lemon desserts and love them!! This sounds like a good one.

  • All your recipes looks so delicious and so easy to make even for a challenged baker like myself 😀 Thank you!

  • Rachel Akers 7 years ago

    Yum. I love the flavor lemon adds to desserts. I haven’t heard of this before but it looks very good and light. Perfect for dessert after the big Christmas meal.

  • WendyK 7 years ago

    Love lemon and don’t make enough desserts with it. I always end up making the chocolate things for the person obsessed with it. I like chocolate but lemon would be so nice for a change.

  • Wow, this looks awesome. I’d love to serve of this as a light dessert after the big meal.

  • That Christmas Lemon Panettone looks super yummy! I’ll definitely have to try this recipe out soon (it looks like the perfect dessert for the holidays!) <3

  • monica 7 years ago

    Perfect timing to stop by your blog. This looks amazing!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.