Traditional Italian Christmas Cake – The Pandoro

Traditional Italian Christmas Cake – The Pandoro
Traditional Italian Christmas Cake – The Pandoro

Christmas is fast approaching and therefore this month we are providing a recipe  of the typical and most known Italian Christmas cake, the “pandoro”.

Its geographical origin is Verona, town of Giuletta and Romeo, and its history is dateless.  Some say it’s discovery goes back to the time at the time of the Venetian republic in 1500, other thinks that it is the remaking of a cake having the shape of a star, the “nadalin”. Officially, it was born on October 14th 1894 when the pastry chef, Domenico Melegatti,  made a soft cake with the shape of a star with eight points, designed by the impressionist painter Angelo Dall’oca Bianca who waited at tables of the rich Venetians. The pandoro is a soft cake smelling of vanilla, sugar and butter and  garnished with a sprinkle of icing sugar just before cutting.  Preparation takes a long time, however the satisfaction of serving a homemade pandoro pays back every effort.


• 18gr. of brewer’s yeast
• 3 whole eggs plus 1 yolk
• 170gr. of butter
• 450gr. of flour
• 1 vanilla pod
• 60ml. of milk plus 3tbl. spoons
• 125gr. of sugar plus 1 tea spoon
• 1 tea spoon of salt


• Start with preparing the first dough
• Dissolve 15gr. of yeast in 60ml. of warm milk with  1tbl. spoon of sugar, the yolk and 50gr. of flour.
• Mix well, cover and let the dough rise until it doubles the volume (about 1 hour).
• Dissolve 3gr. of yeast in 3tbl. spoons of milk and pour it in the mixture.
• Add 100gr. of sugar, the egg and blend, pour the dough in a bowl with 200gr. of flour and kneed using your hands.
• Add 30gr. of soft butter and continue to kneed, then cover and let it rest for a further hour.

Now, let’s prepare the second dough by adding 200gr. of flour, the eggs, 25gr. of sugar and the vanilla pod’s seeds and kneed. 

• Flatten the dough, fold it and place it in a buttered bowl.
• Let it rise and then, place it in the refrigerator for about 8-12 hours.
• Turn over the mixture on the table and with a rolling pin form a square in the centre of which put 140gr. of soft butter.
• Combine together the 4 corners of the square and place it in the refrigerator for further 20 minutes.
• Repeat the procedure one more time and finally make a ball to be placed in a buttered mold (20 cm. high) having the shape of a star with 8 points.
• Let it rise until it will come out from the mold.
• Bake in the oven at 170° for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature at 160° and bake for further 50 minutes.

We wish you a Merry Christmas and buon appetito!