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Pandoro Italian Christmas Bread

Pandoro Cake (Italian Sweet Bread)

Gimme Yummy
This Pandoro cake is typically made during the holiday season, Christmas and New Year, it’s a popular classic sweet golden Italian Christmas bread is sweet, buttery, and soft with a similar texture to a cake. The birthplace of Pandora cake is Verona Italy
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Bulk Fermentation Plus Final Proof 6 hrs
Total Time 7 hrs
Course Breakfast, Christmas, Holiday
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6 people
Calories 300 kcal


  • Pandoro Cake Pan



  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 60 grams
  • 2 1/2 tablespoon warm water 37 grams
  • 1 teaspoon dry instant yeast 3 grams


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour 120 grams
  • 5 teaspoons granulated sugar 25 grams
  • 1 large egg 50 grams beaten
  • Biga 100 grams


  • Pre-dough 295 grams
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 180 grams
  • 1 teaspoon dry instant yeast 3 grams
  • 2 teaspoon water 10 grams
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 3 grams
  • 1 tablespoon honey 15 grams
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar 100 grams
  • 2 large eggs 100 grams
  • 2 large egg yolks 40 grams
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 5 grams
  • 2/3 cup of butter 150 grams room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest 2 grams
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest 2 grams
  • 1/4 cup icing sugar 30 grams for decorating



  • Using a medium-size bowl, add the yeast and water and mix together, let it stand for 10 minutes.
  • Add in the flour and mix using your hands of a spatula until the dough begins to form. If you find the dough to stiff, add a teaspoon of water and continue to knead the biga dough until it is smooth.
  • Place into a greased bowl covered with pastic and let it ferment at room temperature for 2 hours.


  • Place the flour, sugar, eggs into a mixing bowl with the hook attachment and mix on slow speed for 2 minutes.
  • Add the biga and continue to mix on slow speed (setting 2) for 2 minutes then increase the speed and mix on high speed (setting 3) and continue to mix for about 6 minutes or until the dough is developed.
  • Transfer the dough into a greased bowl, cover, and bulk ferment for 2 hours or until it has doubled in volume.


  • Add the yeast into a small bowl with 2 teaspoons of water and mix together, let it stand for 10 minutes.
  • In a mixing bowl with the hook attachment, add the flour, yeast mixture, honey, sugar, vanilla extract, whole eggs, egg yolk, salt, and mix on slow speed for 2 minutes.
  • Add the pre-dough and continue to mix for 3 minutes.
  • Increase the speed to setting 3 and mix for 2 minutes then gradually add the butter and continue to mix for about 15 minutes.
  • Add in the orange and lemon zest and mix on high speed for 2 additional minutes or until the dough is fully developed. The dough should be smooth and stretchy with good elastic properties. You can do the windowpane test to ensure the dough is developed.
  • Remove the dough and shape into a round boule.
  • Coat a Pandoro pan with butter and place the shaped dough ball into the Pandoro pan with the seam facing outward.
  • Cover the baking pan and let it rise for about 2 hours or until the dough reaches the top of the pan.
  • Preheat the oven to 160°C (320°F) and bake for about 30-35 minutes or until the internal temperature of the cake reaches 96°C.
  • Remove the oven and cool for 20 minutes before removing it from the pan.
  • Garnish with icing sugar and serve.
Keyword Christmas breads, Holiday cakes, Italian sweet bread, Pandoro, Pandoro cake, Pandoro sweet bread, sweet bread