No holiday meal is complete without dessert, but when it comes to traditional Italian Christmas cakes, will you be serving panettone or pandoro? This is a real dilemma in many Italian families, often split between panettone lovers and pandoro lovers. The first faction finds pandoro to be too simple and buttery, the second group usually hates raisins and candied fruits which abound in panettone. There is only one peaceful solution: you buy both!
But let's explore the actual differences:
Panettone is a Christmastime cake that hails from Milan. The cake dough requires several hours to make because it must be cured in a way similar to sourdough, rising and falling three times before being baked. The sweet, yeasty treat has a distinctive domed shape. Panettone is often compared to fruitcakes because both are traditionally made with raisins and candied fruits.
Pandoro is a Christmas cake that originated in Verona. True to its name (pan d’oro means ‘golden bread’), the cake has a bright yellow color. Pandoro is traditionally a star-shaped cake that is dusted with powdered sugar.
Whether your sweet tooth is of the Milanese persuasion, or if you are partial to Veronese desserts, the cakes must be made using specific ingredients to be truly traditional.
If you serve panettone or pandoro at your Christmas celebration, you’ll be in good company- Italian bakers sell an astonishing 117 million cakes a year!