Christmas Pandoro (Golden Cake) Recipe

Saturday, December 5, 2015

A yeast egg cake as they refer to it, I think it's a cross between a rich egg bread and kind of cake. This is very traditional among the Venetians and Italians. It's a tall cake you can buy a mold for or use a extra large coffee can to make it. After it cooled it's covered in a sifted powdered sugar or a thick frosting depending on the Region in Italy. They are sold commercially almost everywhere, especially around the holidays as Christmas, New Years and Befana. Not to be confused with Panettone which is an rich egg bread with raisins.

Pandoro is a golden cake made at christmas in Italy dusted with powdered sugar on a plate under the Christmas Tree with poinsettia on the plate

The larger side should be down.

If you happen to order a Pandoro pan online, the star shape should be down.

They covered in a snow of powdered sugar.

The cake is the perfect wintery looking cake for the holiday with the snowy powdered sugar on top.

this is Pandoro made in a Pandoro pan to look like a star and baked on a plate cooling with powdered sugar on top

Made in the coffee can

Before I got the original baking pan, I used an extra large coffee can, lined it with parchment paper and baked it.

I also doused it with a lot of oil cooking spray to make sure it didn't stick.

It always came out perfectly.

this is Pandoro made in a coffee can to look like a star and baked on a plate cooling with powdered sugar on top

The Story of Pandoro

Pandoro or pan d’oro means golden bread.

It is a traditional Christmas bread from Verona. Pandoro gets its name due to it's golden yellow in color.

The yellow or golden color comes from the large amount of egg yolks that are in the bread.

Pandoro is baked in a special star-shaped molded pan that you can find on my affliate link in the shop with me tab above.

If you don't have the pan use a metal extra large coffee can, that makes it easy for slicing and warmed up to spread butter on.

Unlike panettone, pandoro does not contain any dried fruits or nuts. When sprinkled with powdered sugar, it has the appearance of new fallen snow on a mountain.

Pandoro may be served with many types of creams or sauces, such as mascarpone topping, melted chocolate, or any flavored whipped cream.

this is Pandoro made in a coffee can to look like a star and baked on a plate cooling with powdered sugar on top

A Delicious Tradition

This cake is light and delicious and we make Pandoro every year.

The traditions during the Christmas Holiday in an Italian family are instilled while growing up.

I always hope the kids grow up to do the same and have been lucky that my two sons are great cooks and bakers.

We will continue to bake Pandoro every Christmas and enjoy this tender delicious cake.

this is Pandoro made in a coffee can to look like a star and baked on a plate cooling with powdered sugar on top

Christmas Pandoro Pin for later

this is Pandoro made in a coffee can to look like a star and baked on a plate cooling with powdered sugar on top

Optional Ways to serve Pandoro

When loaf is cool. We like to dust with powdered sugar or make the frosting with powdered sugar and water ( I like lemon so I use the lemon extract in mine). Drizzle over the Pandoro.

If you like it plain, it is also great topped with fresh fruits and whipped cream.

You can serve Pandoro anyway you like.

pandoro, golden cake, Italian cake, Christmas
bread, cake,

this is Pandoro made in a coffee can to look like a star and baked on a plate cooling with powdered sugar on top

Pandoro Cake Recipe

prep time: 25 minscook time: 35 minstotal time: 60 mins
This is a traditional cake made at Christmas time in Italy called Pandoro


3/4 cup lukewarm water
1 package dry yeast
3/4 tablespoon seasalt
4 egg yolks plus 1 egg
1 zest of a fresh lemon
1/4 cup honey
3 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup melted butter
parchment paper
1 extra large metal coffee can or 2 small coffee cans or Pandoro Pan

Optional Frosting
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup water
Optional:1/2 teaspoon lemon extract  or just dust with powdered sugar
other suggestions: whipped cream, chocolate or strawberry sauces on top
You can also just slice heat and spread some butter on it.


Cut parchment  paper pan to fit pan if using or grease the Pandoro pan heavily.

Make a starter by adding water and yeast let sit for around 10 minutes. Add honey, butter, salt, zest and egg yolks. Using an electric heavy duty mixer, blend together adding flour. Mix until well blended around 5 minutes.

Let sit in a warm spot until doubled in size. Punch down. Line the coffee can with parchment paper. Spray with cooking spray any areas not cover by paper.

Place the dough into the can and let rise again. 

Preheat oven @350 degrees. Brush top with the last egg that has been beaten.  Bake 35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool loaf 10 minutes and un mold.
fat (grams)
carbs (grams)
Created using The Recipes Generator

Christmas Pandoro Pin for later

this is Pandoro made in a coffee can to look like a star and baked on a plate cooling with powdered sugar on top

More Christmas Italian Traditional Recipes:

Lady Finger Lemon Cake
Mom's Ricotta Lemon Cookies
Italian Wedding Tray Frosted Soft Cookies
Italian Almond Paste Cafe Style Cookies
Italian Orange Juice Cookies
Ricotta Cookies


  1. What an awesome cake! I just want to squish it!!

  2. This cake looks awesome, but I think it should be called Candoro. :-)

  3. I'm pinning this and hope to try it soon. I've used pandoro to make French toast, but have never made it. Yours looks perfect.

  4. Gorgeous!! Merry Christmas, Claudia.

  5. creative! i would never thought of that, but it looks so delicious, unique and pretty! Have a very Happy Holiday season!!!!xo

  6. A really pretty pandoro!
    Happy Holiday Season!

  7. I've never been in Italy but I see Italian recipes really great. Such a beautiful Christmas recipe and I think that is very tasty. Thank you!

  8. Oh God, I fell in love with this cake! This is really a brilliant Italian recipe. Christmas should be unique with this cake. I would gladly try this recipe.

  9. I have not tried something like this before and it is so pretty! I love the height and looks like a delicious cake!

  10. I live in another country. Many of us are coming together for a quasi-traditional meal with deserts from our own respective countries. I only wish there was someone Venetian or Italian in our group to make this! I am making flan, but seriously thinking about trying this beautiful treat!

  11. I've made Pandoro for many years. I have two pans that I use just for this delicious Christmas dessert. It's a beautiful dessert at Christmas. One of the first things I unpacked in our new home are the pans. You did a great job on the cake/bread.

    1. Oh Marisa! Is your recipe on your blog? I would love to try your family version! It a tradition every year here too! XO

  12. Cake looks absolutely delicious!! This is new to me, I haven’t tried something like this. Saving it to try soon

  13. That's an interesting bread. I love baking bread and this really has my attention. Love the height too. Looks pretty simple to make.

  14. Dear Claudia, what a beautiful cake for the holidays! I would love to try looks wonderful dear! XO

  15. This cake look awesome! I am very much interested in trying it. Look very delicious.

  16. I love pandoro! Must finally try and make it this season!

  17. this looks delicious! and brilliant to use a coffee can!

  18. This looks really amazing. I've been seeing these kind of cakes for years and thought about making one this year, I'll have to use this recipe.

  19. I haven't had Pandoro in a long time. We used to have it around Christmas all the time when I was growing up. I'm glad I found your delicious recipe!

  20. I've never heard about Pandoro before, but it sounds delicious and I think it would be a great addition to Christmas dessert menu.


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