Chef ’s Note 

Italian 00 flour gives these panettone an especially soft, silky texture. It’s a finely ground flour traditionally used for making pasta and pizza dough and is available from Italian markets and well-stocked supermarkets. Bread flour (UK strong white bread flour) can be substituted, but it will produce a slightly heavier, denser result.

Pearl sugar, also known as nib or nibbed sugar, is available in well-stocked supermarkets and from specialty baking

suppliers. The large round crystals add a wonderful crunchy texture and festive “snowy” appearance to baked goods.

Soaking the cherries and apricots in Madeira makes these little panettone into something utterly irresistible—a worthy Christmas indulgence. Served warm, alongside a big mug of coffee, they are the perfect start to the day.


  • ⅔ cup (100 g) dried cherries
  • ¾ cup (100 g) dried apricots, diced
  • ⅓ cup (75 ml) Madeira
  • 3¾ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon superfine sugar ⅔ cup (160 ml) milk, warmed (105°–115°F/40°–46°C) 4 cups (500 g) 00 flour (see  Chef’s Note), plus  more for  the work surface
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup (50 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 5 eggs, lightly beaten, plus a little more for brushing
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons (200 g) butter, at room temperature ½ cup plus 11/2 tablespoons (100 g) small dark chocolate chips Finely grated zest of 2 oranges
  • ¼ cup (50 g) pearl sugar (see  Chef’s Note) for finishing


1-In a bowl, combine the cherries, apricots, and Madeira and let stand at room temperature for at least 1 hour but preferably for 24 hours.

2-In a small bowl, combine the yeast, superfine sugar, and warm milk and let stand until frothy, about 10 minutes.

3-In a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the flour, salt, brown sugar, vanilla, eggs, and yeast mixture and beat on low speed for 2 minutes. Increase the speed to medium and mix until a soft dough forms, 6–8 minutes. Gradually add the butter in small pieces and mix for 6–8 minutes longer, stopping occasionally to scrape down the bowl sides to ensure the dough is well mixed. The dough will be very soft. Add the soaked fruit and any unabsorbed Madeira, the chocolate chips, and the orange zest and mix until they are evenly incorporated.

4-Tip the dough into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and chill the dough until it has firmed up enough for it to be shaped, at least  8 hours or up to overnight. Have ready 12 paper panettone or dariole molds’, each about  2½ inches (6 cm) by 3 inches (7.5 cm), arranging them on a large  sheet pan, or line a 12-cup standard muffin pan with parchment tulip cupcake liners 4 inches (10 cm) tall.

Enjoy! 😋

These mini panettones make great gifts or festive additions to your Christmas brunch or dessert table.