This easy vegan Panettone recipe is pure Christmas joy! Create this rich, fluffy, fragrant Italian Christmas treat overnight. Traditionally, the starter alone takes a few days, don’t even get me started on the process of making the Panettone itself.
Kneading, resting, adding one ingredient, kneading again, resting again, and then repeating the cycle several times.
I tried a ton of recipes and failed 3 times in order to be able to bring you an actually easy vegan panettone recipe. I’ve tried versions that claimed to only take a few hours, but that ended up coming out tough and dry and I’ve learned that there’s no way around having a good starter.
If you’re one of the many people who picked up baking sourdough bread, you can use a sourdough starter, that’s actually perfect! And if you don’t I have a quicker cheat version for you.
In the end, I actually ended up veganizing a non-vegan recipe instead of adapting one that was already vegan and I’m really happy with it!
But what is Panettone?
Panettone is an Italian sweet bread made of yeasted dough and dried fruit, typically served around Christmas. It originated in Milan in and dated back all the way to the Roman empire.
Even though it’s technically a “bread”, it always felt more like cake to me. It’s similar to brioche but with an amazing flavor of citrus peel, that’s so typical for Italian baked goods.
and so nostalgia-inducing!
When I was a kid, we would go to Italy at least once a year and whenever we were there around the holidays, we would always bring home tons of Panettone. It’s one of those things that are really hard to find a vegan version of (at least in Austria), so I absolutely had to try making one myself.
I think it’s about to become a holiday staple again!
Panettone is a highly personal thing and thankfully, it’s easily customizable.
I like mine classic with candied orange and raisins (rum-soaked for me, please!), but if that’s not your jam, you can also add any other dried fruit, chocolate chips, nuts, or leave all “blank” and make it a Pandoro.
This easy vegan Panettone makes a perfect gift and it’s perfect for sending it to the loved ones you can’t visit this year. It’s a great hug-substitute during the holidays!
Traditionally it’s packaged in cellophane bags, which actually help to keep the Panettone moist and fragrant, but if you prefer a more sustainable way of packing, a re-usable container works just as well.
Just make sure it’s air-tight to prevent the Panettone from drying out.
Special Equipment and Ingredients
I have tried making this recipe with regular all-purpose flour and spelt flour. However, I find that Manitoba flour works best and makes for the airiest Panettone.
It’s a very high-quality flour with a higher protein content compared to regular flours and it’s traditionally used for delicate baked goods such as Croissants.
I feel like it really helps with the structural integrity, especially since this vegan recipe doesn’t contain any eggs that would typically aid that in a conventional Panettone recipe.
I got mine online at Gustini.
Part of the full Panettone experience is the typical brown and gold paper mold, that makes it look like an exclusive designer bag. 🙂
I bought mine online but you can also just cover the inside of a saucepan with parchment paper, which has its own rustic charm to it!
Here’s a DIY-guide I found:
How do I make a Panettone paper mold? – eHow
- A thermometer can help you find out if your Panettone is ready. Panettone is prone to underbaking since it tends to brown quickly.
Insert a thermometer in the middle, if it reads around 87°C/190°F, it’s done.
- A stand mixer with a dough hook attachment is great if you don’t want to (or can’t!) knead with your hands.
- A zester for easy grating of the citrus zests.
- Skewers to hang the Panettone upside down for cooling. You can also use chopsticks (like I did) or knitting needles.
Easy Vegan Panettone Recipe
- 3/4 cup All-Purpose Flour (85g)
- 1 pinch Dry Active Yeast
- 1/3 cup Cold Water (74g)
- 2 tbsp Freshly Ground Flax Seeds
- 6 tbsp Warm Water
- 2 1/4 cups Manitoba Flour (Or All-Purpose Flour) (270g)
- 1/3 cup Brown Sugar (67g)
- 4 tbsp Softened Vegan Butter (57g)
- 1/4 cup Warm Water (57g)
- Flax Eggs
- 1/4 tsp Vanilla Extract
- a few drops Orange Oil optional
- 1/4 cup Raisins to taste
- 1/4 cup Aranzini (candied orange) to taste
- Zest of half an orange
- Zest of half a lemon
- 1/2 tbsp Aquafaba (Chickpea Water) or Plant-Milk for brushing
- Sliced Almonds to taste
- Sugar Crystals to taste
- Combine the starter ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl, cover, and allow them to rest overnight or 8 to 12 hours.
- Combine the freshly ground flax meal with the warm water and let sit for at least 10 minutes and up to 12 hours.
Combine all of the dough ingredients except the fruit and zest, and mix and knead them together (by hand, mixer or bread machine) until you've made a soft, smooth dough.
- Cover and allow the dough to rise in a warm place, for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until it's puffy. It doesn't necessarily need to double in volume.
Gently deflate the dough, and knead in the fruits and zest.
Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a panettone mold (mine was 13,4 cm x 9,5 cm) or a sauce pan covered with parchment paper.
- Cover the pan and let the dough rise until it's visibly grown in size, about 1 hour.
Optionally brush top of Panettone with some Aquafaba or plant-milk and sprinkle with sliced almonds and sugar.
- Bake the bread in a preheated 200°C / 400°F oven for 10 minutes; reduce the oven heat to 190°C/375°F and bake an additional 10 minutes; then reduce the heat to 175°C/350°F and bake for 25 to 35 minutes, tenting with aluminum foil if the crust appears to be browning too quickly.
The Panettone should be a deep brown when done and should sound hollow when tapped.
Stick two skewers or chopsticks through the base of the Panettone and hang upside down in a pot to cool. This prevents the Panettone from collapsing.
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