Genoese Christmas sweet bread – Pandolce

Since Christmas is approaching, it’s time to whip out the recipe for grandpa Beppe’s Genoese Christmas sweet bread. It is actually more similar to a cake but the name Pandolce literally means that- sweet bread .

Although the recipe requires a lot of ingredients, the procedure is quite simple and it can easily be made at home

Video Recipe for Genoese Christmas sweet bread

Here’s the viedo recipe. Ingredients and method are right below. If you don’t have a stand mixer, watch this article to see how you can hand-knead it


Ingredients for Genoese Christmas sweet bread

Makes 1 cake

  • Butter:                                       85 g
  • Sugar:                                       105g
  • Eggs:                                               1
  • Flour:                           300g
  • Salt:                                     a pinch
  • Raisins:                                   230g
  • Candied orange peel:                75g
  • Candied citron:                         75g
  • Pine nuts:                                  15g
  • Milk:                                         80g
  • Rhum essence:                      6 drops
  • Lemon essence :                   6 drops
  • Vanilla:                                 a pinch
  • Raising agent:           10g (Baking powder)

If you don’t like candied citrus peel, you can substitute them with chocolate chips as explained in this article


  • Mix butter and sugar thoroughly to get a smooth creamy mixture with no lumps
  • Add the essences, the vanilla and the salt
  • Mix in the egg
  • Knead without whipping the egg


  • Add the candied citrus peel, the raisins and the pine nuts. If the raisins tend to clump up, make sure you separate them well before adding to the dough.

Impasto con Uvetta

  • Knead thoroughly to mix in the candied citrus
  • In another bowl, mix the flour and the baking powder
  • Add the mixture to the dough and then add the milk too
  • Keep kneading until you get a compact, slightly crumbly dough, similar to shotrbread.Warning! After you add the flour, don’t overmix otherwise the raisins and the citrus peel will get squashed. Also, sweet cakes’ dough mustn’t get the same consistency as, say, pizza or pastry dough.Now shape the dough into a ring, about 3,5 cm thick.

Pandolce Forma

  • With a plastic spatula, etch a pattern on the dough.

Pandolce Decorazione


  • Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180°C for about 40 minutes

  • Here’s a heart-shaped one made by my son Luca, who substituted the candied peel with chocolate chips.



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