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TASTE / Pandoro Christmas Tree Cake

The shop is currently full of delicious Panettone and Pandoro cakes. Pandoro, meaning 'golden bread' is often the lesser known of the two. Whereas Panettone originated in Milan, the Pandoro was born in Verona over to the West. It is irresistibly fluffy and delicately flavoured, usually accompanied by a packet of vanilla icing sugar for adding a sweet, snowy dusting before you serve, said to be inspired by the snowy peaks of the Italian Alps during Christmas.

It is a sweet yeast bread and typically formed in the traditional tall star shape. Dating from the 18th century, Pandoro as a dessert formed part of the cuisine of the Venetian aristocracy, white, sweet breads being the preserve of the nobility at the time.

The addition of a flavoured cream is one way that you can turn this sweet, soft treat into a really show-stopping piece for your festive table. Last year you loved this recipe we shared from Italy Magazine, so this year we have developed our own. Pandoro is typically served with zabaione, a custard made from marsala wine, sugar and egg yolks but we like this cream as it is a little thicker to hold the horizontal slices up well.

Amaretto Mascarpone Cream


  • 230ml heavy whipping cream

  • 220g of mascarpone, room temp

  • 1 heaped tablespoon of icing sugar

  • 2 teaspoons of Amaretto

  • Decorations of your choice: pomegranate seeds, silver balls, gold leaf, edible flowers...


  1. Whip the cream

  2. In another bowl mix the mascarpone and the icing sugar until smooth.

  3. Add the whipped cream and Amaretto, then beat the mixture into stiff peaks.

  4. Carefully slice the Pandoro horizontally to create star shaped slices.

  1. Lay the largest slice on a serving dish then layer on some of the cream mixture

  2. Place the next largest slice on top at an angle so the points of the stars are staggered.

  3. Continue layering up in this way.

  4. Dust with icing sugar then add your decorations.

  5. Keep cool for a few hours before serving.

A couple of alternatives that we like include serving it star by star like this, for smaller gatherings:

If you prefer a chocolate accompaniment we can also recommend a little of our gianduia cream served with a wedge.

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