Irresistible Chocolate Panettone

The classic holiday bread is given a tasty makeover with rich, chocolatey dough, dried cranberries and semisweet chocolate chips. Chocolate Panettone will be a new go-to holiday recipe!

Chocolate Panettone | CaliGirl Cooking

All right, I know I’m comin’ at ya quick. I’m posting a little more frequently this week because, guys, I just have so many recipes that I want to share with you before Christmas! It always seems that at Christmastime recipe ideas come so easily. There are endless possibilities. I sometimes worry if I’ll have trouble being inspired in non-holiday months, but I have a long list of everyday recipes in the queue that I’m really excited to share with you all. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

But in the meantime, while we still have seven more days until the big C-day, I’m throwing this Chocolate Panettone recipe at you.

Chocolate Panettone | CaliGirl Cooking

And there’s a reason I wanted to share this with you on a Friday. It’s not a quick project, with a double rise dough this recipe does take some time, but I promise you it is so worth it.

Do yourself a favor and wake up just a half hour earlier on Saturday to get the dough mixed and ready to go. During the first rise, head out to a delicious brunch (that’s what we did!) and then come back to find the dough doubled in size. Give it a good punch down, mix in the chocolate chip and dried cranberry fixings, and let rise for just 30 more minutes. Pop it in the oven while you’re getting ready to go about the rest of your day (shower, blow dry, makeup, etc.) and you’ll be pulling a fresh loaf of Chocolate Panettone out of the oven before you’ve even made it to 3:00pm.

Chocolate Panettone | CaliGirl Cooking

Chocolate Panettone | CaliGirl Cooking

Chocolate Panettone | CaliGirl CookingChocolate Panettone | CaliGirl Cooking

This is the first time I’ve made Panettone, and I came up with the recipe for a Chocolate Panettone by mishmashing a bunch of different recipes together using my favorite flavor profiles, so I can’t say I’m an expert. But I can say this Chocolate Panettone is absolutely delicious, especially hot out of the oven.  There’s a nice, bright kick from the fruits: orange zest livens up the dough and the dried cranberries get a nice soak in cognac before we mix them in. There’s also the subtle sweetness from the cocoa powder incorporated into the dough and the chocolate chips sprinkled throughout.

Chocolate Panettone | CaliGirl Cooking

I feel like I’ve barely brushed the surface with this Chocolate Panettone recipe, but it’s a VERY good start. I’m looking forward to expanding on it in the future, but for now let’s just enjoy as is. The holidays only come once a year, so let’s take time to sit, visit, and truly experience the moments. Merry Christmas from my home to yours!

Chocolate Panettone | CaliGirl Cooking



Irresistible Chocolate Panettone
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Rising time
1 hr 40 mins
Total Time
1 hr 5 mins

The classic holiday bread is given a tasty makeover with rich, chocolatey dough, dried cranberries and semisweet chocolate chips. 

Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Keyword: bread, chocolate, christmas, holidays, panettone
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 393 kcal
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
  • 2 1/4-ounce packets Rapid Rise yeast
  • 2/3 cup whole milk, warmed to "bathtub" temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional flour for kneading
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Shortening
  • 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  1. Combine yeast, warm milk, and sugar in a large bowl (the one used for your stand mixer if you have one); let stand for 10 minutes (or until foamy.)

  2. Add eggs, vanilla and orange zest to yeast mixture and mix well.

  3. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon and salt in a medium mixing bowl.

  4. Add dry mix, ½ cup at a time, to yeast mixture. Combine after each addition using stand mixer until just incorporated. If you use up all of your flour mixture and dough is still too sticky to remove from the stand mixer bowl, continue to add more flour until dough is JUST elastic enough to work with.

  5. Coat another medium mixing bowl with shortening. Place dough in greased bowl and toss to coat. Cover with a dish towel and let rise in a warm place (free from drafts) for at least one hour or until dough has doubled in size.

  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray paper Panettone mold with cooking spray.

  7. Toss dried cranberries and chocolate chips in powdered sugar. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and incorporate cranberries and chocolate chips, kneading until combined.

  8. Form dough into a ball and place in Panettone mold. Cover with a dish towel and let rise in a warm place for another half hour.

  9. Once dough has risen, brush with melted butter. Place in oven and bake for 45 minutes, or until loaf makes a hollow sound when tapped. Let cool slightly before serving.

Recipe Notes

You can order the same Panettone molds I used here.

Chocolate Panettone | CaliGirl Cooking

Oh yes sweet thang.

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