Italian Christmas Cake


Beautiful finish, a real treat to eat | Serves 12-14


  • 625g panettone (or pandoro)
  • 6 tbsp tuaca liqueur
  • 2 large eggs (room temperature)
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 500g mascarpone cheese (room temperature)
  • 250ml double cream (room temperature)
  • 125ml marsala
  • 75g marrons glacés (pieces)
  • 125g chocolate chips (or finely chopped chocolate)
  • 100g pistachios (chopped and shells removed)
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate seeds


  1. With a serrated knife, roughly slice the panettone into 1cm to ½ inch portions, then use one third of these to line the base of a 22cm (9 inch) springform cake tin. Break off pieces so there are no gaps; panettone is soft, so this makes it easier to achieve. Trickle 2 tablespoons of the Tuaca over it so the panettone cake lining is very moist. Alternatively, you can use a liqueur of your choice.
  2. Now get on with the delicious filling. Whisk the eggs and sugar until very frothy, once combined they will increase in volume and lightness.
  3. Slowly whisk in the mascarpone and double cream, then gradually whisk in the Marsala and carry on whisking until the mixture is thick and spreadable. Remove a good cupful (250ml) to a bowl or other container, cover then place in the fridge – this will be for the top layer, which is not added until you serve the cake.
  1. Chop roughly and combine the marrons glacés into the large bowl of creamy mascarpone mixture, alongside (100g) ¾ of the chocolate chips and (75g) ¾ of the chopped pistachios, and fold in. Use half of this filling to top the panettone layer (that is currently lining the cake tin).
  2. Use approximately another third of the slices to cover the cream filling, making sure there aren’t any holes for the cream to seep through. Dampen with another 2 tablespoons of liqueur for moisture.
  3. Dollop on the next half of the cream mixture, and spread evenly in a back and forth motion. Then top it with the final layer of panettone, covering the cream. Finally, drizzle over it using 2 tablespoons of liqueur.
  4. Tightly cover it with cling film, gently pressing down on the top, and place in the fridge overnight (or up to 2 days).
  5. To prepare for serving, take the cake out of the fridge then carefully take off the cling film and sit it on a flat plate or cake stand. Next, spread on the reserved mascarpone mixture. Tip: Don’t try lifting the cake off its base, the panettone slices at the bottom are too delicate and damp.
  6. Sprinkle the top of the cake with the remaining chocolate chips, chopped pistachios and your pomegranate ‘gems’. These sprinklings also act as a good camouflage for any edges of the spring form base which may be visible.

Nutritional Info:

Special Diets:

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