December 22, 2010

Panettone French Toast

panettone french toast

This past Sunday morning, I made breakfast for our friends before taking our kids to see Santa.  Our house was warm and cozy, toddlers were chasing each other around, giggling under the lights of our Christmas tree. It was raining outside; the oven was on and butter was melting away on my skillet. While the adults were chattering away in the kitchen, I was shocked to learn that our friends had never tried panettone. WHAT?! The pressure was now on to make them fall in love with it. But really, how could one not?

I whipped up a very quick custard base. Briefly soaked each side of the panettone and laid out the saturated slabs on my buttered skillet to brown. Ahh the beautiful sounds of butter browning egg soaked bread. French toast stacked up on a baking sheet the warm oven. The table was set. Bacon was sizzling in the background (should I mention I burned a small batch of bacon & the power went out for 5 seconds? NO!) and within a second of calling everyone to the table, a tornado hit our kitchen.  As usual, I was off to the side taking pictures, while everyone dug in. I could hear forks and knives hitting plates, toddler’s making silly noises, adults talking with their mouths full and in that instant, without looking, I knew the french toast was well received.


I think I converted 2 adults and possibly two children into panettone lovers with this recipe.  My husband who normally does NOT like french toast, said it was exceptional.  I guess he candied fruit & raisins with the orange zest elevated the french toast to EXCEPTIONAL status. Hooray! If you are still trying to decide what to make for Christmas morning, this might be the way to go!

And we’re off!

Gather your ingredients.

ingredient partay

Cut the loaf in half and then cut pieces from it. Cut those pieces in half and set aside.


Zest 1 1/2 oranges. Set aside.

orange zest

In a large shallow dish, add milk, eggs, cinnamon & vanilla along with your orange zest.A pinch of salt is welcomed

Now whisk!


Quickly dunk a slab of panettone in your custard mixture. Coat both sides and place on your buttered skillet.


Brown each side (takes 3-4 mins) and place in a warm oven until you are done with the entire batch.


Serve with a pad of butter and some orange zest grated over the top.

breakfast this AM

See that? Doesn’t that look good?

panettone french toast

I’m sure you’ll love how juicy the raisins are in the cooked panettone!

Panettone French Toast

(recipe inspired by Mad Hungry: Feeding Men and Boys))

Serves 6-8 people

  • 1 large panettone cut into 1 inch thick wedges
  • 2 cups milk
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (make it HEAPING!)
  • pinch salt
  • the zest of 1 1/2 oranges (reserve some to sprinkle on top of the french toast)
  • butter for the pan/skillet

Preheat oven to 150 degrees. Put a cookie sheet in the oven to place your finished french toast.

In a large shallow dish add milk, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, orange peel & a pinch of salt.  Whisk until well combined. Heat butter in a skillet on medium high heat, dip a piece of panettone in the custard, dunking lightly and saturating both sides until wet. Place panettone on the skillet and cook each side until nicely browned, about 3-4 minutes per side. Place cooked french toast in the oven and repeat until all the slices are done. Top with butter, maple syrup and a few sprinkles of reserved orange peel.

  • Vanessa

    Tracey-where do I find panettone? I HAVE to make this!

    • Tracy

      You can find it an Italian Specialty store (for sure!) and there are a lot of supermarkets carrying it now during the holidays. It’s usually near the bakery section this time of year!

      • Vanessa

        Holy cow Tracy, I found it! Even in Central Texas, I found Panettone! I’m so excited to make this for Christmas morning. Thanks for posting & Merry Christmas!

  • Helen

    this looks amazing. my mom makes this bread that’s sort of the norwegian version of panettone (except it’s got cardamom and it’s a bit denser than panettone). it’s called julekake. if she sends me a loaf for xmas (fingers crossed!), maybe i’ll have to make french toast with it!!

  • Amy

    Oh yum! My mom always bought panettone every Christmas as a tradition…I can’t believe we never thought to make French Toast with it! It’s so lightly sweet, I can see how it’d be just perfect! I’ll have to switch up my normal challah bread French Toast and do this holiday version for sure…and I think orange zest and French toast were totally meant for each other! 😀

  • heather

    A Christmas morning tradition in our house! Might have to steal your idea of adding orange zest to the batter this year — amp up the citrus in the panettone itself. Can’t wait for two mornings from now!

    Happy Christmas to you and yours,


  • erinlucy

    i think i just gained 5kg by LOOKING at this

  • bridget

    my goodness that looks delicious.

  • Tamizn

    Awwwwwww that looks so good! x x

  • Katrina

    French toast is my absolute favorite food! I love this recipe. Awesome job.

  • Colleen

    Believe it or not, Marshalls, TJMaxx and HomeGoods sell panettone too. I get it there and its great! This recipe looks luscious, Giada DeLaurentiis makes one too.

  • fafa


  • jujubefamily

    gorgeous as always!! Have a very merry christmas Shutterbean!

  • artsy ant simona

    Wow, these look so good they make me want breakfast – although it’s night time!
    (I’ve seen panettone at Costco’s.)

  • Jessica

    Yum! I made some stollen for Christmas that should also be good like this.

  • Meghan

    ooo yum. I’m going to make some with all of the panettone that should be on sale now. I made panettone bread pudding for christmas dessert. This is actually similar since you make a sort of custard base and it’s much faster. Thanks for sharing the recipe- I think the Italian family I live with will enjoy it too!

  • Jessica

    WOW! i just came upon this site and am in LOOOVE! this made my night! I cant wait to make all of these wonderful foods, thank you for sharing!

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