Pandoro Italian Christmas cake

Ready in

24/36 hours


4 hours


45 min


8 Person






A Italian christmas cake

Pandoro sfogliato

The pandoro sfogliato is a typical Italian Christmas cake differs from the classic pandoro specifically by the insertion of butter in the dough and as the word itself says it takes a pastry processing, that is, after a few steps and leavening times, the steps of the peeling and folds, certainly it is a somewhat complicated job, like the Neapolitan baba but, once you understand the technique you will realize that it is not that difficult, you will be satisfied with the result and you can proudly say I did it.

The pandoro sfogliato, even if it is not a typical sweet of Cilento, such as scauratielli, zeppole, struffoli, castagnelle, figs with chocolate and bucconotti, as well as panettone, roccocò, and mostaccioli represent the emblem of the Christmas tables. The pandoro recipe is attributed to the Veronese pastry chef, Domenico Melegatti, who in 1884 registered the patent at the Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce of the Kingdom of Italy but, in reality, this dessert has its roots many centuries earlier, up to in Ancient Rome, where in the 1st century AD Pliny speaks of a “Panis” cooked with fine flour, oil and butter.

In 1262 the recipe for a dessert still called “Nadalin” came out, in honor of the first Christmas of the Lords of La Scala in Verona, this dessert, very similar to today’s pandoro, is considered by the Veronese to be the true Pandoro and father of the current one. , in 2012 the nadalin obtained the DE.CO certification from the city of Verona With this, far from me, I do not claim that the recipe was defrauded but simply modified and elaborated differently, in fact even the star shape recalls nadalin, even if Melegatti claimed to have been inspired by another dessert and the tall mold of trunk with star point with 8 points, he had it designed and sculpted by the painter Dell’Oca Bianca and it is precisely the mold that characterizes the cake.


  • 5 g brewer’s yeast
  • 60 g milk
  • 60 g sugar
  • 70 g flour w350/400
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 tbs malt
First Dough
  • 180g flour w350/400
  • 5 g brewer’s yeast
  • 25 g milk
  • 50 g sugar
  • 40 g butter
  • 1 whole egg
Second Dough
  • 200g flour w350/400
  • 20 g butter
  • 80g sugar
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 tbs honey
  • 1 tbs lemon paste
  • 1 tbs tangerine paste
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 100g burro
  • 60 g zucchero a velo
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First, start preparing the biga*. In a bowl of media, melt the malt and butter in the milk

Add the flour, the egg and mix well. Cover with cling film or the container seal and let rise for about 90 minutes or until doubled

Start the first dough, dissolve the milk, sugar and yeast in a container

Now add the flour and the mixture of the biga, insert the hook and mix at low speed for about 5 minutes and then increase the speed to medium and mix well for another 10 minutes until you get a homogeneous mixture.

Once you have obtained a homogeneous mixture with a medium speed planetary mixer, add the eggs one at a time making sure to incorporate the previous egg well, then, slightly increase the speed until you get the stringing*, being careful not to heat the dough

Always with the planetary mixer on at medium speed, add the soft butter* a little at a time, incorporating the previous piece of buro well, then, slightly increase the speed and string everything together again (about 10 minutes)

Start making folds so as to incorporate air into the dough. Do it this way: Take the dough, put it on the pastry board with force so that it stretches, and fold it in half on itself

Repeat step 7 for 3-4 times, then, form a smooth and homogeneous ball and put it to rest in a closed container or foil and let it grow in the oven off until the amount is tripled

Once the leavening is reached, prepare the second dough by pouring the first dough into the jug, add the flour and turn on the planetary mixer at medium speed and let it work for about 10 minutes

Add the very soft (but not melted) vanilla flavored butter (add the vanilla bean or vanilla bean extract to the butter). We insert a piece of butter at a time or exaggeratedly in 3 bars, when the last piece has been inserted and absorbed, let it work until the stringing

With the mixer on, now add the aromas, adding the sugar, the tangerine paste, the lemon paste and the honey, vanilla, and continue to mix at medium speed until you reach the stringing

While continuing to knead, add the soft butter three times, mixing well before adding the other butter

Form a smooth and homogeneous ball and put it to rest in a closed container or with film and let it grow in the oven for an hour, then put it in the fridge for 12/24 hours

After 12/24 hours, take it out of the fridge, put the container in the unlit oven and let it rise until the dough triples

At the end of the leavening, pour the dough onto a lightly floured pastry board and begin to make the dough, rolling it out in the shape of a square with a thickness of 1-2 centimeters

Now add the soft butter cut thinly to cover almost all of the dough

Start making the folds by bending one corner at a time so that it reaches the center of the square and once folded they all have to form a smaller square, making sure that the layers adhere well to each other

With the help of your hands or a rolling pin to roll out the dough so as to bring the butter up to the outer sides and forming a rectangle with a thickness of 1-2 centimeters

Now make another fold, this time three-fold (or wallet), that is: folding 1/3 of the dough on itself, then, take the thinner part and fold it over the thicker part of the dough to form a smaller rectangle

With the help of your hands or a rolling pin to roll out the dough so as to bring the butter up to the outer sides and forming a rectangle with a thickness of 1-2 centimeters

Make another fold but this time in two, i.e. folding in half on itself, then put it on a plate or tray covered with a cloth or film and put it to rest in the fridge for about 50/60 minutes

Repeat steps 18 to 21 for a minimum of 3 times and the last time create a smooth and homogeneous ball

Put the dough ball into the greased and floured mold, making sure to put the dough with the smooth side upside down in the mold

Now put the mold in the off oven and let it rise up to the edges

Bake in a preheated oven in static mode at 160°C (320°F) for about 40-50 minutes (it depends a lot on the oven). After 20 minutes cover with aluminum foil and I recommend doing the toothpick test* after 45 minutes

Once cooked, take it out and without taking it out of the oven, let it cool upside down and above all covered with a cloth for about 3 hours

Once cooled, take it out of the oven and close it in a food bag and seal it. After 12 hours you can consume it


  1. * Tarocco is a wide spatula to scrape the dough from the work surface.
  2. * The butter should be soft and not melted, just leave it at room temperature for about 12-14 hours


  1. The pandoro can be stored in the sealed bag for 2-3 days or if it is sprayed with ethyl alcohol for up to 15 days


  1. Drip pan
  2. Pastry board
  3. Aluminum paper
  4. Planetary mixer with hook hook
  5. Fridge
  6. 2 medium bowls
  7. Large bowl
  8. 2 small bowls
  9. Oven
  10. Spoon
  11. Tray
  12. Rolling pin
  13. Film
  14. Tea towel
  15. Food bag
  16. Vegetable knife
  17. 1kg pandoro mold
  18. Tarot*
  19. Kitchen scale

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