What to do with leftover Panettone and Pandoro?

Panettone and Pandoro are staples on Italian tables during the holiday season. And much like soccer teams create allegiances within families, these two can either divide or unite! Panettone is the preferred option of those who love an extra touch of decadence. Originating from Milan, it features an assortment of raisins and candied fruits inside. Meanwhile, Pandoro originates from Verona and its plain golden interior appeals to those with a simpler palate. Regardless of their differences, both have an irresistibly sweet fragrance!

These iconic sweet breads are also a popular gift choice, leaving most homes with far more than they can eat. And while I can’t get enough of these festive classics, I know some grow tired of them as the holidays near their end. If you’ve ever wondered what to do with leftover panettone or pandoro, you’ve come to the right place! Either of the two can be used in any of these recipes, which are sure to make you fall back in love with them. Buon appetito!

Panettone and Pandoro?
© Justin Patulli

Panettone French Toast

French Toast is a holiday favorite, especially for breakfast and brunch. But if you want to elevate this classic, you need to try it with panettone. The natural sweetness of the bread and its buttery richness adds an extra layer of decadence. Instead of pan-frying the custard-soaked panettone, try baking it instead. Not only does it make the dish a bit lighter, but it’ll make it easier to feed a larger breakfast crowd. And while most consider French Toast an American classic with French origins, this famed breakfast dish got its start in Ancient Rome! If you weren’t convinced before, this fun fact should make it easier to give this Italian twist a try. 


Panettone Tiramisu 

One of Italy’s most famed desserts, Tiramisu is a classic known and loved by almost everyone. The soaking of savoiardi cookies (ladyfingers) in espresso makes this a coffee lover’s dream. This version substitutes the savoiardi with slices of toasted panettone. Giving it a festive flair, this is a great option for those who don’t have an excessive sweet tooth. Panettone may be a sweet bread, but the butter and eggs in it offer a balanced flavor profile. I’m sure that once you give this recipe a try, it will be an absolute keeper for years to come!


Panettone Bread Pudding

Despite the simplicity of baking stale bread in a custard mixture, bread pudding is a classic dish. A scoop of this fan favorite is the ultimate comfort food during the cold holiday season. But if you’re one of the few who thinks this dessert is basic or boring, think again! Substituting regular bread with panettone, pandoro or both will result in something delectable. The eggs and butter in both sweet breads reinforces the richness of the custard. The raisins and candied fruits in panettone add an extra layer of dimension and texture. They also pair well with Christmas spices and liqueurs. Meanwhile, pandoro is a great option for those who prefer the traditional recipe. Whichever combination you opt for, it’s sure to be a crowd pleaser.


Pandoro Trifle

Trifle is not a dessert typical to Italy, but is a great recipe when you have leftover panettone and pandoro. With a few minor flavor adjustments, one can infuse plenty of Italian flair into this classic. Substituting limoncello or Vin Santo in place of sherry is one simple way to make this happen. The density of either sweet bread will prevent the trifle from becoming soggy while it soaks. Another great addition is mascarpone, whether in a custard or whipped cream mixture. You can even add in a few Amarena cherries to give it that Italian pizzazz! Regardless of the selected substitution, I am sure this will become a holiday hit in your home.


Pandoro Cake Pops

Cake pops are a hit with the little ones and the big kids at heart. These one-bite delights are a popular choice when entertaining. Easy to prepare and fun to decorate, using pandoro in place of cake will elevate these little gems. You could use panettone, but pandoro is a more practical choice to crumble since it doesn’t have any raisins or candied fruits. Then instead of adding frosting to the mixture, opt for mascarpone to give these an Italian spin. With all its elements being pre-made, these are a joy to prepare after all the cooking and baking of the holiday season. The hardest part of this recipe is deciding how to decorate them. 

Justin Patulli

Contributing Editor

Justin Patulli is a freelance travel and food writer with a lifelong passion for Italy. Driven by a love for his heritage, he enjoys teaching people more about Italy and its regional diversity. Through his writing he aims to paint a picture in his readers’ minds and momentarily transport them to Italy. Prior to his career in magazine writing and content marketing, he worked in the travel industry. This has had a profound influence on his work, allowing him to understand the dilemmas faced by the ordinary traveller

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