Gluten Free Panettone Recipe (Italian Christmas Bread)

Panettone is a sweet, light-weight, Italian bread containing dried or glazed fruit. Unlike fruitcake, it is not heavy. It contains butter, making it richer than traditional bread. I didn’t add tons of butter to this recipe though you may if you desire. I like mine to taste a little like bread versus dessert.

I had created a gluten free panettone recipe for, but they removed all of their recipes recently. They are working on a separate recipe site, last I heard. Meanwhile, I lost my copy of the recipe when my hard drive crashed a couple years back. However, today, I created one that I like even better.  I wanted to bring this to your attention so that you don’t confuse the two. Enjoy!

UPDATE: For a smaller version with more butter (which is traditional of this bread), see Traditional Gluten Free Panettone Recipe. The below recipe can be made buttery or bready, whichever you prefer.

Gluten Free Panettone Recipe (Italian Christmas Bread)


Yield: Makes 16 slices

Gluten Free Panettone Recipe (Italian Christmas Bread)

A gluten free panettone recipe that is not too rich, but rich enough to know it is made with butter. Use as a breakfast bread, snack, toasted, or dessert.


  • 1 cup + 2 Tablespoons potato starch
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup white rice flour (or more millet flour)
  • 1/2 cup millet flour* (or more rice flour)
  • 6 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons nonfat instant milk (or use nonfat milk instead of water)
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
  • 2-1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1 cup water, warmed to 110 - 115°F
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 Tablespoons neutral-flavored oil (I used light olive oil)
  • 1/3 cup (6.4 oz.) applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure almond or vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest (bright yellow skin only, grated) (optional)
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter for bread-like texture, melted (or 9 tablespoons, melted for traditional texture)
  • 2/3 cup gluten-free candied citron, glazed fruit, or 1 (13.5-oz.) jar Royal Harvest® Ranier Maraschino Cherries), cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup raisins or Ocean Spray Craisins® (dried cranberries)
  • 3 wooden skewers, for cooling the cake upside down


  1. Set out an ungreased angel food cake pan. Find a large pot that is a little less in width than the skewers; set aside, along with three skewers.
  2. Add potato starch, cornstarch,millet flour, rice flour, sugar, nonfat dry milk, xanthan gum, and yeast in the bowl of your stand mixer. Mix on low speed to combine.
  3. Add the honey to the warm water and stir until blended. Add to the mixing bowl.
  4. Add eggs, egg yolk, oil, applesauce, vinegar, vanilla, and lemon zest, if using, and beat on mix on medium speed until just combined.
  5. Slowly add butter while beating on medium speed until incorporated. Beat on high speed for 8 minutes.
  6. Oil a large bowl and scoop dough into the bowl. Set in an 80 degree F environment, covered with a tea towel to rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
  7. Cover raisins or cranberries with boiling water and allow to soak until plump. Alternatively, microwave the water and raisins for about 30 seconds on high and allow to rehydrate that way. Drain raisins and fold in raisins and candied fruit.
  8. Place the dough in the pan and allow to rise until triple in size, about 1 hour. (I placed the bread in the oven and set it to preheated to 200°F. Then I shut off the oven and took the bread out and placed it on top of the range to finish rising, a total of 1 hour. It was 1 inch below the rim of the pan.)
  9. Preheat oven to 375°F. Bake for about 45 minutes on center shelf.
  10. As soon as it done baking, carefully remove it from the pan. Immediately place three skewers near the bottom of the bread, about 1 inch above the bottom. Place it upside down over a large pot until completely cooled, about 2 hours.
  11. Slice and serve, with butter or margarine, if desired. Freeze slices in a resealable storage bag. Defrost in the microwave, toaster, or at room temperature.


If you use the gluten-free Rainier cherries, you can use the juice from the jar to replace some of the water. It will make it sweeter and more of a dessert.

Using millet flour creates a yellow bread. Using rice flour, creates a light yellow bread. I prefer using all rice flour, as it creates a little lighter loaf.

 Need to find an ingredient substitution? See the Substitutes page.

10 Replies to “Gluten Free Panettone Recipe (Italian Christmas Bread)”

  1. This looks just like easter bread. How can I get exactly this texture but with very, very little sweetness much like a regular loaf?

  2. Hi! Can I sub out the potato starch for anything? More cornstarch…I can not eat potato starch! Any suggestions? I usually sub potato for corn but this already has corn…

  3. Ack!! There is no baking temp on this! I am nearly done with the rise portion and all it says is to bake for 45 minutes. How high? I am trying 325 F since that is what I bake Angel Food Cake at, but it would be nice to know for future attempts.

    1. Tara,

      If you made it using the exact amount of butter stated in the ingredients, bake at 375°F. The more butter you add, the more it is like a cake, and would probably do best at a lower temperature such as 350°F.

      I’m not sure if this reached you in time. I hope it turned out okay.


        1. Tara,

          If it turned out dry, I assume you didn’t add additional butter as suggested for a traditional texture. At the time were you making this, I was experimenting with a higher butter version. It turned out amazing! I updated this recipe to provide a choice for bread-like texture (what I originally posted) and traditional, a higher-butter version. I made a smaller panettone here –


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