Monday, December 26

The Long, Lost Holiday Panettone

This year my children discovered candied cherries, and - oh - what excitement they've brought to our house!  Eva just loves the green ones; Connor swears the red ones are the best.  I become nostalgic, remembering my mother decorating dainty wreath cookies with these spectacularly colored morsels, which seem more in place gracing the Christmas tree than on our plates.  And I try my hardest not to dwell on the artificial stuff that's in them.  It's the holiday season, after all, and everything's okay in moderation . . . Moderation.  So far I've purchased three tubs of these.

And why on earth have you bought so much of something you normally wouldn't touch? you ask.  It's simple -  this year, more than ever, I've been lamenting the fact that we can no longer enjoy our traditional Panettone, imported from Italy, because of my daughter's nut allergy.  I have yet to find an authentic Panettone that has not either been processed with nuts or contain Almond extract.  So, when I walked past that display of candied cherries, fruit cake mix, and candied citron in the market around Thanksgiving time, I impulsively grabbed a couple of tubs.  I had grand ideas about adapting a sweet bread recipe to create a Panettone in my bread machine.  That didn't happen.  Instead, the candies sat on the kitchen counter, steadily being eaten up by my children.  So, for Christmas dessert this year I decided on a rich cake, studded with fruit, that reminded me of Panettone.  I found a recipe for Citron-Cherry Cake and adapted it suit my daughter's allergies and to satisfy my Panettone craving.   My mother graciously baked it while I prepared the Christmas ham, and I cooked up a quick Rum glaze to top it off.   It successfully filled the Panettone hole, and I think we've started a new holiday tradition.

Rum-Glazed Cherry Cake (nut-free)

1/4 cup red candied cherries
1/4 cup green candied cherries
1/2 cup diced candied fruit cake mix (orange peel, lemon peel, pineapple, cherries, citron)
1 cup butter at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
8 eggs
4 cups flour

Preheat your oven to 300 F (150 C).  Butter and flour a bundt cake pan.  Cream the butter, sugar, and vanilla until fluffy.  Add the eggs one at a time and beat well, then add the flour and fruit.  Mix until blended and pour into the prepared pan.  Bake for 2 hours and 10 minutes to 2 hours and 20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes in the pan.

Meanwhile prepare the glaze:

1/2 cup spiced rum
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup sugar

Combine rum, water, and sugar in a small sauce pan and simmer 5-6 minutes until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is slightly thickened.  Allow to cool slightly.

While the cake is still in the pan, poke several holes in it with a toothpick to allow the glaze to penetrate.  Spoon or pour a third of the glaze over the cake.  Let the cake finish cooling in the pan.  When cool enough to handle, invert the cake pan onto a serving plate and remove the cake.  Poke a few more holes on top of the cake and spoon some more glaze on.  Reserve a little glaze for the individual slices. 

shared at: allergy friendly friday, full plate thursday, mangia monday


  1. This looks so yummy! I've been craving panettone this year too. Your kids are lucky to have such a treat :)

  2. Thanks Sheena Cucina! I traded the traditional raisins for the cherries, but other than that the flavors were similar. Satisfied my panettone craving!

  3. Hi Rebecca,
    This is a beautiful cake and it looks so full of color and flavor. Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday. Wishing you and your family a very Happy New Year and Abundant Blessings in 2012!
    Miz Helen

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