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Keto Panettone
Italian Christmas Bread

4.8 stars, average of 39 ratings

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Panettone is a fluffy Italian Christmas Bread made with yeast, candied fruit and sometimes also chocolate chips. The flavour is quite similar to a Czech version called Vánočka which is a plaited bread, or Mazanec which is a round loaf version of it served at Easter. In Italy Panettone is often served with mascarpone cheese but you can serve it with butter, or on its own, just like we do in Czechia.

How to Make the Perfect Low-Carb Panettone

I've worked really hard to make this recipe as close to the traditional Panettone as possible, and it worked better than I imagined! I love it and I've already made another batch since I made it a week ago. It's keto, grain-free and gluten-free, and if you use coconut oil for greasing it's also dairy-free!

The key ingredient is the defatted super fine almond flour which may seem like an overkill, but it makes a big difference to the texture, keeping it light and airy. It's also called de-oiled or superfine and I get mine on Amazon from RealFoodSource.

If you absolutely need to substitute the defatted almond flour, try using about 2 cups (200 g/ 7.1 oz) of regular almond flour. I have to warn you though, I have not tried it so I'm only guessing here. If the dough is still too wet (check with picture in Step 9), add 2 to 4 tablespoons of coconut flour. The texture will likely not be as light and fluffy and will make the Panettone a little more dense.

Update: Based on all your amazing feedback and creations shared in our Facebook Support Group, some of you had success with Kirkland Superfine Almond Flour and other types of extra fine almond flour. If you use any of these alternatives, use the same amount but make sure to go by weight (grams or ounces) and not cup measurements as these almond flour alternatives may have slightly different densities (to avoid confusion I removed the cup equivalent from the Ingredients). For a comparison, I found that a (packed) cup of RealFoodSource Almond flour was 120-130 grams, while a (packed) cup of Sukrin Defatted Almond Flour was 100-105 grams, even though they are both defatted and look the same.

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How Does Panettone Taste?

This low-carb Panettone tastes amazing! Thanks to the yeast it's fluffy and full of flavour. The cranberries taste like raisins and the orange zest pairs really well with the chocolate chips.

It's definitely richer and slightly more moist than the traditional Italian Christmas Bread. (I don't know about you but I always found Panettone a bit too dry so I prefer this keto version!)

What You Need For Keto Panettone

Making grain-free and gluten-free Panettone will require careful timing and patience but I promise it's really worth the effort. And it gets easier with every batch. Here's what you need to make it:

  • Yeast — I prefer using fresh yeast but you can use dry active yeast instead. Yeast is what will give this keto Panettone delicious flavour and fluffy texture.
  • Inulin-based sweetener such as yacon syrup, honey or sugar. This ingredient is essential for activating the yeast. Don't panic, no sugar will be left after the fermentation of yeast!
  • Low-carb flour mix — I used a combination of superfine, defatted almond flour, coconut flour and psyllium husk powder. To replace the gluten found in regular wheat flour, I added whey protein powder and xanthan gum. Xanthan gum can be omitted but the texture is better if you use it. Finally, I added cream of tartar and baking soda for extra fluffy texture.
  • Eggs and egg whites. You'll generally need to use more egg whites to keep the bread fluffy. Don't worry it won't taste eggy!
  • Fruit — you can use fresh orange zest or lemon zest, and my Sugar-Free Dried Cranberries which are easy to make but you need to reserve 3 to 4 hours for dehydrating them.
  • Chocolate chips — you can use 90% dark chocolate chips or sugar-free chocolate chips (dark or milk chocolate) sweetened with low-carb sweeteners such as Xylitol, Erythritol, FOS or Allulose.
  • Finally, a large Panettone mould. I used this 14 cm large Panettone mould (Amazon UK) which should be similar to this one (Amazon US). Make sure to grease it before adding the dough.

If you have any questions about yeast dough, check out this Keto Yeast Bread Recipe. I included tips and answers to common questions.

I hope you love this as much as I do! If you make this bread, make sure to leave a comment below, tag me on Instagram or share it in our Facebook group!

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Hands-on Overall

Serving size 1 slice

Allergy information for Keto Panettone - Italian Christmas Bread

✔  Gluten free
✔  Dairy free
✔  Pork free
✔  Avocado free
✔  Fish free
✔  Shellfish free
✔  Beef free
Vegetarian

Nutritional values (per serving, 1 slice)

Net carbs3.9 grams
Protein11.9 grams
Fat4.8 grams
Calories125 kcal
Calories from carbs 15%, protein 45%, fat 40%
Total carbs10 gramsFiber6 gramsSugars1.8 gramsSaturated fat2 gramsSodium70 mg(3% RDA)Magnesium42 mg(10% RDA)Potassium207 mg(10% EMR)

Ingredients (makes 12 servings)

Wet ingredients:
  • 1 1/3 cups warm water, divided (320 ml/ 11 fl oz)
  • 1 tbsp yacon syrup (15 ml) or honey (won't affect the carb count)
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 2 large egg yolks, divided
Dry ingredients:

Instructions

  1. To make this recipe, make sure you have your Sugar-Free Dried Cranberries ready. Keto Panettone - Italian Christmas Bread
  2. Turn the light on in the oven (only the light). Pour 1/3 cup (80 ml) of the warm water into a bowl. The temperature should be about 40 °C/ 100 °F, but no more than 45 °C/ 110 °F. If you don't have this option on your oven, preheat the oven to the lowest setting (mine is 50 °C/ 120 °F). Open the oven for about 30 seconds to cool down slightly before placing the yeast inside and close the door.
  3. Add yacon syrup (or honey) and stir until fully dissolved. (Don't panic, no sugar will be left after the fermentation of yeast!) Sprinkle with active dry yeast (or use 30 g/ 1.1 oz fresh yeast). Place the bowl in the oven. The light will be enough to keep the bowl warm. Allow to proof for 10 minutes. When ready, the yeast will be frothy and will grow in volume.
  4. Once the yeast have proofed (it will become foamy), remove the bowl from the warm oven. Keep the light in the oven on. Keto Panettone - Italian Christmas Bread
  5. Meanwhile, place the whole psyllium husks in a coffee grinder and process until powdered. You can use ready-made psyllium powder, just make sure it's the right one.
  6. Place all of the remaining dry ingredients in another bowl: fine defatted almond flour, coconut flour, whey (or egg white) protein powder, psyllium powder, Erythritol, xanthan gum, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Mix to combine or use a hand mixer to process well. (Instead of cream of tartar, you can use the same amount of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar and add it to the eggs before mixing with the dry ingredients).
    Note: I used RealFoodSource defatted almond flour which (based on the feedback in comments) may have a different density than the one you use. Please make sure you use extra fine, defatted almond flour, not almond meal. If you can't find defatted almond flour, use extra/super fine almond flour and use the same amount in grams/ounces. Keto Panettone - Italian Christmas Bread
  7. Place all of the egg whites and 1 1/2 egg yolks in a bowl. (You'll need about half egg yolk mixed with 1 teaspoon of water to brush on top of the bread.)
  8. Add the egg whites and egg yolks into the bowl with the proofed yeast. Add the orange zest and the remaining warm water (1 cup/ 240 ml).
  9. Use a hand mixer or a stand mixer and process until well combined. Add the dried mixture, about 1/2 cup at a time and process well. Gradually add more until you use all of it. Keto Panettone - Italian Christmas Bread
  10. Add the cranberries and the chocolate chips. Keto Panettone - Italian Christmas Bread
  11. Fold in until well combined. Keto Panettone - Italian Christmas Bread
  12. Transfer the dough into a greased Panettone mould (I used one large mould, 14 cm/ 5.5 inch in diameter) lightly greased with ghee or coconut oil. The mould should not be more than 3/4 full. Place in the oven and let it proof with the oven light on for 60 minutes. Keto Panettone - Italian Christmas Bread
  13. Once the dough has proofed, remove from the oven. Preheat the oven to 160 °C/ 320 °F (fan assisted), or 180 °C/ 355 °F (conventional). Gently brush the reserved egg yolk mixed with water on top of the bread without pressing too much (do not deflate the bread). Keto Panettone - Italian Christmas Bread
  14. Loosely cover the bread with aluminium foil and bake for about 50 to 60 minutes. Remove the foil for the last 15 minutes of the baking process. Keto Panettone - Italian Christmas Bread
  15. Once completely cool, slice and serve with butter on top. Keto Panettone - Italian Christmas Bread
  16. Store at room temperature loosely covered with kitchen towel for up to 3 days. To store for longer, freeze in batches of 2 to 4 slices for up to 3 months. Keto Panettone - Italian Christmas Bread

Ingredient nutritional breakdown (per serving, 1 slice)

Net carbsProteinFatCalories
Water, still
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Yacon syrup, natural sweetener
0.7 g0 g0 g3 kcal
Egg white, fresh
0.1 g1.2 g0 g6 kcal
Egg, yolk, raw, fresh
0.1 g0.4 g0.8 g9 kcal
Yeast, active dried yeast, leavening agent
0.2 g0.5 g0 g4 kcal
Almond flour (deoiled, defatted, fine)
0.9 g7.1 g1.8 g55 kcal
Coconut flour, organic
0.4 g0.6 g0.5 g12 kcal
Whey protein powder (protein isolate, Jay Robb)
0.1 g1.6 g0 g7 kcal
Psyllium husks, whole
0.1 g0 g0 g1 kcal
Erythritol (natural low-carb sweetener)
0.3 g0 g0 g1 kcal
Xanthan gum, thickening agent
0 g0 g0 g1 kcal
Cream of tartar, raising agent
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Baking soda, raising agent (bicarbonate of soda)
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Salt, sea salt
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Orange peel (zest), fresh
0.1 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Cranberries, Sugar-Free Dried (KetoDiet blog)
0.7 g0 g0.3 g6 kcal
Sugar-free dark chocolate chips
0.4 g0.4 g1.4 g20 kcal
Total per serving, 1 slice
3.9 g11.9 g4.8 g125 kcal

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Martina Slajerova
Creator of KetoDietApp.com

Martina Slajerova

I changed the way I ate in 2011, when I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid. I had no energy, and I found it more and more difficult to maintain a healthy weight.

That’s when I decided to quit sugar, grains, and processed foods, and to start following a whole-foods-based ketogenic approach to food.

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Comments (37)

Hello Martina,
I'm trying to adapt some recipes, replacing "almond flour" (which is actually just ground almonds, fat content >50 g/100 g) with "defatted almond flour" (about 10 g fats/100 g).
What would be the ratio? I haven't found any clear info on this, despite scouring the internet.
Is it by weight (g)?
By volume (cups)?
And what is the ratio, almond flour to defatted almond flour?
Apart from adding less flour if using defatted, do I need to adjust liquids as well (if so, in what proportion) or is that not necessary?
Thank you very much in advance! 😊

Hi Lys, I don't find defatted almond flour to be as absorbent as coconut flour but I included some tips for the swap in the recipe post above. I hope this helps!

I can't use/have yeast due to health reasons. What would you recommend? Thank you! 😊

Hi Lys, you could skip the yeast and instead increase the amount of baking soda and cream of tartar. I'd go with 1 tsp baking soda + 2 tsp cream of tartar. It won't taste the same but it should rise well.

Thank you very much for your answer!
I was going to make the panettone tonight to bring it to a Christmas family gathering on Tuesday, but I realised I didn't understand the part of the liquid in the recipe 🤔 I mean, since I can't use the yeast, does that mean I still have to use all the water listed in the recipe? Or what amount of water would I have to use?
And about whey powder or egg white powder - my dad finished all the whey powder and we don't have any of these, unfortunately. Even if the recipe doesn't turn out perfect, what would you replace for this and in what amount, since we're running out of time?
Thank you very much again for your help! 😊🙏🏻

Hi Lys, I'm sorry if this is too late. I'm doing my best to catch up with comments but it's not always possible 😊
I would still use the same amount of liquids but instead of using lukewarm water, you can use hot/boiling water just like I do in my bread recipes: The Best Low-Carb Yeast Bread (you won't have to worry about killing the yeast so boiling is better as it will help the bread rise).
I can't be 100% sure without testing this though, it's just a guess and you may need to adjust the amounts. If you don't have any whey protein powder, you could try using about 2 tbsp flax meal or ground chia seeds but it won't be exactly the same. Whey/egg white protein help the bread rise and be less crumbly as it replaces the missing gluten.

Hello Martina! Thank you very much for your reply and suggestions, great! 😊 And not too late, as we've just had to postpone for a few days, so nothing to worry about! 😀 I understand, you must have quite a few comments to deal with, no worries 😊 Again, thank you very much!!

I don't have defatted almond flour, only Bob's Red Mill Super-fine almond flour from blanched whole almonds. Will that work? It's too late to order anything different!Thanks!

Hi Deb, I'm not sure about that one. I wish I could get it in the UK! I checked the nutrition facts per serving and it seems like a "regular" almond flour to me (ground blanched almonds) as the fat content is twice as high as the one in my defatted version. I'm sure you could use it but it won't be as fluffy and you may need to use a little more coconut flour or psyllium powder to compensate for that. I've ordered the defatted Sukrin flour from the US and will be testing it in January. I'll also try regular almond flour and will update the tips in this recipe as soon as I test it, also sometime in January.

On hand I don't have the husk Can I use something else like Chia seeds? or I also have oat fiber would that work?
Searching for a recipe on YouTube and there's not very many and I love your channel I was so excited when I googled keto panettone Your website came up you always have the best keto Recipes ever!

Thank you so much Jessica! I think psyllium powder is very unique in the way it works so I wouldn't substitute it. You may be able to swap it with ground chia seeds (preferably white), or golden flax meal but I can't guarantee it will work. I don't have any experience with oat fibre so I won't be able to help there. I used it once and it gave me terrible stomach pain so I've been avoiding it ever since. I'm sure it's not as bad for everyone though. I wish I could help!

Hi made this yesterday tastes great but I did find I had too much mixture for the case as it flopped over the side.  I think next time I will use less mixture.  Thank you for the recipe.  Happy Christmas.

Hi Linda, I think you may have used smaller forms? I got what was described as "standard size" and it was 14 cm/ 5.5 inch in diameter. I only filled it until about 3/4 full so I wonder if yours was fuller? Thank you so much for letting me know!

Hi, Martina,
It's me again.  I started measuring the dry ingredients.  I like to do it by weight because I know it's the most accurate, and I would like to commend you for putting it in grams, ounces, and cups.  So here's my problem.  I weighed out the coconut flour and it was exactly as you said: 40 grams was 1.4 oz.  I moved on to the defatted almond flour.  It is very expensive, so I wanted to make sure my measurements were accurate.  Well, 1 1/3 cups was 4.68 ounces and 113 grams.  If I went up to 170 grams, my ounces jumped up to 5.98 and that measured a little over 1 2/3 cups.  I don't want this recipe to fail, but the discrepancy in what I'm getting and your measurements is too great to ignore.  Can you tell me what the correct amount is?  

Hi Marilyn, I just want to make sure I understand the issue. Could you please send me the link to the product you've weighed? I use this one: Amazon link (Amazon UK) but maybe you are using something else? The truth is that there are so many products with sometimes confusing descriptions, I want to make sure you're using the right one.
I just double checked the weight, both with coconut flour (120 g/4.2 oz per cup) - which is the same for you, and with the defatted almond flour (mine is 130 g per cup, so about 4.6 oz per cup of defatted almond flour). I think that if the grams per cup don't match it's better to go by weight but I first want to make sure you are using the right product.

Hi, Martina,
Thank you for answering me so quickly.  All the dry ingredients are sitting on the counter waiting...
I am using Sukrin defatted almond flour; it was the only one I could find on Amazon. When I clicked on the link to Amazon UK that you sent, the only thing that came up was regular almond flour, not defatted.  The label on the defatted flour that I got from Amazon US which is pasted over the original package says that it's a product of Denmark, so I'm assuming the original packaging is in Danish.  
However, I did notice something that might explain what's going on.  You said that yours weighs 130 grams.  That is much closer to my 113 grams than the 170 grams that's stated in the recipe.  I wouldn't have been too terribly confused at the difference of 17 grams, but 57 grams was too much of a variation.  So is it possible that there's a typo in the list of ingredients and that it should say 130 grams rather than 170?  
I am going to make the pannetone using 130 grams of defatted almond flour and hope that it turns out as good as yours looks!  BTW, I have learned that the unique flavor of authentic Italian pannetone comes from a specific flavoring called Fiori di Sicilia. Have you ever heard of it?  I love pannetone and was delighted to see this recipe, so I really want it to turn out well so it will be a staple for the holidays.  I wish you and your family and very merry Christmas and happy, healthy, and safe New Year.  

The one I use is Extra Fine Almond Flour from RealFoodSource (the link above for Amazon UK). I just fixed the link in the ingredients to make sure it links to defatted, thanks for noticing!
I realised there's a small difference in UK and US cups because we have 250 ml cups while the US size is 240 ml. This should still make just a small difference (125 g per cup vs 130 g per cup).
I'm sorry if my comment was confusing, I mentioned the weight per 1 cup for simplicity but I did use 1 1/3 cups (170 g).
I wish we had exactly the same products here, and I'm surprised we don't because there's Sukrin products on amazon UK but not the defatted almond flour. I'm still surprised there's such a big difference. I'll try to order Sukrin from Denmark to see if the product is comparable.
I haven't heard of Fiori di Sicilia but  thanks to you I ordered it! 😊
Thank you so much for the useful feedback, I can't wait to see how it went!

So I made the panettone and it smelled awesome.  My yeast proofed perfectly, but when mixing the dough and putting it in the mold, it did not rise.  I left it for over an hour.  So I baked it; flavor is fantastic but the panettone is very dense, not as light as it should be.  I will try again, this time using the 170 g. (1 1/3 cups); I only used 130 g. when I made it.  One quick question, Martina.  Is the dough supposed to be sticky?  Mine was not, and I think if I use more flour, it will be even drier.  Would that affect the second rising?  I am bound and determined to get this right...and we are eating the "failed" recipe because the taste is so good; it's just the texture that's off.  I'm sorry to be a such a pest, but this is something special and I want to get it right so I can give it away.  BTW, I used the mini-panettone molds...would that have anything to do with the texture?

Thank you for the feedback Marylin, this is incredibly helpful. I really appreciate your feedback so it's no problem at all! We will get to the bottom of this.
I contacted Sukrin and asked if they can send me some of their flour. I looked everywhere in the UK and it's the only product they have that is unavailable here (all list out of stock but it's been like that for a long time). Once I get it I'll weigh it to make sure I can list comparable amounts.
Interestingly, when I searched on Amazon US, there aren't any other products that say "defatted" so it's hard to tell which one they are. Some say "super fine" but I'm not sure if that's the same.
The dough is supposed to be sticky but not too much. The texture is similar to other keto breads that I've made. If the texture is too dry, it may be better to use one more egg white and/or 1/4 more cup of water. Using mini panettone moulds shouldn't have any effect on that. I believe it's all down to the almond flour which seems to be different.

Martina, I think we are getting closer to an answer.  Amazon always shows questions that are asked about the product and this is one that addressed what we've been talking about, and it's been answered by Sukrin themselves.
(Question: Can this be used as a 1:1 replacement in recipes calling for regular almond flour?
Answer: No, the Defatted Almond Flour has different properties. You typically have to use less and it soaks up more liquid, it is more like a coconut or sesame flour.
By Sukrin USA SELLER  on July 16, 2018)
Now I totally understand why my dough was not sticky.  I obviously did not have enough liquid.  I'm going to attempt the recipe again and add the egg and more liquid until it feels sticky.  I hope that will work.  

I think you are right! Weirdly, my defatted almond flour from RealFoodSource looks closer to defatted sesame flour. It's very fine and more dense than regular almond flour. It is also more absorbent than regular almond flour but nowhere near as absorbent as coconut flour so be careful not to add too much liquid. I am hoping to get the product (Sukrin) soon so I can test it myself. I also got more panettone moulds so I'll get to it after Christmas. Thanks again for all the useful feedback!

Hi Marilyn, finally I got a pack of Sukrin Defatted Almond Flour - I was lucky to found it as it's been out of stock for months. You were absolutely right, it is less dense! I updated the tips in the recipe post (see the Update) and removed cup measurements from the list of ingredients as I believe it will be less confusing. My cup (packed) was 107 g but we're using 250 ml cups here so I can see why yours was weighing less. I think that from now on I'll be sticking with grams/ounces for this ingredient.
Also, the good news is that some people tried and had success with other brands of almond flour so I added more in the tips.

Martina, how much xanthan gum.  It's listed in the instructions but not above in the ingredients list.  BTW, thank you ever so much for the dried sweetened cranberries recipe.  They are fabulous and beside baking with them, I use them in salads, especially chicken salad, and they add such variety and taste.

Thank you so much Marilyn, I'm glad you like them! I still have 2 containers in the fridge 😊  It's 1 tsp xanthan gum - it should be fixed now. Thank you!

Oh Martina! I definitely try this recipe! I always shared the typical Panettone with my mum in Christmas and I really missed it these past years! Do you think I can replace cream of tartar whit something else?

Yes you can actually! You could use 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar vinegar. I'll add that to the ingredients 😊

Hi Martina,
I can’t see the Xanthan gum in the ingredients list. How much do I need?
Just ordered the almond flour, so I can make it in time for Christmas
Thanks, Karin

Thank you so much for noticing Karin, you are right! I made it with and without it and found that the texture is better (less crumbly, fluffier) if you use it. I just updated the list of ingredients. It's 1 teaspoon. Happy baking! ☺️

You know I just go on and on about how you make the best recipes. Well you've literally blown my mind with this one. Stunning!

Awww thank you so much Jo! 💙 This one was a beast! 😃

I miss panettone so much! As my grandma got older and couldn’t make babka anymore, she substituted panettone.Do you think it can be made in a springform mold? At least this recipe doesn’t require the dough to rise *3* times like her babka recipe did! The listings I’m finding on the US amazon site referring to superfine almond flour look like they’re actually referencing the fineness of grind instead of a de-oiling process, so I guess I’ll be trying without it!

I totally get that, I grew up eating a Czech version of panettone called Vanocka. Babka is on my list next! 😊 I think this will be great for a springform pan but ideally one that is small diameter and deep, like panettone. You could use a regular pan too but the shape will be more like a regular coffee cake.
I seem to remember that Sukrin's almond flour is the defatted type as their sesame flour is superfine and defatted although it doesn't say that on the package.
I did a bit of searching and I think this one could work too: Amazon link
I'm not 100% sure but I'd give it a go!

It's in the oven!! 😊 I grew up in Italy eating Panettone so after I switched to keto this was the ONE recipe I was missing most and I never stayed keto because I couldn't resist. I didn't want to wait for the cranberries (next time!) so I added a tiny amount of raisins instead. Just know that made one girl VERY happy!

Can't wait to see what you think of it!

It is just as good as I imagined! Actually it's even better. Put some butter on top and... heaven! Will be making it again, thank you so much 😊

Martina you just made my Christmas even merrier! Thank you so much for your hard work busy lady! I love your yeast bread and I know this will be a success. Can't wait to make this!

Thank you Jeanette!