Best panettone 2023: Classic, limoncello flavoured and more

Panettone has become synonymous with Christmas, whether you start the day with it as a sweet option for breakfast or enjoy it as a dessert or snack later in the day. Some even enjoy it as an alternative to Christmas pudding.

Originally made in Milanese bakeries to celebrate the start of the festive season, the traditional version should contain orange peel and raisins. However, while the classic version is still popular, panettone now comes in all sorts of flavour varieties.

From chocolate to cherry to a purely nutty style, there’s so many on the market to suit all tastebuds. There are even gluten-free and vegan versions available, so more people can enjoy this tasty Christmas tradition.

The sweet and tangy, airy cakes often have a signature dome shape (which symbolises luck and prosperity) and will usually be pleasantly wrapped, making them ideal festive gifts. Whether you choose to eat yours alone or complement it with butter or jam, this is certainly a Christmas food tradition with which we can get on board.

As per, we’ve done the hard work for you and taste tested as much panettone as we could get our hands on, helping to make your Christmas decision-making a little easier.

How we tested

It was a hard task but we put these Christmas ‘cakes’ to the test

(Amira Arasteh)

Another hard task for us here at IndyBest, we tasted all sorts of panettone styles. From the classic plain version to chocolate ones more suited to those with a sweet tooth – there was even a limoncello option in the mix, for those craving a boozy sweet treat. We chose our favourites based on how soft, buttery and airy the panettone was, as well as the ease of cutting and the actual flavour.

While some opt for panettone as a dessert, we typically eat it for breakfast during the festive period, so lightness was also a key factor, so as not to be too sickly first thing in the morning.

The best panettone for 2023:

  • Best panettone overall – No1 florentine-inspired panettone: £16,
  • Best budget panettone – Sainsbury’s classic panettone: £4.50,
  • Best classic panettone – Carluccio’s panettone tradizionale: £23.95,
  • Best gluten-free panettone – Waitrose free-from panettone: £2.95,
  • Best boozy panettone – Fortnum & Mason limoncello panettone: £44.95,