Best Easy Italian Fruit Cake Recipe

Italian fruit cake, also known as panettone, is a traditional dessert that is enjoyed during the holiday season in Italy. It is a sweet and fluffy cake filled with dried fruit and nuts, making it a delicious treat for any occasion. If you want to try making this delightful dessert at home, here is the best easy Italian fruit cake recipe for you to follow.

– 2 cups all-purpose flour
– 1/2 cup granulated sugar
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
– 1/2 cup warm water
– 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
– 3 large eggs
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 1/2 cup dried fruit (such as raisins, cranberries, and apricots)
– 1/2 cup chopped nuts (such as almonds or walnuts)
– Powdered sugar for dusting

1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt.
2. In a separate small bowl, dissolve the yeast in warm water. Let it sit for about 5 minutes until it becomes frothy.
3. Add the yeast mixture, softened butter, eggs, and vanilla extract to the dry ingredients. Mix well until a soft dough forms.
4. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for about 5 minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic.
5. Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover it with a clean kitchen towel. Let it rise in a warm place for about 1 hour or until it doubles in size.
6. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and grease a round cake pan.
7. Punch down the risen dough and add the dried fruit and nuts. Knead the dough gently to distribute them evenly.
8. Shape the dough into a round loaf and place it in the greased cake pan. Cover it with a kitchen towel and let it rise for another 30 minutes.
9. Bake the cake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until it turns golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
10. Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely.
11. Once the cake has cooled, dust it with powdered sugar before serving.

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Questions and Answers:

1. Can I use other types of flour?
It’s best to use all-purpose flour for this recipe to achieve the desired texture and consistency.

2. Is there a substitute for dried fruit?
You can substitute dried fruit with fresh fruit if you prefer, but it may affect the moisture content of the cake.

3. Can I use a different type of nuts?
Yes, you can use any type of nuts you like or even a combination of different nuts.

4. How long does the cake stay fresh?
The cake can stay fresh for up to 3 days if stored in an airtight container at room temperature.

5. Can I freeze the cake?
Yes, you can freeze the cake for up to 1 month. Just make sure to wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and place it in a freezer-safe container.

6. Can I add spices like cinnamon or nutmeg?
Absolutely! You can add spices to enhance the flavor of the cake according to your preference.

7. Can I use a different shape of cake pan?
Yes, you can use a different shape of cake pan, but the baking time may vary. Adjust the baking time accordingly.

8. Can I add a glaze or frosting to the cake?
While it’s not traditional, you can certainly add a glaze or frosting to the cake if you desire.

9. Can I make mini fruit cakes instead?
Yes, you can divide the dough into smaller portions and bake them in mini cake pans for individual servings. Adjust the baking time accordingly.