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Stuffed Pandoro recipe + a Christmas tale

Stuffed Pandoro recipe

Christmas stuffed pandoro is a preparation that takes me back to the 1980s and 1990s when I was cheerful and carefree in that light-hearted way typical of youth.

Since mascarpone was a widely used ingredient in Christmas recipes, what was left over would end up stuffing a pandoro.

Sometimes panettone also. In this case, one would empty the cake to mix the mixture with the cream before returning to its place.

At some point, stuffed pandoro became one of the desserts of Christmas lunch. And, I remember, everyone liked it.
The cream is eggless. Mix mascarpone with powdered sugar and a little whipped cream, add some chocolate chips, and spread this goodness on the pandoro slices. Once reassembled and decorated with some fresh raspberries, it is beautiful and tasty.

I removed the recipe and memory for a long time until I made it for Christmas greetings with friends a few years ago. And I was amazed to see how much they liked it! So, I started bringing it to my Christmas table again as well. I serve it sprinkled with powdered sugar and a story I hope will meet your favor.

Stuffed pandoro recipe

A Christmas tale

It was a dark and stormy night. Or maybe it was just a night.
Or perhaps it was just dark outside; it might as well have been late afternoon.

The memories of that day are stirred together like porridge in the cauldron.

The day took shape just before dawn. It is so cold in the home that the breath is condensing.

In the downstairs kitchen, the smell of coffee and the crackling of flames seem better company than the cold blue light that brightens the world outside the window.

I have just the time to store the breakfast dishes and cups when already someone started banging on the door.

That day, I don’t know how many calls I answered, each time wrapping myself in my wool jacket before opening the door to shelter me from the cold.

Luca, the baker, is the first one to arrive. On his way home after a night of work, he brings the Panone that, after my insistent request, he baked in his wood-fired oven.

“As once everyone used to do,” and while I told it, I handed him the dough, and he couldn’t say no.

Then the cousins arrived with the auntie and, at last, it seems to me that the house, opened only the day before after long disuse, comes at least alive and warm.

Finally, all the fireplaces are burning when, after a discreet knock, cold, roast-scented air enters through the front door. Mrs. Nora, who lives three houses and a grove from my door, has brought one of her masterpieces.

At lunchtime, from two people and one dog, we are already twelve and three dogs. Meanwhile, Beppe and Maria came with their emerald green van to deliver a reasonable water and wine supply.

I choose two robust cousins to send to the village for the last purchases with a recommendation repeated like a litany.
I haven’t even closed the door when I hear a cheerful voice calling my name. I open again to the shining smile of Lella, who has been weaving garlands of flowers in spring and fir in December since she was a child.
I take in the precious cargo that smells of resin and pine cones as I see her hand slipping a small package into her pocket without a word.

From that moment, the day goes by quickly.

Deliveries and new arrivals punctuate my work in the kitchen.

At last, it’s Christmas. To tell it are voices and laughter, requests for sandwiches and cookies, all the things I have to put away, and others to bring out.

I leave the dinner table to return to the kitchen where the last dishes are ready to come out of the oven, the desserts to go on the windowsill to cool. And then there are still creams to whip and pandoro to stuff.

Stuffed pandoro has not been allowed to be missing from the Christmas table from that time Auntie told it was a family tradition. Her declaration was met with laughter that she, with a stern look, had immediately extinguished.

We still smile thinking back to that day, but the pandoro filled with mascarpone cream must be there.
For that reason, I got a bit cringy when the boys returning from shopping in the village said that the powdered sugar that was the subject of my recommendations had run out.

I’m sure everyone will say it’s okay, thinking it’s a shame. I am annoyed.
I feel that that final gesture of dusting is like an element of Christmas.

The silence of the house says everyone is asleep. Now it’s me and the fireplace fire, also ready to slumber. The night is advancing, and I feel cold. I go to the hall coat rack to put on the wool jacket that has kept me company all day.

On my hip, I feel something pushing from my pocket. Suddenly, I remember Lella and her laugh that sounds like a stream.

The light from the fireplace and a few candles illuminate a package wrapped in tissue paper containing, I cannot believe it, powdered sugar.

And so, in that flickering half-light, thick with fragrance, I grab the sifter, a spoon, and cannot resist the temptation to flood the filled pandoro.

Do you know what noise powdered sugar makes? None.
Silent as snow, I watch it descend as a sense of satisfying peace envelops me and the house. Now I hear, once again, Auntie’s voice repeating that without powdered sugar, it is not Christmas.

Auguri, Monica

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Stuffed Pandoro recipe


Stuffed pandoro

Stuffed pandoro is a Christmas tradition. Mascarpone cream with chocolate chips is easy to make and turns the pandoro special. Not a single slice will remain!
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Keyword #christmas, Chocolate drops, Italian Christmas traditions, Mascarpone cheese, Pandoro
Prep Time 30 minutes
Servings 8 servings


  • 1 kg of pandoro
  • 500 g of mascarpone cheese
  • 100 g of heavy cream
  • 70 g of icing sugar
  • 70 g of chocolate drops
  • powdered sugar and fresh raspberries to decorate


  • Slice the pandoro horizontally and get 6-7 slices of the same thickness (about 1 cm). Set aside.
  • Whip the heavy cream with the sugar in a large bowl, add the mascarpone, and mix the mixture with a spatula.
  • Starting from the base of the pandoro and working your way up to the top, spread the mascarpone cream on each slice, adding chocolate chips on each layer. Arrange each pandoro layer offset from the previous one.
  • Decorate each pandoro tip with a fresh raspberry.
  • Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.

Food tip

  • You can stuff the pandoro the day before and store it in a cool room, not necessarily in the refrigerator.

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