Dark Chocolate, Coconut and Sunflower Seed “Panettone”

Panettone! Its sweet, chewy, fluffy, moist, delicious and loaded with refreshing and yet sinful flavors. It is the traditional Christmas Bread throughout Italy and it deserves all the praise it gets. The texture resembles that of bread but the flavor is like cake and a yummy cake at that. There are two different methods for making panettone, one requires yeast and has a fluffy challah-like texture, and the other- You Guessed It- does not contain yeast, leading it to mirror the texture of a scone.

Game Changer! I was all excited about making a panettone recipe last week with my new panettone liners from Cupcake Swirl (stay tuned for an amazing giveaway soon) but my pantry didn’t quite get that memo (Gasp! no yeast to be found) so I was left to go down a different path. That is when I decided- “Just because I have panettone liners doesn’t mean I have to make panettone!” Right!

In the end it didn’t matter, the flavors I chose to use in the “bread” would have completely overshadowed the method of yeast or no yeast (hence, panettone). Now, yes I am sure my flavors with a panettone texture would have been outrageously delicious but my flavors in a sweet quick bread was the next best thing. You can’t go wrong with the combination of chocolate and coconut but the real winner here was the incorporation of sunflower seeds. How did I get there? Well, I did what I do best and improvised using the seeds in place of almonds. My family always likes to pick at my mom because she is the queen of improvisation in the kitchen-Pick all you want but I get this trait from her and so far it works out great for us!

Anyway, back to the panettone or rather bread. I didn’t have almonds and being a sucker that I am for sweet and salty I thought sunflower seeds was the perfect replacement. Incredible! You have to try it to believe me. The pairing might not make sense at first but to me it is as good if not better than chocolate and almonds or even peanuts. I just love how extra salty the sunflower seeds are and they contrast p-e-r-f-e-c-t-l-y with the sweet coconut. PERFECTLY!

By all means use this recipe to create your own rendition of this famous Christmas bread. Be smart about it but let loose at the same time. Orange goes great with chocolate or espresso, white chocolate is yummy with the flavor of lime or different types of berries and nuts with cinnamon, raisins and cranberries can’t be beat.

You know what I MUST make next- Biscoff Cookies! Homemade! I go through a pack of the store-bought kind each week and I need to make my own! Any recipes?

Dark Chocolate, Coconut and Sunflower Seed Panettone
recipe adapted from Savory Flavors
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1¼ cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2½ cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup superfine sugar
  • 5 ounces flaked coconut
  • ⅓ cup sunflower seeds
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup of dark chocolate chips
  1. Preheat an oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and vanilla seeds. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Stir in the sugar and coconut. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients, and slowly add the egg mixture, stirring until just combined. Fold in the melted butter, sunflower seeds and chocolate chips, being careful not to overmix.
  4. Grease and flour a 8-by-4-inch loaf pan or individual panettone or muffin liners. Pour in the batter and bake in the preheated oven until the loaf is golden and a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean, around 1 hour or 20-25 minutes for individual liners. * Make sure to fill batter ¾ to the top of your panettone liners so you get a nice raised loaf of bread peaking out of the top.



  1. kitchen flavours

    Your panettone looks so moist and so good! Panettone has been on my list-of-to-do for ages! How I wish to have one right now!
    Happy Mother’s Day!

  2. Erica

    I’ve made cookies with these flavors- LOVED them. I can only imagine that this panettone must be amazing. Hope you had a fabulous Mother’s day!

    1. kbelleicious

      I did Erica! I hope you did as well!

  3. Eva Taylor

    I laughed out loud about the pantry not getting the memo…too funny! Very nice little ‘pnettone’ muffins and I love the liners. I made panettone several years ago and they were not as successful as I had hoped, perhaps it’s time to try again.

    1. Kitchen Belleicious

      Yes! My pantry and I don’t see eye to eye all the time! LOL! I got the liners from cupcake swirl- you should check out that site- its great products for great prices

  4. Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking

    Oh these look amazing! The ingredients that you used sound like they are wonderful together and those liners are awesome!!

  5. Val

    Just look at those photos….fabulous!!!

    1. kbelleicious

      Girl, you last post with the lobster and corn salad just killed me! It looked delish

  6. Sawsan

    You made me laugh with the pantry not getting the memo:)
    I think you did a briliant job working with what you had on hand

  7. Alli

    Dark chocolate and coconut is such a sinful combination. I love how creative you get with your pantry.

  8. Kelli H

    This is to funny I often find myself in a situation where I am making something and I thought I had the ingredients but when I go to grab them half way through it I cant find what I need. I think I take your moms approach though. LOL
    Our house loves muffins, breads, pastries so I know these are going to be a hit.
    Happy Mothers Day Beautiful!

  9. Charles

    Nice one – I always find some of the most delicious things are born out of recipe screw-ups or “missing ingredients”. “Inspiration” for the win! I love the paper cases you have – really cool. Delicious looking “panettone” too!

  10. Reem | Simply Reem

    My Pantry too is bad on being in tune with my plans… Need to help it rather stock it LOL
    These look yum!! Gorgeous pics…

  11. sara@domesticallychallenged

    Well, I have no idea what a p-whatever is, but these look amazing! I am all for trying anything with bread, coconut and chocolate!

    1. kbelleicious

      You always make me laugh at the exact moment I needed one! 🙂

  12. Marina@Picnic at Marina

    Your panettone looks good, and it’s some interesting recipe!

  13. Allison @ Alli 'n Son

    Oh my, these are stunning. I don’t even like coconut, but I’d sure dive into one of these.

    1. kbelleicious

      That surprises me-!

  14. Shea

    This looks delicious!! I’ve never had Panettone, but I want to have this right now! I love the addition of sunflower seeds too, how creative!

  15. Nami | Just One Cookbook

    What a gorgeous Panettone, Jessica! Dark chocolate & coconut are one of favorite ingredients for baking and so happy to see them in here. Though sunflower seed is very unique and you were brave to add that in even to replace almonds! What a great find. They look beautiful and delicious!

    1. kbelleicious

      Between us- I was brave but sort scared when I took the first bite!

  16. daphne

    that is one lovely looking panettone-with all my favourite ingredients in it!!! They will probably be gone in a flash!

  17. Mandy - The Complete Cook Book

    I have never read a better description of something edible as I did in your first paragraph – perfection!
    🙂 Mandy

    1. kbelleicious

      Thanks Mandy! That means alot coming from you!

  18. Baker Street

    Love the texture of your panettone. Looks incredibly moist. Surely going to give this recipe a try.

    1. kbelleicious

      Oh you could do amazing things with these ingredients.I can just see it now

  19. nancy at good food matters

    My mom took a similar scary cooking approach, with those weird inappropriate substitutions. No wonder I was a picky eater. Your panettones are darling in their liners—and your substitutions are clever and correct. Love the combination—especially the sunflower seeds–often overlooked in the pantry.

    1. kbelleicious

      Yes= they are overlooked. After making these I went and got more seeds to keep on hand because I just love them so much!

  20. Mary

    These look delicious and your post made me grin too. My mom cooks much the same as your mom does. Although I’m fairly certain that mine wouldn’t recognize balsamic vinegar, let alone have it in her home. 😉 Gotta love it.

    1. kbelleicious


  21. Bree

    Sounds delicious! (And gogeous pics too!)

  22. yummychunklet

    I usually think of panettone at Christmas, but this recipe looks like a great summer twist. Thanks for sharing!

    1. kbelleicious

      Yes, I meant to do it at christmas actually but the baby came a little early and never got around to it! This is like my christmas in May post! LOL!

  23. Rachel @ The Avid Appetite

    ah these are so cute! I have never seen the little liners like that before. Adorable!

    1. kbelleicious

      I got the liners from Cupcake Swirl. You must check them out! So much cute stuff

  24. Kristy

    You are hands down one of the most clever cooks I know! I think you should go on Chopped!!! I love that you made these as muffins. So cute…and of course clever!

    1. kbelleicious

      Oh that means alot coming from you! Thanks Kristy!

  25. Asmita

    Hi Jessica,
    Your panettone looks gorgeous! Love the combination of the dark chocolate and coconut. Absolutely divine!!!

    1. kbelleicious

      Thanks Asmita!

  26. Five Minute Mom

    This is great! I love the ingredients here! I think improvisation is key to cooking at times. wonderful post

  27. Harriet

    I love panettone. My mom used to make it all the time and she would go crazy over this

  28. melynda@momssundaycafe

    YUM, this sounds like a great combination. I have never made this bread, but I think I would enjoy it very much.

  29. Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen

    Panettone is the best! I love to toast leftovers or even make bread pudding with it.

  30. Elsa

    I was just thinking that I’ve been wanting to make panettone for ages but I’ve never had the liners, and then you mentioned a giveaway. I look forward to it! Your recipe looks amazing, and your pictures are beautiful (as always!). I’m actually having a giveaway on my blog this week. I would love for you to stop by if you get a chance. Thanks!!

  31. Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking

    What a lovely take on panettone! This looks so delicious for breakfast or dessert!

  32. Tina (PinayInTexas)

    Oh Jessica, substituting sunflower seeds for almonds is brilliant! The result looks fabulously delicious! Thumbs up, girl!

  33. Jessica @ Cajunlicious

    You had me at dark chocolate then coconut, this looks fabulous!

  34. Barbara @ Barbara Bakes

    Love the elegant liners. I haven’t ever eaten Panettone. I’ve been missing out.

  35. Food and Senses

    I love panettone- your version with the sunflower seeds and coconut is amazing!

  36. kankana

    This looks so much like muffins! I love the pairing of dark chocolate with coconut 🙂

  37. Caroline

    Mmmm these sound fantastic! Love the look of them too. Ooo and I’m definitely staying tuned for that giveaway. 😉

  38. Liz

    I’d much rather have sunflower seeds than almonds! What a marvelous bread!!!

  39. Donna @ The Slow Roasted Italian

    I love the substitutions of sunflower seed for almonds. These sound amazing!

  40. Marsha @ The Harried Cook

    These look really cute 🙂 I love the combination of flavors and the use of the sunflower seeds! I have a huge bag that I’ve been wanting to do something interesting with, and this sounds like a great way to use them… In my last post, I said I was going to make sunflower seed butter – so it’ll have to be half for butter and half for these cakes! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  41. Roxana GreenGirl { A little bit of everything}

    i don’t think I had ever thought of making a yeast-free panettone. these can be easily done for the weekend breakfast when everyone is sleeping in until later. Thanks for sharing Jessica!

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