Photo of Panna Cotta with fresh strawberries & mint

Mastering Panna Cotta: A Simple and Delicious Recipe

Panna cotta translates to “cooked cream”. It’s an egg-less version of pudding, making it a lighter and more refreshing dessert perfect for summer! You can use any type of milk, even plant-based milk. For a completely vegan dessert, substitute gelatin for agar-agar found here

Serve chilled with fresh berries, coulis or fruit compote and garnish with fresh mint for the perfect summer treat!

Photo of panna cotta

Panna Cotta

Panna cotta is a classic Italian dessert that is rich, creamy and silky-smooth in texture. The name "panna cotta" translates to "cooked cream" in Italian. Light, creamy and refreshing, it makes for the perfect summer dessert
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Resting Time 4 hours 15 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6 portions


  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 envelope unflavoured gelatin
  • 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract


  • Pour milk into a small bowl. Sprinkle gelatin powder over top and stir until combined. Gelatin will become spongy. Set aside
  • Stir heavy cream and sugar together in a saucepan. Heat on medium setting and bring just to a boil. Do not allow to boil over.
  • Stir gelatin mixture into boiling cream, stirring until completely dissolved. Cook and stir for 1 minute.
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in vanilla extract. 
  • Pour cream mixture into 6 individual ramekins that have been lightly greased with butter.  Allow to cool uncovered at room temperature, about 20 minutes.  
  • Once cool, cover each ramekin with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until set, at least 4 hours to  overnight.
  • To remove panna cotta from ramekins, heat outside with hot water, a hair dryer or blow torch. Run a butter knife around the edges, then flip over onto serving plates.
  • Garnish with fresh berries, coulis and fresh mint


Use full-fat cream: Panna cotta relies on the richness and creaminess of full-fat cream to achieve its silky smooth texture. Using lower fat alternatives like half-and-half or milk will not yield the same results.
Don’t boil the cream: When heating the cream mixture, do not let it boil. Overheating can cause the cream to curdle and the gelatin to break down, resulting in a grainy texture.
Flavorings: Panna cotta can be flavored with a variety of ingredients, such as vanilla, citrus zest, or coffee. When adding flavorings, make sure to strain the mixture to remove any solids before pouring it into the ramekins.

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