Panna Cotta Recipe [Video]

Catalina Castravet
By Catalina Castravet
Updated:
Published:
5 from 2 reviews

Panna Cotta is an elegant custard dessert, often served with fruits and a sweet sauce. Make a homemade version that rivals those at Italian restaurants with this recipe!

Italian cuisine offers a rich selection of desserts like this! If you liked my recipes for Baileys Affogato, Strawberry Tiramisu, and Mascarpone Cheese, then, you will also enjoy this recipe for sure!

Photo of homemade Panna Cotta with raspberry and mint.

Homemade Panna Cotta Recipe

Panna Cotta is a great dessert because it is not complicated, and it cleanses the palate like a charm. It is pleasant to have after a savory meal.

Since it is best served chilled, it is refreshing making it a perfect summer dessert! But of course, you can have it anytime especially when you know how to make it.

In this recipe, you work with gelatin. And from that, you can already imagine how easy this recipe could be. It could also be tricky but let this recipe guide you. This is a no-brainer surprisingly!

Image of homemade Panna Cotta ingredients.

What is panna cotta?

It is a dairy-based dessert made solid with gelatin. Believed to have originated from the Italian northern region of Piedmont in the early to mid-1900s, it became an American favorite in the 1990s.

What is the difference between panna cotta and flan?

Both are sweet but the former offers more variety in terms of the toppings and sauce. Though both can be called custard sometimes, panna cotta has no egg in it, unlike the flan.

Image of how to make Panna Cotta.

What is panna cotta made of?

  • Dairy: whole milk, vanilla Greek yogurt, heavy whipping cream
  • Gelatin: unflavored gelatin or agar-agar as a vegetarian substitute
  • Flavorings: salt, sugar, vanilla extract
  • Sauce: raspberries, granulated sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest

Photo of ingredients for raspberry sauce.

How to make panna cotta

  • Prepare the milk-gelatin mixture: In a saucepan, combine the milk and gelatin powder. Let it stand for up to 5 minutes before heating the mixture over low-to-medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes. Stir and do not let it boil.
  • Add the whipping cream: Add the heavy whipping cream and the flavorings. Stir until everything dissolves completely. Again, do not let the mixture boil. Turn off the heat and set aside to cool.
  • Combine with yogurt: Place the yogurt in a bowl and slowly add the warm mixture while stirring continuously. Once uniform, pour the mixture into your chosen container.
  • Chill: Refrigerate them to allow the gelatin to solidify. This will take around 4 to 6 hours.
  • Prepare the sauce: Combine the ingredients using only half of the berries in a saucepan. Let the mixture simmer and cook until it thickens. Stir in the remaining berries and take the mixture off the heat. Allow the mixture to cool down.
  • Serve: Top the chilled Panna Cottas with the sauce to serve.

Photo of homemade raspberry sauce.

What is the best gelatin to use?

Buy the unflavored ones so that the taste does not interfere with the rest of the dessert.

If you are a vegetarian, you may want to use agar-agar or any other vegetarian substitute. You may also want to experiment on the dairy substitutes if you want to use plant-based milk and cream.

Can you make it ahead?

Yes! Make a huge batch and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Take it out anytime and put the sauce on top, then, enjoy it!

Image of Panna Cotta topped with raspberry sauce and mint leaves.

Best toppings for panna cotta:

  • Berries: Aside from the raspberry, you can also use strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries, or mix and match the flavors.
  • Fresh fruits: Top it with fresh mango, peaches, or cherries for a refreshing treat.
  • Sweets: Shaved chocolate, hot chocolate fudge, or caramel sauce can also sweeten up this dessert.
  • Nuts: Add almonds or other nuts to add a different texture that goes well with it.

Image of Panna Cotta with raspberry sauce.

Recipe Tips:

  • You can serve them directly still placed from the ramekins or wine glasses. Or, transfer them into a plate upside down and top with the sauce. Do this by first warming up the bottom of the ramekin by placing it on a warm water bath for a few seconds. Then, carefully release it to the plate.
  • Add a fun twist by using molds of different shapes.
  • Cool the mixture down quickly by placing it in an ice bath right before pouring it into the molds. This way, it will set much faster without the gelatin separating.

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5 from 2 reviews

Panna Cotta Recipe

Panna Cotta is an elegant custard dessert, often served with fruits and a sweet sauce. Make a homemade version that rivals those at Italian restaurants with this recipe!
Author: Catalina Castravet Serves: 6 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 15 minutes Total time: 4 hrs 30 mins

Ingredients

Panna Cotta:

Berry Sauce:

Instructions

How to Make Panna Cotta:

How to Make Berry Sauce:

Nutrition information

Calories: 196 Carbohydrates: 38 Protein: 9 Fat: 1 Saturated Fat: 1 Cholesterol: 7 Sodium: 116 Potassium: 271 Fiber: 3 Sugar: 35 Vitamin A: 244 Vitamin C: 11 Calcium: 158 Iron: 1
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Picture of Panna Cotta.

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Comments

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Amber Myers

I haven't had this in ages. I really need to make it. It also looks really pretty!

Reply

Theresa

I have never made my own panna cotta, but I definitely want to try. This looks so delicious (and pretty!) It would be so perfect for our Easter dinner.

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Lynndee

I don't think I've ever had panna cotta before. But I do have a sweet tooth and that is making me drool. Going to save your recipe for later.

Reply

Monica

This looks so refreshing! It's making me want summer to come.

Reply

Lizzie Lau

After reading through the recipe I'm asking myself why I've never made this before. What an elegant dessert. I'll be making this right away!

Reply

Paula schuck

Oh wow. I’ve never made Panna cotta! But I definitely will give it a try now. I think we’ve had this on a cruise ship once. It’s delicious.

Reply

Bridget

Would I get the same results using lactose free milk?

Reply

yes!

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