Best Panna Cotta recipe

Prepare to indulge in the velvety and luscious world of Panna Cotta, an Italian dessert that’s as elegant as it is delicious. Panna Cotta, which means “cooked cream” in Italian, is a dessert that epitomizes simplicity and sophistication. It features a creamy, custard-like texture that melts in your mouth, and it’s often served with a vibrant fruit coulis or sauce on top. Our Panna Cotta recipe serves four and is perfect for a sweet ending to a special dinner or an indulgent treat for any occasion. Let’s dive into the art of making this exquisite Italian dessert that will captivate your taste buds.

Table of Contents


For the Panna Cotta:

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) unflavored gelatin
  • 2 tablespoons cold water

For the Fruit Coulis (Optional):

  • 1 cup fresh or frozen berries (such as strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Fresh berries for garnish (optional)
Panna Cotta
Panna Cotta


For the Panna Cotta:

  1. Begin by pouring the whole milk into a small bowl. Sprinkle the unflavored gelatin evenly over the milk’s surface and let it sit for about 5-10 minutes. This will allow the gelatin to bloom and absorb the liquid.
  2. While the gelatin is blooming, split the vanilla bean lengthwise (if using) and scrape out the seeds. If you’re using vanilla extract, you can skip this step.
  3. In a saucepan, combine the heavy cream, granulated sugar, and the vanilla bean seeds (or vanilla extract). Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it’s just about to come to a gentle simmer. Do not let it boil.
  4. Once the cream mixture is heated, remove it from the heat and discard the vanilla bean (if used). If you used vanilla extract, simply stir it in.
  5. In a separate saucepan, gently warm the bloomed gelatin over low heat until it becomes liquid, but do not let it boil. This should only take a minute or two.
  6. Pour the melted gelatin into the cream mixture and stir until well combined.
  7. Divide the Panna Cotta mixture among four dessert glasses or ramekins.
  8. Refrigerate the Panna Cotta for at least 4 hours, or until it’s fully set. You can also leave it in the fridge overnight for a firmer texture.

For the Fruit Coulis (Optional):

  1. In a small saucepan, combine the fresh or frozen berries, granulated sugar, and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the berries break down and the sauce thickens, which should take about 10-15 minutes.
  2. Remove the fruit coulis from heat and let it cool.

To Serve:

  1. Once the Panna Cotta is set, spoon a generous amount of the fruit coulis (if using) over the top of each dessert.
  2. Garnish your Panna Cotta with fresh berries, if desired, for an extra burst of color and flavor.
  3. Serve your Panna Cotta chilled and enjoy the luxurious, creamy delight of this Italian dessert.