Easy Panna Cotta
Easy Panna Cotta

Panna Cotta is such an easy and elegant dessert for any special occasion, from Christmas dinner to the 4th of July! Serve with a quick fruit sauce and summer berries.

There are certain desserts that are so easy to make and so incredibly rewarding that they should be at the top of your list for special occasions.

Video: How to make panna cotta with berries


Panna cotta with berries

What is panna cotta?

Let’s not beat about the bush: the Italians are ahead of the curve when it comes to creating something great from a few good ingredients. Panna cotta literally means “cooked cream,” and that’s about it!

This pudding-like dessert is made with just cream, sugar, and gelatin – although I like to add sour cream and vanilla for extra flavor.

This panna cotta is like serving berries and cream, but fancier. Since you don’t use eggs, you can really taste the delicate flavor of the cream. The barely set pudding also has a luxurious, silky texture that is so elegant to the touch.

How to work with gelatin

Powdered gelatin must first be softened in cold liquid. In this case I do it in milk. Then the softened gelatin needs to be heated to completely dissolve. When making panna cotta, I do this by pouring the heated cream over the softened gelatin.

Since the amount of gelatin in each packet may vary slightly, be sure to measure with a teaspoon. Too much gelatin could result in an overly firm and jello-like texture (you want the panna cotta to be just firm enough to loosen).

For those of you looking for a vegan substitute for the gelatin, take a look at this reference guide on The Kitchn. It’s a good place to start when looking for alternative gelling agents.

Tip for shaping panna cotta

Simplify the demoulding process by lightly coating the molds used for molds with mild vegetable oil or spray.

If you don’t want to bother with demoulding, You can also simply pour the panna cotta mixture into pretty bowls and serve as is. (Be sure to leave some room in the bowl for the berries!) For reference when choosing molds or serveware, this recipe makes six 6-ounce servings or eight 4-ounce servings.

How long does it take for panna cotta to set?

Be sure to let the panna cotta cool down in the molds for at least 4 hours to make sure it is fully set.

How far can you make panna cotta?

Panna cotta is an amazing make-ahead dessert! You can make them up to three days in advance and store them in the fridge until ready to serve. Panna cotta does actually have a longer shelf life, but for best flavor it’s best to serve within three days.

If refrigerating for more than a few hours, we recommend loosely covering the molds with an inverted baking sheet, crumpled foil, or crumpled plastic. (You want to avoid moisture condensing on whatever you use to cover the panna cotta and dripping into the molds.)

If you’re serving the panna cotta straight from the cups instead of shaping them out, wait until they’re topped with fruit or sauce just before serving.

More ways to serve panna cotta

We love topping our panna cotta with fresh berries and a simple berry sauce, but there are plenty of other things you can do! Try dressing up your panna cotta with any of the following:

  • Shaved Chocolate
  • Any sliced ​​fruit such as strawberries, mangoes or even sliced ​​baked apples. (Roasted strawberries would be wonderful too!)
  • Pour a layer of caramel sauce on top
  • Top with a few spoonfuls of lemon curd
  • Add extracts like orange extract or lemon extract to the cream
  • Pour the cream with herbs or spices while it is heating, like cinnamon or mint. Strain before adding to the gelatin mixture.

Simpler and more elegant desserts

  • Easy lemon pudding
  • Instant Pot Cheesecake
  • chocolate truffle
  • Citrus Olive Oil Cake
  • French crepes with strawberries

From the editors of Simply Recipes

Simple panna cotta

preparation time
20 minutes

total time
20 minutes

6 servings


  • For the panna cotta:
  • Vegetable oil or vegetable oil spray (for the molds)

  • 1/2 cup cold milk

  • 3 teaspoons unflavored gelatin powder

  • 3 cups cream

  • 1/3 cup (67g) sugar

  • pinch of salt

  • 1/2 cup sour cream

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • For the sauce and berries:
  • 1 12-ounce packet (about 3 cups) frozen raspberries, thawed

  • 3 tablespoons of sugar

  • 3 tablespoons orange juice

  • 2 cups fresh blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, sliced ​​strawberries, or a mix


  1. Prepare the molds:

    Lightly brush or spray six 6-ounce ramekins with oil. (Skip this step if you plan to serve straight from the dishes.)

    Place the molds on a baking sheet to easily transfer the panna cotta from the counter to the fridge.

  2. Soften gelatine:

    Pour the milk into a medium mixing bowl and sprinkle over the gelatin. Stir with a fork to combine. Set aside for 5 minutes without stirring to allow the gelatin to soften. (It looks like curdled milk or milky applesauce.)

  3. Heat the cream and sugar:

    In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring cream, sugar and salt to a simmer. Stir constantly until the sugar has dissolved and the milk just begins to steam. Don’t let it come to a boil (if it does, let it cool slightly before moving on to the next step).

  4. Whip the cream into the gelatin:

    Slowly pour the hot cream over the gelatin, stirring to dissolve the gelatin. Rub a little of the cream mixture between your fingers to make sure the gelatin has dissolved; it should feel smooth and not grainy.

  5. Mix in the sour cream and vanilla until smooth
  6. Fill and chill the molds:

    Divide the panna cotta mixture among the molds. Place in the ramekins in the refrigerator and chill until set, at least 4 hours or overnight.

  7. Prepare raspberry sauce:

    Just before serving, blend the raspberries, sugar and orange juice in a blender until smooth. Pass through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds. Set aside or refrigerate until ready to use. (This sauce can also be made several days in advance and kept refrigerated.)

  8. Unmold the panna cotta:

    Slide a paring knife around the edge of each casserole dish. Place a dessert plate upside down on the ramekins. Hold the plate in place and turn it over so the casserole dish is now face down on the plate. Slowly lift the ramekins at a slight angle to release the panna cotta.

    Spoon some of the sauce around the panna cotta and sprinkle with berries. (If serving straight from the plate, spoon some of the sauce on top and sprinkle with berries.)

Previous articleAngel Hair Pasta with Quick Cherry Tomato Sauce
Next articleSalisbury Steak with Mushroom Gravy
Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!