Classic Vanilla Panna Cotta

September 3, 2020

Thick and creamy, this Classic Vanilla Panna Cotta is a delicate dessert that requires very little effort to make!

Panna cotta is a dessert made of sweetened cream, thickened with gelatin and molded. Panna cotta is translated as “cooked cream”, originating from the region of Piedmont in Itaty. Panna cotta is one of my favorite desserts because I love the taste of it: creamy, rich and sweet! Also, when I need a quick dessert,  I just think of a cup of a panna cotta as it’s easy to make, great for making ahead.


  • This is the very classic panna cotta. I will use the main basic ingredients like heavy cream, milk, vanilla and gelatin in my recipe. If you want to make a lighter panna cotta, you can replace some of heavy cream with a lighter cream or yogurt.
  • Panna cotta is not flan. This Italian dessert is cream, gelatin based while Flan is an egg custard. Panna cotta is more flexible which means you can add more flavor to serve it as your choice.
  • Classic panna cotta is made using vanilla, but you can also modify the recipe with coconut, berries or any flavor of choice.
  • Panna cotta can be molded in a cup or any container you would like it to be in. I love to serve it in glass cups for its good looking.
  • Getting the proper ratio of gelatin is the secret to a perfect panna cotta. Adding too much will make your panna cotta like Jell-O, otherwise too little and you will end up having a running pudding.
  • For the topping I’d rather decorate with fruits such as strawberries and blueberries, but you can also choose alternatives like puree, fruit sauces, chocolate ganache, caramel sauce to top your panna cotta.

I’m so into this dessert and have tried it a dozen of times. I love seeing you making this recipe and let me know how you liked it!

Classic Vanilla Panna Cotta

Thick and creamy, this Classic Vanilla Panna Cotta is a delicate dessert that requires very little effort to make!
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Dessert
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 4 cups


  • 1/4 cup (60ml) milk or water
  • 1 1/2 cups (300ml) heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons (10 grams) unflavored gelatin powder
  • 4 tablespoons (60g) granulated sugar the sweetness based on your personal taste
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) pure vanilla extract


  • Place gelatin in a small bowl with 2 tablespoon of water. Stir gelatin up and set aside until gelatin dissolves properly. This would take 10 minutes
  • Pour heavy cream, milk, sugar and vanilla extract into a saucepan on a medium heat until the sugar dissolve completely then remove from heat. Stir in gelatin and whisk immediately.
  • Pour the mixture into small cups for individuals (or molds) and chill in the fridge at least 2 hours until completely set. If you make a larger pan of panna cotta, it would probably take longer 4 hours. The time depends on how large your container is.
  • Top with fresh fruits or any kind of sauces you like it on. I prefer using berries with fruit sauce as it would pair perfect with creamy texture of panna cotta.
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