Classic Panna Cotta

How to make Classic Panna Cotta? Panna Cotta is a delightfully creamy, white custard that’s served chilled. An Italian dessert, panna cotta, which means “cooked cream” can be easily prepared and enjoyed at home.  This sweet vanilla-flavored dessert is budget-friendly, easy to make, and dreamy-delicious! Perfect for all ages to enjoy.

Classic Panna Cotta

Classic panna cotta was created from a simple idea when an Italian chef in Italy needed to make a quick dessert for his restaurant using only a few ingredients. And, to his surprise, it turned into a huge success! 

This dessert is only made with 5 ingredients. It is not only a sensational and simple treat but one you will enjoy making often!

Simple, and practically effortless with its smooth creamy texture, Classic Panna Cotta is perfect to serve for all occasions and elegant enough for family and guests.  

It is irresistible!

We highly recommend you try this recipe.


Classic Panna Cotta by

How To Make Panna Cotta?

To make Panna Cotta is a simple process of cooking some cream with sugar and gelatin, then chilling it to get a white pudding-like texture.

Then it is served with a spoonful of freshly chopped strawberries on top and a fresh mint leaf, as a garnish.

For this Panna Cotta recipe, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Half and Half ( I used Land O’ Lakes )
  • heavy cream
  • an envelope of unflavored gelatin Knox
  • granulated sugar
  • pure vanilla extract
  • fresh strawberries, chopped for topping
  • optional:  fresh mint leaves, as a garnish

Quick Tips and Notes about Panna Cotta… 

  • You can easily make it in your kitchen for a fraction of what you would pay in a restaurant.
  • Besides, you don’t need any cooking skills or training to make this dessert.
  • It takes about 5 minutes to cook the mixture. Next, pour into dessert glasses and chill.
  • This recipe calls for unflavored gelatin, which helps firm up the cream.
  • I decided to chill mine in 4-ounce cordial glasses (you can also use 4-ounce ramekins). 
  • It makes a beautiful elegant presentation, perfect to serve at dinner parties. 
  • This recipe makes 6 small servings.
  • Top panna cotta with a mixture of fresh berries or with a layer of chocolate ganache.
  • Best of all, it is very inexpensive too; about $5 dollars to make it at home.


Two photos of cordial glasses filled with white custard and topped with chopped strawberries. by

Options for Panna Cotta…

  • Non-Dairy? Try this recipe using coconut cream instead of half-n-half and heavy cream.
  • Top with your favorite fresh berries or a mixture of them.
  • Chill panna cotta into small ramekins, or molds and invert them for an elegant presentation.
  • Also, you may want to try a creamy chocolate ganache on top. It is sublime!
  • A great dessert to make for all festivities, including picnics, BBQ, and potluck!

Questions and Answers…

  1. What is the difference between panna cotta and pudding? Pudding is made with milk, sugar, and egg yolks and it is thickened with corn starch.
  2. What is the difference between panna cotta, crème brûlée and flan? Crème brûlée and flan are similar as pudding. Both also use egg yolks and corn starch as the thickening agent, whereas panna cotta only uses gelatin.
  3. By the way, what does panna cotta taste like? This dessert has a sweet taste with a hint of vanilla and a luscious creamy texture that is dreamy and delicious.
Classic Panna Cotta by

Classic Panna Cotta can be served in pretty glasses with fresh berries on top.

Also, try our Dairy-Free Vanilla Toasted Almond Panna Cotta.  It too is amazingly creamy and tastes like our favorite Good Humor ice cream bars “Toasted Almond Bars.” 

A delicious little treat, this classic panna cotta is one you can enjoy making all year long.  Best of all, each serving is only 166 calories.

So go ahead and splurge on this amazing little dessert and enjoy!!


 …Don’t forget to PIN and SHARE!!  … thanks so much! 

Classic Panna Cotta by

Additional No-Bake Desserts for you to try…

Additional Recipes for Panna Cotta!

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Classic Panna Cotta

Classic Panna Cotta by

Classic Panna Cotta is a delightfully creamy white custard dessert. Sweet, easy, and delicious! Served chilled, it can be made at home and enjoyed all year long!

Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 8 minutes


  • 2 cups half and half ( I used Land O' Lakes )
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 1 envelope of "unflavored" gelatin Knox (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 6 freshly chopped strawberries- divided
  • fresh mint leaves, as a garnish


  1. In a small-size saucepan, pour in water and sprinkle the gelatin powder over the water and let it stand for about 1 minute to soften. The gelatin must "bloom" in cool water before heating it, otherwise, it will clump.
  2. Next, turn on low heat, and heat the gelatin mixture, occasionally stirring until the gelatin completely dissolves. Remove from heat.
  3. In a medium-size saucepan, pour the half and half, cream, and sugar and cook the cream over moderate heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves and the cream thickens about 3 to 4 minutes. Do not bring to a full boil.
  4. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the gelatin mixture and vanilla extract. Gently whisk until the mixture is completely combined. Divide the cream into 8 small ramekins or 6 medium ramekins. Allow the cream mixture to cool to room temperature before chilling.
  5. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours before serving, or overnight.
  6. Before serving, top each panna cotta with a spoonful of freshly chopped strawberries. Garnish with a fresh mint leaf. Serve them chilled.
  7. Yields: 6 to 8 servings


If you plan to divide the cream mixture into small glasses, as I did here. Allow the cream to cool to about room temperature before dividing it. Then divide the cream into eight 1/2-cup (4-ounce) cordial glasses.

Nutrition Information:


6 to 8 servings

Serving Size:

1 serving

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 166Total Fat: 12.5gCarbohydrates: 11.6gSugar: 8.7gProtein: 2.1g

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xo anna and liz


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    1. Hey! Thank you Susan! Try it with strawberry sauce or even with blueberry sauce too! Panna cotta is one of our favorite desserts! Enjoy and have a great weekend!