Classic panna cotta: an easy recipe made with just 5 ingredients! With a luxuriously creamy texture and a hint of sweet vanilla.

Panna Cotta on a small plate with fresh figs and blackberries.

This is a sponsored post, written by me and created in partnership with Domino® Golden Sugar. All opinions expressed herein are straight from my heart.

It’s panna cotta day, yay!

Have you ever had panna cotta before? I’m in love with desserts like this, so simple and elegant, but so easy to make.

It’s similar to vanilla pudding or creme brulee, but really it’s in a class by itself.

Cool, creamy, and just sweet enough, with a hint of warm vanilla and a silky-smooth texture that can’t be beat. You’re going to love this classic Italian dessert!

Panna cotta recipe, prepared and turned out onto a small plate along with fresh figs and blackberries, and a text overlay above that reads "Panna Cotta."

WHAT IS PANNA COTTA?

Panna cotta is a classic Italian dessert. It means “cooked cream.”

It’s simple as can be but is such a lovely and elegant dessert. It’s made by heating milk, cream, and sugar with a little plain gelatin, then chilling it in the fridge until set.

The result is silky smooth, a little creamy, and just sweet enough. The perfect ending to a really nice meal!

HOW TO MAKE PANNA COTTA?

It sounds kinda fancy, but really, this is one of the easiest desserts you’ll ever make.

The recipe has just 5 simple ingredients, and it whips up in 10 minutes or less.

Start by pouring the milk into a small pot.

Making panna cotta: Pouring milk into a small pot.

Add the cream, and then sprinkle plain gelatin in an even layer all over the surface of the liquid.

Making panna cotta: Sprinkling gelatin over milk and cream.

Allow the gelatin to sit and soften. This usually takes about 5 minutes.

Making panna cotta: Softening gelatin.

Next, place the pot over low heat and allow it to get warm and steamy.

Whisk the softened gelatin into the liquid, until it’s completely dissolved and free of any lumps.

Making panna cotta: Sprinkling sugar into the pot.

Then whisk in the sugar, allowing it to fully dissolve and sweeten the mixture.

Making panna cotta: Whisking the mixture to eliminate lumps.

Turn off the heat and stir in the vanilla.

Making panna cotta: Adding vanilla extract.

Pour the mixture into greased 4-ounce ramekins. Or you can use little mason jars like I did here.

Making panna cotta: Pouring the liquid into ramekins.

Chill the panna cotta in the fridge until set. This usually takes about 2 hours, but you’ll know for sure it’s done when you shake a ramekin and it’s just barely wobbly in the center.

Overhead image of pannacotta, garnished with fresh fruit.

WHAT DOES PANNA COTTA TASTE LIKE?

Classic panna cotta has a silky, creamy texture and a milky, sweet taste.

This recipe also has a hint of rich vanilla and a slightly toasty flavor that comes from the golden sugar.

DOMINO® GOLDEN SUGAR

For the panna cotta you see here, I used a brand new (to me!) product: Domino® golden sugar.

Just like regular granulated sugar, it’s made from pure cane. But it’s less processed, so you can use it more freely in all your favorite foods.

Domino® Golden Sugar has a beautiful golden color, and a subtle hint of molasses flavor that brings a warm, rich, almost caramel-like flavor to this dessert.

It works cup-for-cup just like regular sugar and can be swapped out for the same amount of traditional white sugar.

Vanilla panna cotta plated with fresh fruit, with golden sugar in the background.

IS PANNA COTTA HEALTHY?

This recipe is gluten-free, but it does contain animal products so it’s not considered vegetarian or vegan.

For more info on the nutritional value, be sure to check out the nutrition facts in the recipe card below.

HOW TO SERVE

You can serve these right in the jars, or unmold them onto a plate before serving.

Unmolding chilled panna cotta onto a serving plate.

If you decide to unmold them, you might want to carefully break the suction with the tip of a thin, sharp knife, to help get them out.

Panna cotta is best served chilled or at room temperature.

As you can see here, I’ve garnished these golden sugar panna cotta with fresh figs and blackberries, but you could use any kind of delicious seasonal fruit you can get your hands on.

Panna cotta is also great with a drizzle of chocolate sauce, salted caramel, or raspberry sauce!

Classic panna cotta recipe, on a wooden table with golden sugar and small gold dessert spoons.

CAN THIS BE MADE THE DAY BEFORE?

Panna cotta can definitely be made a day or two before you plan to serve it. It’s a great idea to do it this way, so it has plenty of time to chill in the fridge and set up.

It will keep in the refrigerator for several days. Just be sure to cover it with plastic wrap so that it doesn’t dry out.

Panna cotta also freezes very well! Just be sure to wrap it well, and allow it to thaw in the refrigerator before serving.

Panacota on a brass tray with golden sugar in the background.

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Panna Cotta
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Chill Time
2 hrs
Total Time
2 hrs 15 mins
 

Classic panna cotta: an easy recipe made with just 5 ingredients! With a luxuriously creamy texture and a hint of sweet vanilla.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: panna cotta, panna cotta recipe
Servings: 4
Calories: 254 kcal
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Place the milk and cream in a small pot, and sprinkle the gelatin over the surface.

  2. Allow the gelatin to soften for about 5 minutes.

  3. Heat the mixture over low heat, whisking until the gelatin has completely dissolved and no lumps remain.

  4. Whisk in the Domino® Golden Sugar.

  5. Turn off the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.

  6. Divide the mixture equally between 4 greased 4-ounce ramekins or mason jars, and refrigerate the panna cotta until set (about 2 hours).

  7. Garnish with fresh fruit, if desired.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

*Domino® Golden Sugar works cup-for-cup just like white sugar.

Nutrition Facts
Panna Cotta
Amount Per Serving
Calories 254 Calories from Fat 162
% Daily Value*
Fat 18g28%
Saturated Fat 11g69%
Cholesterol 66mg22%
Sodium 40mg2%
Potassium 94mg3%
Carbohydrates 20g7%
Sugar 19g21%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 730IU15%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 81mg8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Classic Italian panna cotta, garnished with fresh figs and blackberries, with a text overlay above that reads "Panna Cotta."

Classic Italian panna cotta, garnished with fresh figs and blackberries, with a text overlay above that reads "Panna Cotta."

Classic Italian panna cotta, garnished with fresh figs and blackberries, with a text overlay above that reads "Panna Cotta."