The Best Panna Cotta Recipe – With Vanilla Bean

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Hands down, the best panna cotta recipe ever! This easy dessert is a creamy and super smooth vanilla custard that’s melt in the mouth. Plus it’s really versatile, you can all kinds of garnish.. fruit? Yep! Chocolate? Oh yes! Or whatever takes your fancy!

top down shot of blackberries in a bowl

I first tried this vanilla bean panna cotta recipe when our close friend Todd made it for us on New Year’s and I knew I needed to make it and share the recipe with you all! It’s a creamy, super smooth vanilla bean custard that melts in your mouth.

What I love about it is that it’s a basic recipe so there are several ways you can add your own touch! You can add rum to it, pour melted chocolate over the top or garnish it with your favorite fresh fruit or toasted coconut. It’s also incredibly easy to make!

top down of panna cotta and some blackberries in a cup

How To Make The Best Panna Cotta – Step By Step 

  • Pour milk and heavy cream into a sauce pan. Sprinkle with gelatin and then set aside for ten minutes.
  • Prepare an ice bath to set the gelatin in after you heat it. To make the bath, just add ice and a little cold water in a bowl.
  • Heat the milk to 135 degrees. Medium heat for about 7 minutes. I brought mine to a boil for a minute too.
  • Remove from heat and then add sugar, salt and vanilla.
  • Place the sauce pan in the ice bath and whisk frequently. It will get a little thicker, but I found that it was still pretty liquidly when I poured it into my ramekins.
  • Place 6 ramekins on a baking sheet and pour the cream into them.
  • Refrigerate about 4 hours until it’s a custard consistency and then garnish how you want!!

What Is Panna Cotta Made Of?

It’s a basic pudding that is made of dairy thickened with gelatin. It originated in Italy and its name literally means “cooked cream,” since the earliest versions were made of thick cream, sometimes thickened with fish bones.

An Easy Dessert!

This dessert may look like a fancy five stars, but it’s so easy to make! 10 minutes prep and then 10 to cook, after that pop them in the fridge to set, perfect make-ahead desserts!

Furthermore, you can easily add all kinds of garnish to this base pudding from fruit to rum, to mint and chocolate – get creative!

How Long Will Panna Cotta Last In The Fridge?

top down shot of best panna cotta with blackberries on top

Refrigerate for at least 2-4 hours, or until completely set. If you like, top with fresh fruit, berries, berry sauce, or lemon curd. It can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Top Tips For The Best Panna Cotta

  • Choose unflavored gelatin and make sure it has completely dissolved in your mix.
  • Avoid fruit with a high bromelain content such as pineapples or kiwi. These types of fruit tend to affect how solid and smooth the panna cotta is. 
  • Simmer, don’t boil, when heating your base of cream and sugar. 
  • Oil each mold with a neutral, flavorless oil. This allows the dessert to come out smoothly after it has set. 

Check Out These Other Delicious Dessert Recipes

Peppermint Panna Cotta

Eggnog Panna Cotta

Pumpkin Panna Cotta

If you have tried this best panna cotta recipe then please rate it and let me know how it turned out in the comments below!

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Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta

This is the only panna cotta recipe you will need!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Chilling time: 4 hours
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Calories: 490kcal
Author: Eden

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 3 teaspoons gelatin
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • tiny pinch salt
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise to remove the seeds or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste

Instructions

  • Pour milk and heavy cream into a sauce pan. Sprinkle with gelatin and then set aside for ten minutes.
  • Prepare an ice bath to set the gelatin in after you heat it. To make the bath, just add ice and a little cold water in a bowl.
  • Heat the milk to 135 degrees. Medium heat for about 7 minutes. I brought mine to a boil for a minute too.
  • Remove from heat and then add sugar, salt and vanilla.
  • Place the sauce pan in the ice bath and whisk frequently. It will get a little thicker, but I found that it was still pretty liquidly when I poured it into my ramekins.
  • Place 6 ramekins on a baking sheet and pour the cream into them.
  • Refrigerate about 4 hours until it’s a custard consistency and then garnish how you want!!

Nutrition

Calories: 490kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 45g | Saturated Fat: 28g | Cholesterol: 167mg | Sodium: 71mg | Potassium: 142mg | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 1815IU | Vitamin C: 0.7mg | Calcium: 123mg | Iron: 0mg
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