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Classic Vanilla Panna Cotta recipe

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Vanilla panna cotta is a classic Italian dessert. It is not only simple to make but also a perfect dessert for any special occasion. Panna cotta, which translates to “cooked cream,” is a very popular dessert not only in Italy but all around the world. There are many variations of this dessert, but personally for me the classical vanilla version is the best. With its creamy, silky texture that just melts in your mouth, it’s no wonder why this dessert is a crowd-pleaser.
The classic version of vanilla panna cotta may not be a low-calorie dessert. However, if you’re looking for a healthier option, you can substitute 2.5% milk with 0.5-1% milk and heavy cream with 15% cream.

What is Panna Cotta?

Panna cotta is a traditional dessert from the northern Italian region of Piedmont. It is prepared by first cooking cream and sugar together, and then setting the mixture with gelatin. It is known for its creamy, smooth, and silky texture that makes it one of the most sought-after desserts.

What is panna cotta made of?

Traditionally, panna cotta used to consist solely of cream. Over time, preferences evolved. People started incorporating a blend of milk and cream to create a lighter and healthier version of the dessert. This mixture is sweetened with sugar and flavored with vanilla. It can be served with various toppings, including berries, fruits, marmalade, caramel, or simply enjoyed plain.

Although natural vanilla is preferable, you can also use vanilla bean paste or vanilla powder if you don’t have any.

Storing and freezing

Storing: To store panna cotta, simply cover the mold with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator. It can be stored for up to 2-3 days.
Freezing: not recommended as it may affect the texture of the panna cotta.


Classic vanilla Panna Cotta recipe

Enjoy the smooth, creamy texture of traditional vanilla panna cotta. It's simple to prepare and ideal for special events.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8 cups
Calories 168 kcal


  • 5 tsp gelatin
  • 6 tbsp water
  • 0.5 l milk 2.5%
  • 0.5 l cream 30-35%
  • 6 tsp white sugar
  • 0.5 tsp vanilla powder


  • 5-7 strawberries
  • 1 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp sugar


  • Put gelatin in a bowl and pour warm water over it. Let it sit for several minutes.
  • In a pot, combine milk and cream and heat over medium heat until warm.
  • Add sugar and vanilla powder and whisk until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Stir in the dissolved gelatin and continue whisking until it has dissolved completely. Remove the pot from heat and pour the mixture into a measuring cup to cool.
  • Once cooled, pour the liquid into cups and refrigerate for at least 5 hours, or overnight for best results.
  • To make the sauce, mash strawberries with lemon juice, water, and 1 tsp of sugar. If the strawberries are not sweet enough, add additional sugar as desired.
  • Before serving, pour the sauce over the Panna Cotta.
Keyword classic italian dessert, panna cotta, panna cotta recipe

Nutrition table of panna cotta

Nutrition Facts
Amount per serving100g
Calories168 Kcal
Energy value717 kJ
Fat14 g
Saturated Fat9 g
Carbs8 g
Sugar8 g
Protein3.5 g
Salt0.08 g

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