A delicious dessert that only takes 15 minutes to make?! Of course! Vanilla Pannacotta sounds fancy but it is super simple and so yummy. The kids love it, it's fancy enough to serve to guests at a dinner party and it is really versatile, because you can pretty much top it with anything. The perfect summer dessert, it's naturally gluten free.
Why you're going to love this recipe
Some desserts need heat before they can be cooling and awesome. One such dessert is pannacotta. With a name meaning "cooked cream" you probably understand that you need to heat this classic Italian dessert up at some point, right? Here's why it's amazing
- Vanilla pannacotta is the most awesome of summertime desserts because it can be served with the most amazing array of fruits.
- Perfect for whipping out of the fridge in a flourish of "here comes dessert!".
- Super quick to make.
- Can be made in ramekins, as a large pannacotta or even in jelly moulds and be unmoulded. The recipe serves 4 but it can be doubled!
- Versatile- top it with anything! See the suggestions in the FAQ lower down. Fresh fruit is a favourite, but it even works well with caramel sauce!
- Great for nights when dessert needs to be a cool affair
Looking for more dessert options? Try our Famous Baked Caramel Pudding!
What goes into the recipe
don’t forget to scroll to the recipe card for quantities and the full method
- gelatine to set the pannacotta which has many health benefits that you can read about in the ever popular recipe for cloud jellies. This means that the pannacotta only needs a few hours to set completely. Powdered gelatin is ideal for this recipe.
- vanilla bean paste- because it makes it feel even more amazing with the vanilla seeds throughout the dessert it's the next best thing to using an actual vanilla pod and scraping out the seeds. If you don't have any you can use vanilla extract.
- sugar- this recipe is really quite low in sugar for a dessert. This amount of sugar is needed for the sweetness.
- milk- please only use whole milk for this recipe, the texture won't be the same with light milk.
How to make this recipe
- First- cold milk, cream, vanilla paste and sugar need to go into a pot on the stove. Bring them to just before the boil. (Image 1)
- Add the gelatine to 3 tbsps of boiling water in a small bowl or jug. Allow to sit for three minutes then whisk in. (Images 2 and 3)
- Add the gelatine mix to the cream mix and stir well. (Image 4)
- Whisk through until smooth. (Image 5)
- Pour or spoon into 4 ramekins. (Image 6)
- Put in the fridge to chill for 4 hours or until set. (Image 7)
Expert Tips and FAQs
Pannacotta means cooked cream and is made from heating cream and milk and adding gelatine. It comes from the Piemonte region of Italy- where I have spent a lot of time.
It sets to a jelly like consistency and is creamy and smooth. This vanilla panna cotta has a good amount of vanilla flavour.
Yes! I make it this panna cotta recipe the day before we will be eating it most times, or the night before. Place cling film/ plastic wrap over the containers to prevent a thick skin forming on top.
Well, you could make a sauce to garnish it, but in the interests of ease, I like to crack open a fresh passionfruit, or top with fresh berries like strawberries or blueberries or sprinkle with flake your panna cottas will look adorable with any fresh fruit.
Thickened cream has is a dairy cream with thickeners added to it so it whips more easily. In the UK it is called whipping cream. It can also be referred to as heavy cream.
More easy kid friendly desserts
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Vanilla Pannacotta Recipe
- 350 mls thickened cream
- ⅓ cup milk
- ¼ cup caster sugar
- 2 tsps vanilla paste
- 3 tbsps boiling water
- 2 ½ tsps gelatine
- Combine the milk, cream, caster sugar and vanilla paste in a small saucepan over medium heat.
- Bring almost to the boil.
- Sprinkle the gelatine on top of the boiling water and leave for one minute.
- Then whisk rapidly to combine.
- Add the gelatine mixture to the cream mixture and pour into containers to set for at least 4 hours in the fridge.
- Top with fruit to serve.