Italian Vanilla Panna Cotta Recipe With 4 Simple Topping Ideas

In this recipe I made some vanilla Panna Cotta desserts with 4 different topping ideas.. Easy and simple, the toppings paired with the Panna Cotta make this dish an absolute delight and tasty dessert. It is a shame to see many Panna Cotta recipe variations online that do not bring this elegant dessert any justice.


Panna Cotta is one of the most famous desserts in Italy, served all across the country in hotels and restaurants. It is the Italian word for ‘cooked cream’ and refers to a dessert that consists of a sweet cream coagulated with gelatin, then set together in a mold and finally served cold a day after. 

Chefs usually aromatize the dish with flavorings like coffee, vanilla, chocolate.. etc. Making it one of the absolute favorites of Italians.

Panna Cotta Recipe Ingredients

Cookware Needed For This Recipe

Ingredients For The Panna Cotta
  • Fresh Cream (500g)
  • Vanilla Pod
  • Sugar (90g)
  • Gelatine Sheets (8g)

Ingredients For The Panna Cotta Toppings
  • Topping 1: Strawberry (100g) + Lemon Juice + Powdered Sugar
  • Topping 2: Nutella
  • Topping 3: Liquid Caramel
  • Topping 4: Black Cherry In Syrup

How To Make Panna Cotta

1. Take the gelatin sheets and place them in a saucepan or baking pan, add cold water and make them soak for about 10 minutes.. Deseed the vanilla pod (how to deseed).

2. Pour the fresh cream in the saucepan, add the vanilla seeds and the vanilla pod, then add the sugar and mix with a whisk. Heat to 185 degrees F while stirring slowly with a whisk. You want to avoid making the cream boil.

how to make panna cotta step by step

3. Take the gelatin sheets and squish the water from them.. Now add the gelatin sheets to the hot cream and continue whisking slowly until all the gelatin is dissolved.

4. Once the gelatin is completely dissolved with the cream you can pour the baked cream with a ladle into your dessert cups.. Make sure you leave space on top for toppings.

panna cotta cream

5. Once you filled your dessert cups with the Panna Cotta cream let it rest in the fridge for 5 hours.. After 5 hours you should have a delicious Panna Cotta ready to be topped with your choice of toppings... Enjoy!

Panna Cotta With Toppings

Some Topping Ideas: Strawberry Coulis, Nutella, Melted Chocolate, Lemon gelatin, Black cherries with syrup, caramel, fruit puree, Raspberries, Blueberries... etc.

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