An Email A Day Keeps the Boring Away.Sign Up For A Daily Dose of Jernej Kitchen!
Classic Vanilla Panna Cotta
Italian dessert for Vanilla lovers

Classic Vanilla Panna Cotta

Vanilla Panna Cotta is a classic Italian dessert that we serve cold. It's fantastic with berries and a great recipe to make ahead for your guests or family.

Classic Vanilla Panna Cotta
Jernej says that the only thing that can make this Panna Cotta better is a prettier view than our messy kitchen and a glass of cold rosé. I agree. This Italian dessert is well known all over the world. In direct translation, Panna Cotta means cooked cream, and that’s precisely what it is. Delicious cooked cream. It’s perfect for hot summer days, especially since we need to serve it cold. But worry not, this dessert is terrific in wintertime too. If you want to make it cozier, switch the fruits for some homemade salty caramel. It takes minutes to make, and those hours of waiting for it to cool will be well worth your while.

Classic Panna Cotta Recipe

These are the top six things that we love about this fantastic homemade Panna Cotta.

  • it's fresh, light, milky, delicious
  • love how refreshing it is, with a deep vanilla flavor
  • serve it with macerated forest berries or strawberries for a fruity addition
  • it has a traditional jiggly exterior
  • you can easily make it ahead of time
  • it's a beautiful gluten-free dessert

What to serve this Panna Cotta with

Honestly, we could eat it with a spoon without any toppings or decorations. It's sweet, milky, and tasty. However, it's even better with macerated or fresh berries. Here are some other delicious options for toppings:

Classic Vanilla Panna Cotta served with macerated berries

Classic Vanilla Panna Cotta served with macerated berries

How to make the Panna Cotta Ahead

Panna Cotta is a delicious make-ahead dessert option. You can easily store it in the fridge or freeze it.

Keep it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Feel free to freeze it. In this case, keep it covered in the freezer for up to two months. 

Defrost by taking it out of the freezer one day before serving. Place it in the fridge to defrost slowly. Or place it at room temperature for about 2 hours, and then put it in the refrigerator to keep it cold. 

How to make this delicious Vanilla Panna Cotta at home (video)

Check this quick video to master making this delicious Vanilla Panna Cotta at home. This video is kindly sponsored by Samsung Slovenija. We have been using their amazing Samsung Space Max fridge for months now.

Try these fabulous make-ahead dessert recipes too


Lets get cooking!

  • serves
  • preparation:
  • rest time
  • total time:


  • gelatine

    Add powdered gelatine to a small bowl. Cover with cold water, and set aside for 10 minutes for the gelatine to soak.

    Feel free to use gelatine sheets in this recipe too. In that case, use 3 1/2 sheets. Soak them in cold water before using them.
  • panna cotta mixture

    In a saucepan, combine milk, heavy cream, sugar, a pinch of salt, vanilla paste, and optionally add the Limoncello or Amaretto. Set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and set aside for 5 minutes. Add the bloomed gelatine, and stir vigorously to incorporate. The gelatine should melt in the hot mixture.

  • fill the molds, cool, and serve

    Pour the Panna Cotta mixture into four panna cotta molds (or ramekins). Bring to room temperature by setting aside for a couple of minutes, then transfer to a fridge for 4 - 6 hours, or overnight. To serve, carefully dip the Panna Cotta mold in a bowl of warm water to loosen, and gently run a knife or small spatula around the edge. Turn each mold upside-down onto a serving plate. Serve cold with seasonal berries or macerated strawberries.


Thank you for visiting.