panna cotta with berries on a blue plate

Vanilla Panna Cotta

  • Author: Lily Ernst
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 15 min
  • Total Time: 20 min
  • Yield: serves 4


This beautiful and luxurious vanilla panna cotta is made with just four simple ingredients. It’s ultra smooth and rich with a creamy vanilla taste.


  • 2 & 1/4 tsp (7g) unflavored powdered gelatin
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) cold water
  • 2 cups (480ml) heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp (5ml) vanilla extract


  1. Spray 4 ramekins with non-stick cooking spray. Then use a paper towel to wipe most of the oil, leaving only a light residue.
  2. Place the gelatin in a small bowl. Pour the water over top and let stand for 5-10 minutes to soften.
  3. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, heat the cream and sugar over medium heat, whisking frequently to dissolve the sugar. As soon as you see tiny bubbles appear around the edge and steam coming off the surface, remove from heat.
  4. Quickly whisk in the gelatin until completely dissolved (rub a bit of the cream between your fingers to make sure it’s smooth). Then str in the vanilla.
  5. Pour the cream mixture into the 4 prepared ramekins. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or until completely set.
  6. When ready to serve, dip each ramekin, 1 at a time, into a bowl of hot water for 5 seconds. Run a thin knife around the sides of the ramekin to separate the top edge of the panna cotta. Invert it onto the center of a small plate and shake it gently to help release it. If it does not come out, repeat the water bath for 3 seconds. You can also serve it straight out of the ramekins if you want to keep it simple.
  7. Serve with fresh fruit or fruit preserve if desired.


Panna cotta can be covered and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

  • Category: dessert
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: panna cotta recipe, vanilla panna cotta