This panna cotta has everything that you would ever want in a dessert! Its silky, creamy texture combined with the sweet taste of berries is like a little piece of heaven!

I love any dessert that is creamy and pudding-like!! If you love desserts like this too then you should for sure try out this Easy Creme Brûlée, Flan, and this yummy Croissant Bread Pudding.

Panna cotta in a glass cup garnished with berries.

What is Panna Cotta?

The words Panna Cotta actually mean “cooked cream” in Italian! So, as you can now see, this dessert comes straight from the heart of Italy! Panna cotta is a delicious dessert that is made from cooking up some cream and gelatin. It has a similar texture to pudding, custard, or Creme Brûlée. The reason that panna cotta is different is that it uses gelatin instead of eggs. It is actually really easy to make!

This is a dessert that looks fancy but can be made even if you are not a master chef! It doesn’t take too long to put together. You just have to have the patience to wait overnight to eat it! But the presentation of it speaks for itself, it looks amazing! I also love how sweet it is! It’s so well balanced with the berries that it’s the perfect combo! You can serve this as a dessert to your main course or even bring it to a party or get-together. It’s a dessert that’s so delicious and will definitely impress all of your guests!

Ingredients in Panna Cotta

You will be surprised to know that it only takes a few ingredients to make this amazing panna cotta! It’s insanely delicious and simple to make! See the recipe card below for a list of exact ingredient measurements.

  • Half and Half: This is the cream that will become the base of the entire dessert!
  • Gelatin: I use unflavored gelatin so that the flavor of the cream can speak for itself!
  • Granulated sugar: This will add sweetness to the panna cotta.
  • Vanilla extract: If you want a deeper and a little bit stronger and more authentic vanilla taste then use some vanilla bean paste instead!
  • Salt: This will enhance all of the flavors of the other ingredients.

How to Make Panna Cotta

I love this dessert because it is easy to make and looks like a million bucks! It will fly off of the table because everyone is going to go crazy over it!

  1. Bloom the gelatin in the half and half: Start by blooming the gelatin in the half and half. Add the half and half to a medium sauce pan and sprinkle the gelatin evenly over the surface of it. Let sit for about 5 minutes or so, until the gelatin is dissolved.
  2. Heat mixture and add sugar: Place the pan over low heat and gently heat the mixture until steaming but be careful not to simmer or boil! After about 2 minutes, stir in the sugar and continue to heat for about 3-5 minutes while the sugar dissolves.
  3. Remove from heat, add in ingredients and chill: Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and salt. Divide evenly into your ramekins and chill in the fridge overnight.


  1. Place ramekins in hot water and loosen: If you would like to unmold your panna cotta, prepare a bowl or deep baking dish with hot water and place the ramekins in the hot water, just for 10-15 seconds. Run a knife right around the top rim of the ramekin to loosen the edge and invert onto a plate. It may need a slight jiggle to completely loosen it from the mold.
  2. Add berry sauce and serve: Serve immediate with the berry sauce or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Berry Sauce

  1. Mix ingredients, cook and store in fridge: In a medium sauce pan add the berries, sugar and lemon juice. Cook over medium low heat until the berries can be mashed. The liquid will then become thick and syrupy. Remove from the heat and cool completely. Store in the fridge until ready to serve.
5 pictures of step by step instructions on how to bloom gelatin and heat up berries.

Tips for Making the Best Panna Cotta

This dessert looks super fancy and is not too hard to make! I’ve come up with some tips that will help this turn out perfectly!

  • Dissolve the gelatin: Make sure that you are taking the time to bloom the gelatin! This means that you’re allowing it to absorb in the half and half. This can take about 3-5 minutes and you don’t want to skip this step! When you “bloom” gelatin then you are making it so that the end result of your dessert is ultra smooth.
  • Don’t let it boil: If you let your mixture come to a boil then it will never thicken. And this means that you won’t be able to set it or get the right texture to make this dessert! So watch it carefully as you are cooking it!
  • You don’t have to use a mold: If you won’t want to have to worry about getting your panna cotta out of a mold, then just pour it into containers that you plan on serving it in! Then, you can just skip the unmolding step altogether!

Top view of panna cotta.

How to Store Leftovers

If you are lucky enough to have leftovers of your panna cotta then you can store them for later! Go ahead and cover the top of each of your panna cotta with some plastic wrap. Or, if they aren’t in individual dishes then you can place them in an airtight container. They can be refrigerated for up to 3 days!

A spoon dipping into panna cotta.

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