Vanilla Panna Cotta with Berry Sauce

This Vanilla Panna Cotta with Berry Sauce is a new favorite of mine! A rich, sweet, tangy, luscious, and creamy Italian dessert that is the perfect to wow your Valentine!

The cream is sweet and the berry sauce is just a little bit tart and they go perfectly together!It looks impressive but is actually easy to make! It’s also something that you can make in advance so you don’t need to be pulling a dessert together during date night!

What is panna cotta?

Panna cotta means ‘cooked cream’ in Italian. It includes very few ingredients, and is basically a simple mixture of cream, sugar, and vanilla. Gelatin is added to set the mixture and create a custard-like consistency. The final product is rich and silky smooth. Despite the heavy cream, this dessert is perfect as a light not-too-sweet dessert after a heavy meal. If you wish to make an even lighter panna cotta, you can replace some of the heavy cream with a lighter cream or milk. I tried it that way a few times and it was still very much delicious.

The traditional Italian panna cotta is such a lovely, simple, and easy to make dessert requiring only a few ingredients of cream, sugar, gelatin, and flavoring. From the classic dish with just a touch of vanilla, the luscious, silky cream is open to many lovely flavors restricted only by your imagination. No wonder this dessert is so loved. With its simplicity and versatility to make, it is a showstopper for a dinner party or at a family supper.

Can you freeze panna cotta?

Yes, you can! It keeps well in the freezer. Leave it overnight in the fridge to thaw throughly before using.

Is this a Make-Ahead Dessert?

YES! Panna Cotta can be made in advance so it is perfect for entertaining! Serve it in wine glasses at your next dinner party, or in tiny shot glasses for a larger gathering.

Add the berry sauce and garnish with basil if desired just before serving.

Topping SUGGESTIONS for Panna Cotta:

We love the berry sauce (strawberries, raspberries, lemon juice and a bit of sugar) because it ends up in every spoonful, but you can also top with:

  • Fresh Berries
  • Shaved Chocolate
  • Whipped Cream
  • Sliced stone fruit like peaches or cherries
  • Diced Mangos



Vanilla Panna Cotta:
1/4 cup cold whole milk
2 cup heavy cream
2 1/4 tsp unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
pinch of salt

Berry Sauce:
2 cups berries divided (I used 1 cup raspberries and 1 cup quartered or halved strawberries)
3 tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 tbsp lemon juice


To Make Vanilla Panna Cotta:

  1. Place cold milk in a small bowl and sprinkle gelatin over the surface in a single layer. Be sure not to pile it as that will prevent the crystals from dissolving properly. Let stand for 5-10 minutes to soften.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, heat cream, sugar, vanilla extract and salt on medium heat and bring just to a boil until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat. Stir in gelatin and immediately whisk until smooth and dissolved. If the gelatin hasn’t fully dissolved, return the saucepan to the stove and heat gently over low heat. Stir constantly and don’t let the mixture boil.
  3. Pour cream into 4 individual serving dishes. Refrigerate for at least 2-4 hours, or until completely set.

How to Make Berry Sauce:

  1. In a small sauce pan, combine 1 cup berries, 1/2 tbsp lemon juice and 3 tbsp sugar. Bring to a low boil and cook 4-5 min or until syrupy.
  2. Stir in remaining 1 cup of fresh berries and remove from heat. When syrup is at room temp or just barely warm, spoon it over the top of chilled panna cottas.


  1. To easily unmold panna cotta – Pour 1 cup of boiling water into a small bowl. Dip the bowl into the water for 3 seconds. Run a knife around the edges of the bowl and invert onto serving plates.
  2. Panna Cotta will keep for up to 3 days covered with plastic wrap and stored in the refrigerator.

Are you making this recipe? Then don’t forget to like and leave your comments for this recipe!  I LOVE to see your creations so snap a photo and tag BlendOfSpicesbySara on Instagram with the hashtag #blendofspicesbysara

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