Panna Cotta looks and tastes fancy but is quick and easy to make! The fresh berry sauce makes every creamy spoonful perfectly sweet and tangy.

We love these mini desserts for parties! Some of our favorites include chocolate mousse, these raspberry mousse cups, or mini cheesecakes. They are elegant and surprisingly simple.

Panna Cotta served in cups topped with berry sauce

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Panna Cotta Recipe:

I recreated this Panna Cotta after trying it in the Papa Haydn restaurant. It was love with the first spoonful, but my frugal self didn’t like paying $8/ serving. I could make 6 servings for that price tag at home! I actually like this homemade version more with the fresh berry sauce.

Good news! This Panna Cotta takes about 20 min to make before refrigeration. Easy, peasy!

Panna Cotta Dessert Recipe in a wine glass topped with berry sauce and basil leaf

What is Panna Cotta?

Panna Cotta is a creamy Italian jello/pudding like dessert. It has an incredibly smooth, melt-in-your-mouth texture like nothing else. The name means “cooked cream.” It is often served in restaurants removed from it’s cup onto a plate, but we prefer it served in cups topped with berry sauce. 

P.S. If you aren’t able to find the unflavored gelatin in the baking aisle of your grocery store, you probably weren’t looking hard enough (kidding). You can stock up on Amazon (affiliate link).

Ingredients for homemade panna cotta

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 (think: baby shower, bridal shower, church potluck, etc.).

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

Make ahead panna cotta in dessert cups

Toppings 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

Berry toppings for panna cotta with raspberries and strawberries

Watch How To Make Panna Cotta:

I hope you are excited to give this recipe a try! Be sure to report back and let me know how much you loved it.

Natasha's Kitchen Cookbook

Panna Cotta with Berry Sauce

4.99 from 361 votes
Author: Natasha Kravchuk
Panna Cotta with berry sauce drizzled over the top, with fresh berries to garnish.
Panna Cotta is an Italian dessert that looks and tastes fancy but is so quick and easy to make! The fresh berry sauce gives every creamy spoonful the perfect balance of sweet and tangy.
Prep Time: 4 hours 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 20 minutes

Ingredients 

Servings: 6 dessert cups

Ingredients for Panna Cotta:

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 1/2 tsp unflavored gelatin, (1 packet Knox gelatin)
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sour cream

Ingredients for 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

Instructions

How to Make Panna Cotta:

  • Off the heat, place 1 cup milk in a medium saucepan and sprinkle the top with 1 packet gelatin. Let stand 3-5 min or until gelatin is softened. Place pan over medium/low heat and stir until gelatin dissolves and mixture is steaming, about 4-5 min (do not boil).
  • Add 2 cups heavy whipping cream, 1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp sugar, 1 tsp vanilla, and a pinch of salt. Continue stirring for about 5 min until the sugar is fully dissolved and the mixture is steaming (do not boil). Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes.
  • Place sour cream in a medium bowl with a pouring lip. Whisking constantly, gradually add warm cream. Once the mixture is completely smooth, divide it into 6 wine glasses or 8 ramekins. Refrigerate until fully set; 4 to 6 hours.

How to Make Berry Sauce:

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

Notes

How to Turn out Panna Cotta:
If you made your panna cotta in ramekins and would like to un-mold it onto a serving plate, follow these steps:
Dip ramekins in a bowl of hot water for 5-10 seconds, making sure not to get hot water into the panna cotta dish. Quickly wipe the bottom of the ramekin.
Run a knife around the edge of the ramekin to break the seal from the dish.
Invert the ramekin over a serving dish. Gently tap the ramekin with a knife if necessary, and lift the dish away from the set Panna Cotta.

Nutrition Per Serving

1serving Serving436kcal Calories28g Carbs7g Protein34g Fat22g Saturated Fat2g Polyunsaturated Fat9g Monounsaturated Fat108mg Cholesterol73mg Sodium248mg Potassium1g Fiber23g Sugar1382IU Vitamin A3mg Vitamin C162mg Calcium0.2mg Iron
Nutrition Facts
Panna Cotta with Berry Sauce
Serving Size
 
1 serving
Amount per Serving
Calories
436
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
34
g
52
%
Saturated Fat
 
22
g
138
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
2
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
9
g
Cholesterol
 
108
mg
36
%
Sodium
 
73
mg
3
%
Potassium
 
248
mg
7
%
Carbohydrates
 
28
g
9
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
Sugar
 
23
g
26
%
Protein
 
7
g
14
%
Vitamin A
 
1382
IU
28
%
Vitamin C
 
3
mg
4
%
Calcium
 
162
mg
16
%
Iron
 
0.2
mg
1
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: panna cotta, panna cotta recipe
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $
Calories: 436

If you make this recipe, I’d love to see pics of your creations on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Hashtag them #natashaskitchen

Panna cotta in dessert cups

Make this for someone you love. The flavor and texture are incredible and it’s a memorable treat!

This Panna Cotta with berry sauce is AMAZING! A quick and easy recipe that can be made in advance (perfect for entertaining!) The secret ingredient... | natashaskitchen.com

Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved and tested recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

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Recipe Rating




Comments

  • Fion
    April 5, 2024

    I’m making this tonight for tomorrow night, should I make the berry sauce in advance or dose it have to be warm when pouring on the panna cotta?

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      April 5, 2024

      Hi there! I’ve have made the recipe and refrigerated it for two days before, but I suggest adding the fruit topping the same day it is served. I wouldn’t hold it for longer than that.

      Reply

  • Stella
    March 21, 2024

    This recipe is always a hit. I have made it several times. Thank you! Can I just say how much I appreciate that you put the measurements in the instructions unlike every other recipe. I never have to scroll up to the ingredients list to see the measurement. Thank you for considering that when writing your recipes.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      March 21, 2024

      I’m so happy to hear that is helpful, Stella! Thank you so much for sharing that with me.

      Reply

  • Christina
    January 14, 2024

    Do you think it would be possible to make these into boozy panna cotta shots? If so, what would you try first?

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      January 14, 2024

      Hi Christina! I have not tested anything like that. Sorry I can’t be more help.

      Reply

  • Lynda Welch
    December 31, 2023

    I just made this and substituted monk fruit sugar. I put a dollop of coulis on the bottom of the glass and added the mixture over top. It’s been 7 hours and it hasn’t set. It looks like pudding.

    While I’m sure it will be delicious, what do you feel was the culprit?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 1, 2024

      Hi Lynda, it’s hard to say without being there, but any substitutions can alter the outcome. I recommend trying the recipe as written to see if you get a better result. I wish I could be more helpful.

      Reply

  • Rae
    December 15, 2023

    Hello, i was wondering How far in advance can they be made? Will they be ikay in the fridge for 5 days?

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      December 15, 2023

      Hi Rae! I’ve refrigerated it for two days before, but I suggest adding the fruit topping the same day it is served. I wouldn’t hold it for longer than that.

      Reply

  • Fatima
    December 13, 2023

    Can we use vegan gelatin instead? would it alter the taste? and what brand would you suggest? Thank you 😊

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      December 13, 2023

      Hi Fatima! I haven’t ever tested that. I assume it would work. Please us know if you experiment.

      Reply

  • Natasha
    November 19, 2023

    Hi Natasha!
    Do you think the cream can be chilled on an angle, ie, is it firm enough for those ‘angular’ presentations? Thank you! Can’t wait to try.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      November 20, 2023

      Hi Natasha! Yes, they can be. I hope you love this recipe!

      Reply

  • Cathie
    November 15, 2023

    I love this recipe! I have made it several times and it is always a hit with friends!
    Today I made it with 3/4 cup of pumpkin and light spices of ginger, nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon. Delicious! Thank you for a great recipe!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      November 16, 2023

      You’re very welcome, Cathie! I’m so glad you love it.

      Reply

  • Kelly
    October 8, 2023

    First, let me say that I’ve never heard of Panna Cotta before seeing it on your site. That being said, after making it far more than I care to admit over the last couple months…. It’s by far my favorite dessert now. I’m a firm believer of sticking to the recipe, as written, for the first several times. Having made it 5-6 times now, I’ve only changed 2 processes that elevated it. I found that the thing I loved the most was the light and creamy texture of the custard, so to maintain that texture… I ran an immersion blender through the sauce after it finished on the stove and pushed it through a sieve. The resulting sauce was seedless and blissfully smooth as it pours on top of the custard. The only other thing I modified was waiting til I removed the finished cream from the heat to add the vanilla. By waiting to add the vanilla until it’s done being heated, it retains more of the vanilla flavor. Anyway… you rock and this recipe is outstanding. Thank you!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      October 9, 2023

      Thank you for sharing, Kelly! So glad you loved this recipe.

      Reply

    • Margaret
      November 14, 2023

      Hi, I’ve never made pannacotta with sour cream before, but would like to try it.I usually make coffee flavour just by adding espresso powder when heating the cream. Do you think this would work with the sour cream flavour?

      Reply

      • Natasha's Kitchen
        November 14, 2023

        I haven’t really tested that to advise.

        Reply

  • Madeline
    October 7, 2023

    FANTASTIC! Even my mom who doesn’t like pudding loved it!

    I doubled the Berry sauce and it was perfect. I also didn’t have regular milk, so used half a cup of water to soften the gelatin.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      October 7, 2023

      Hi Madeline! Thank you for the feedback, I’m
      glad you loved the recipe.

      Reply

  • Travenus
    October 7, 2023

    My family loves it.
    The past few.times I have noticed it is getting a film on top after cooled. Is this because I forgot to let it cool 5 min before adding to the sour cream?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      October 8, 2023

      HI Travenus, that could be – I like to give it 5 minutes before adding the sour cream and I haven’t seen a film forming. Also, it could happen if substituting any of the ingredients.

      Reply

  • Inga
    September 23, 2023

    My go to recipe. I made this with half and half and added an extra packet of gelatin. Turns out lighter and just as tasty. I also double this regularly.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      September 24, 2023

      Thanks so much for sharing and we’re glad that this is your go-to recipe!

      Reply

  • Lenora
    August 12, 2023

    Have made this multiple times , no fail ever with regular or lactose free dairy . Everyone loves it and asks for it.
    2 questions
    Can u double with no issues?
    Second I have anxiety with directions that say … when steaming…. Would love an actual temperature to guide me

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      August 12, 2023

      Hi Lenora! I’m so glad you loved it! I do think this would work to double the recipe. It will take a little longer to bring the mixture to the steaming point. I recommend watching the video and watching the pot, I don’t have a temperature measurement, but I’ll try to remember to grab that next time I make it.

      Reply

  • Rachel K
    June 13, 2023

    I will be making this again! So easy yet it’s a show stopper. Hubby really appreciated it and I got to feel like a Masterchef. 😉

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      June 13, 2023

      That’s wonderful Rachel! Thank you for the review.

      Reply

  • Rachel Ansell
    June 8, 2023

    My husband told me it’s the best dessert I’ve ever made him! I made these for a dinner party and they were a huge hit.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      June 8, 2023

      Thanks for sharing that with us! So happy that you guys enjoyed it!

      Reply

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