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Easy Raspberry Panna Cotta

This creamy, super light Raspberry Panna Cotta is the perfect make-ahead dessert and incredibly easy to make.

Raspberry Panna Cotta

The holiday season is perfect for experimenting with new desserts you have never tried to make, and for some people that dessert is Christmas raspberry panna cotta. A fruity, creamy treat that takes far longer to set in the fridge than it does to assemble. Panna cotta, “cooked cream” in Italian, is a classic, and in spite of a bit of waiting time for it to set, it’s quick and delicious.

Making Raspberry Panna Cotta

It’s simple to do: make one batch of vanilla panna cotta (takes about 5 minutes to put together – so easy), pour into dishes and chill. Top with raspberry filling then with another batch of Panna Cotta mixture, then chill until ready! I like to hide the filling a bit so that only when you try the dessert do you realize that there was more to it than just the creamy Panna Cotta.

I also like it layered so that you can see the raspberry. Here I serve it in tiny dessert dishes with sprinkles of chocolate; you could serve a big crowd if you used these! The raspberry in this dish pairs well with red wine, likewise with the added chocolate sprinkles.

Raspberry Panna Cotta Ingredients

  • Heavy Cream
  • Sugar
  • Pure Vanilla Extract
  • Plain Powdered Gelatin
  • Cold Water
  • Raspberry Cake
  • Pastry Filling (or crushed fresh raspberries)
  • Chocolate Shavings (garnish)
  • Mint (garnish)

(Scroll down to the bottom for the printable recipe card with exact measurements and instructions.)

Raspberry Panna Cotta Recipe

Panna Cotta Hacks

The texture of panna cotta will depend on the amount of gelatin you use and it is typically a “just firm enough” dessert. It should wobble a bit, but if you are new to making this recipe you may find it tricky to get just the right consistency. This is common. If your panna cotta doesn’t “set” properly, try the mixture up again and adding more gelatin.

But do not bring the mix to a boil when reheating. Some feel panna cotta is too rich for them, and one popular hack is to swap half-and-half for the heavy cream. You could make this panna cotta recipe and feel it is TOO firm, which may typically be due to a bit too much gelatin in the mix.

Some people like to put their panna cotta in the freezer to set. If you try this, give it about half an hour in the freezer and check on it–chances are good it will be ready to come out of the freezer.

This recipe can be covered in plastic wrap and stored in the refrigerator for up to three days, though your experience may vary depending on a variety of factors including whether or not you have made substitutions in the recipe. And speaking of substitutions, some will want to know whether it’s possible to make this panna cotta recipe vegetarian or vegan-friendly.

Gelatin isn’t vegetarian, and the milk and cream obviously need to be substituted to make this a vegan-friendly dessert.

You can experiment with full-fat coconut milk, almond milk, and cornstarch as replacement menu items but when making this dessert a vegan or vegetarian-friendly option for the first time, do it without the pressure of having to serve it to guests. Make an experimental batch of raspberry panna cotta with these menu swaps before you’re on the hook to make one for others.

How Far in Advance can Panna Cotta be Made?

One the things about this dessert is that its perfect for making in advance since it needs to set in the fridge. Panna cotta is best prepared up to three or four days ahead and stored in the fridge. If panna cotta is stored any longer it may lose flavor or go rubbery.

Creamy Panna Cotta

Raspberry Panna Cotta

Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Additional Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 5 minutes

This Raspberry Panna Cotta has a surprise filling! It's delicious and simple to make for the holidays.


  • 4 cups heavy cream, divided
  • 1/2 cup sugar, divided
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, divided
  • 2 packets plain powdered gelatin, divided
  • 6 tablespoons cold water, divided
  • 1 cup Raspberry Cake & Pastry Filling (or use fresh raspberries, crushed)
  • chocolate shavings and some mint for garnishing, if desired


    1. Heat 2 cups of the heavy cream, 1/4 cup of sugar and 1 t vanilla in a saucepan, stirring occasionally until sugar is dissolved.
    2. Sprinkle 1 packet gelatin over 3 T cold water in a let stand at least 5 minutes.
    3. Stir the gelatin into the warm cream mixture until it’s completely dissolved.
    4. Pour into dessert molds or dishes, cover lightly and chill three hours.
    5. About 20 minutes before panna cotta in the fridge is set, repeat steps 1-3 with remaining cream, sugar, vanilla, water, and gelatin. Allow to cool to lukewarm while panna cotta in the fridge finishes setting.
    6. Remove panna cotta from the fridge. Spoon raspberry pastry filling over set panna cotta, dividing evenly between dishes (spread to edges to allow the filling to show through or leave in the center to “hide” filling).
    7. Gently pour cooled cream mixture over filling. Place back in the fridge and allow to set for 4-5 hours.
    8. Remove from the fridge when ready to serve. Garnish with shaved chocolate and sprigs of mint.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 364Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 98mgSodium: 64mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 1gSugar: 15gProtein: 4g

This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix.

More Delicious Panna Cotta Recipes

Kristy Bernardo
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Friday 21st of December 2012

Christmas Panna Cotta


Wednesday 19th of December 2012

Christmas Panna Cotta @thewickednoodle


Tuesday 18th of December 2012

I love the tenderness of panna cotta, though I've only made it with buttermilk. Your recipe sounds pretty good!

the wicked noodle

Wednesday 19th of December 2012

Thanks Nik!

Jen Laceda | Tartine and Apron Strings

Tuesday 18th of December 2012

My husband's favourite dessert of all time is panna cotta. I should indulge him and make more of these! Will try your recipe soon!

the wicked noodle

Wednesday 19th of December 2012

Let me know how you like it, Jen! xo

marina {yummymummykitchen}

Sunday 16th of December 2012

Gorgeous!!! Panna cotta is one thing I have never made. I think the time has come ;)

the wicked noodle

Monday 17th of December 2012

Let me know if you do, marina! xo

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