Panna Cotta Recipe with Macerated Strawberries for a Double Dessert Delight!

If you’ve ever wondered what panna cotta is, let me tell you that it’s one of the simplest, most delicious desserts born from a tub of cream and a swig of milk in your fridge. Easy, right? RIGHT. Try this panna cotta recipe today!

What exactly is panna cotta?

An Italian dessert, panna cotta is essentially cooked sweetened cream which is then set with gelatine. It’s the perfect summer dessert. Ticking the boxes of cold, silky smooth and light. Eat it on its own or with berries, you can even add a sprinkle of crushed shortbread biscuits before serving for some crunch. So much yum.

Vanilla beans are tiny but mighty

It can be tempting to leave out the vanilla if you don’t have any, but I promise you, adding it in is worth it. Vanilla beans pack a powerful, aromatic touch to this dessert. Those little flecks of black seed throughout the white cream will have vanilla lovers coming back for more. If you don’t have a vanilla pod, you can use vanilla bean paste.

Vanilla bean panna cotta recipe

Makes: 6 portions


  • 1 ½ cups thickened cream
  • 1 ½ cups full-fat milk
  • 1 vanilla bean pod (or 1 tsp vanilla bean paste)
  • ½ cup caster sugar
  • 2 ½ tsp gelatine powder
  • Strawberries to serve


  1. Place both the milk and the cream in a saucepan. Using a sharp knife, slice opens the vanilla bean lengthways, then scrape the seeds from inside the bean. Add those tiny vanilla beans, plus the pod, to the cream mixture.
  2. Slowly bring the cream mixture to a boil over medium heat. Remove from the heat and set aside for 10 minutes.
  3. Use a spoon to remove the vanilla bean pod from the cream mixture. Add the sugar to the saucepan and return to low heat. Cook, stirring the pot, for five minutes or until all of the sugar has dissolved.
  4. Place 2 tablespoons of boiling water into a small heatproof bowl. Sprinkle the gelatine powder over the top. Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil and remove it from the heat. Sit the bowl of gelatine in the water and stir until the powder has dissolved. Let the gelatine mixture cool slightly before tipping it into the cream mixture.
  5. For making individual portions, you can either pour the panna cotta mixture into ramekins (or glasses) or you can use ½ cup moulds, just remember to lightly oil them first. Place the panna cotta desserts in the fridge for at least four hours to set.
  6. To serve, flip the mould onto a plate to release the panna cotta and top with fresh strawberries (or try macerated strawberries, yum!).
panna cotta recipe
This panna cotta recipe is perfect in ramekins or moulds. Source: Unsplash / Maddi Bazzocco & Bigstock

How to make macerated strawberries

Making macerated strawberries is really easy – it’s just strawberries and sugar – and it’s especially great for strawberries that aren’t as sweet as they could be. The sugar pulls the juice from the berries and forms a gorgeous, sweet syrup. It turns tasteless strawberries into beautiful sweet ones.

To make macerated strawberries, wash, hull and half strawberries and add them to a bowl. Sprinkle the strawberries with caster sugar – around a heaped tablespoon for a cup of fruit – and stir it through. Cover the bowl and let it sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. The longer they macerate, the softer the fruit becomes. Then simply spoon on top of the panna cotta recipe.

panna cotta recipe, macerated strawberries
Macerated strawberries are perfect for topping this panna cotta recipe. Source: Bigstock

Will you be giving this panna cotta recipe a try? Tell us in the comments below what your favourite summertime dessert is, we’d love to hear it – and it might just be featured as a future recipe!

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Avatar of Lexi Klaebe

South Australian mum and self proclaimed foodie, Lexi can most days be found in the kitchen, apron tied firm and armed with a whisk or wooden spoon!

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