Vegan Panna Cotta with Mixed Berries

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Jars of dairy free panna cotta topped with bubbly mixed berries and fresh mint leaves

Friends, say hello to an easy, elegant dessert perfect for berry season and warmer weather: panna cotta! Our plant-based spin on this classic Italian treat is vanilla-infused, rich and creamy like the real deal, plus beautiful! Prep it for a party or a week’s worth of solo desserts (because you deserve it). 

Bonus? It’s naturally sweetened and comes together fast with just 1 pan and 6 ingredients required! Let us show you how it’s done!

Coconut milk, maple syrup, agar agar, vanilla, salt, and mixed berries

What is Panna Cotta?

Panna cotta is an Italian dessert traditionally made from cream, sugar, gelatin, and flavors such as coffee or vanilla. The mixture is usually heated, poured into a mold, and allowed to set, which creates a thick, rich, and creamy dessert.

While the dish is thought to have originated in the 1900s in a region of northern Italy called Piedmont, the name panna cotta didn’t appear in Italian cookbooks until the 1960s. After that time, the dessert’s popularity spread and it’s now on menus throughout the world (including at fancy restaurants)!

How to Make Vegan Panna Cotta

Our inspired, vegan version swaps the cream for thick, full-fat coconut milk and the gelatin for agar agar powder. We heat the coconut milk along with maple syrup for sweetness, vanilla for classic flavor, and salt for balance.

Once the mixture is boiling, we whisk in the agar agar to dissolve it in the liquid.

Whisking coconut milk, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt

Next, we divide the mixture between serving jars and transfer them to the refrigerator to set. We told you it’s easy, right?

Pouring a warm coconut milk mixture into jars

Lastly, we prepare a simple berry topping by heating fresh or frozen mixed berries until they’re warm and bubbly. We love the flavor combination of berries, vanilla, and coconut, but feel free to get creative and top this dessert with virtually any of your favorite fruits!

Wooden spoon in a saucepan of mixed berries

Once the panna cotta has cooled, it becomes a little firm and bouncy and is ready for topping with the berry mixture and enjoying!

Adding warmed mixed berries over panna cotta

We hope you LOVE this vegan panna cotta! It’s:

Rich
Creamy
Fruity
Vanilla-infused
Quick & easy
& SO delicious!

It’s a simple yet elegant no-bake dessert perfect for warmer weather and berry season!

Too hot to do much cooking? Make it an Italian-inspired (almost) no-cook meal by pairing with our Heirloom Tomato Panzanella Salad, Sun-Dried Tomato and Basil Pinwheels, or Vegan Ricotta & Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Salad.

More Easy, No-Bake Desserts

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo @minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Fresh mint leaves in jars of vegan panna cotta with mixed berries

Vegan Panna Cotta with Mixed Berries

Rich and creamy vegan panna cotta with vibrant mixed berries! A beautiful dessert that’s SO quick and easy to make with just 1 pan and 6 ingredients!
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Close up shot of a jar of vegan vanilla panna cotta with a mixed berry compote
4 from 5 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 (Servings)
Course Dessert
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Italian-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 3-4 Days

Ingredients

PANNA COTTA

  • 1 (14 oz.) can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (amber, not dark for best color/flavor // or sub brown rice syrup)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp agar agar powder (not flakes*)

BERRIES

  • 3 cups fresh or frozen mixed berries (we like blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries)

GARNISH optional

  • Fresh mint leaves

Instructions

  • PANNA COTTA: Set out four small glasses, mason jars, or stemless wine glasses (we like small Weck jars // if adjusting the default number of servings, use fewer or more containers).
  • To a small-medium saucepan, add coconut milk, maple syrup (or brown rice syrup), vanilla, and salt and whisk to combine. Bring to a gentle boil over low-medium heat.
  • Once boiling, reduce heat to low, sprinkle in agar agar powder, and immediately whisk well. Let simmer for 2 minutes, whisking frequently.
  • Next, divide the mixture evenly between the glasses (~1/2 cup each) and place them in the refrigerator to set for at least 25-35 minutes, or until slightly bouncy to the touch.
  • BERRIES: Just before serving, prepare the berries. If using frozen berries, defrost in a small saucepan or in the microwave until no longer cold. If using fresh berries, place in a small saucepan and cook over low-medium heat, stirring occasionally, until a little bubbly and tender when pierced with a fork. Taste for sweetness, adding a little maple syrup if desired (we didn’t add any).
  • When ready to serve, top panna cotta with warmed mixed berries and (optionally) fresh mint leaves and enjoy!
  • Store leftover panna cotta in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Not freezer friendly.

Video

Notes

*If using agar flakes (vs. powder), you can try with 3/4 tablespoon flakes in place of 1/2 tsp powder, but we haven’t tested it that way and can’t guarantee results.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with 1 cup each of blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries.

Nutrition (1 of 4 servings)

Serving: 1 serving Calories: 281 Carbohydrates: 28.4 g Protein: 2.4 g Fat: 17.9 g Saturated Fat: 16.1 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2 g Monounsaturated Fat: 0 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 175 mg Potassium: 325 mg Fiber: 4.9 g Sugar: 20.1 g Vitamin A: 107 IU Vitamin C: 19 mg Calcium: 40 mg Iron: 1.1 mg

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  1. Kathy says

    I used 365 full fat coconut milk and it didn’t set for me. The next day I pulled my ramekins out of the fridge, let the mix warm to room temperature, added some chia seeds and pumpkin pie spice, stirred it up, waited a bit and put it back in the fridge. I think this is my new favorite dessert. Not at all what I planned to make, but so good! Hahahah. Thank you!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Kathy, sorry to hear that it didn’t thicken properly! Did you make any modifications? Is it possible it didn’t get heated enough? Agar needs to get dissolved in the liquid and simmered briefly to activate its ability to thicken.

      • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

        Oh no! We’re so sorry you had a negative experience, Sarah! Would you mind sharing the brand of agar and coconut milk you were using? And how long you cooked the mixture after adding the agar and whisking? We want to see if we can troubleshoot what went wrong!

  2. Atara Dahan says

    I used tapioca instead of agar. It didn’t mix with the coconut and just made sweetened coconut milk with globs of tapioca floating in it.
    Tried reheating it and using an immersion blender to mix in the tapioca.
    We’ll see how that goes.
    If it works out, I plan on using blueberry jam instead of berries because I couldn’t find any in the supermarket

  3. ARSx says

    Hello,

    I just made this and it separated into three layers – it tasted great just.. any advice?

    (Note: I whisked that mixture the entire time…)
    Thank you!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi there, it’s possible the brand of coconut milk you used caused some separation? Were the separate layers all the same texture or was there a layer of coconut cream/fat on top?

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Lisa, we haven’t tried that but it should work. The flavor might be slightly different, though. Let us know how it goes!

  4. Harriet says

    This was so yum! Had it last night at a dinner party and it went down very well. So easy and quick to make, but so impressive to serve. Loved it!

  5. Vicki says

    This was amazing!!! Perfect balance of flavors, not too sweet. So beautiful too. Definitely going to make this again.

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Sara, we haven’t tested it with gelatin, but would suggest ~2-3 times the amount. Let us know if you try it out!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Kaila, we haven’t tested with other thickeners, but it could work. Let us know if you do some experimenting!

  6. B. Lerner says

    I’m very interested in making the vegan panna cotta, but my husband is allergic to coconut. Do you know if there’s any good substitute that is also vegan?

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi, you could try another thick, dairy-free milk such as cashew oat milk, but we can’t guarantee it will thicken the same. Perhaps with more agar? Let us know if you try it!

  7. Sherrie says

    I’m wondering how strong the coconut flavor is with using the coconut milk…? Does it still have the more neutral/vanilla flavor of traditional panna cotta?

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Sahara, we aren’t sure if it will be as thick, but it might work. You could add more agar, if needed? Let us know if you try it out!

      • Batia says

        Just wanted to post an update . I made it with light coconut milk and the texture was wonderful. Not too bouncy, and not too hard . I used the same amount of agar as the recipe states . Thank you again for such an easy and delicious recipe

  8. Batia says

    Looks amazing . Will it work with lite coconut milk or oat milk or soy milk ? Trying to keep the calories down a little .

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Batia, we aren’t sure it would thicken enough. Perhaps with more agar? Let us know if you try it!