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!
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.
Next, we divide the mixture between serving jars and transfer them to the refrigerator to set. We told you it’s easy, right?
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!
Once the panna cotta has cooled, it becomes a little firm and bouncy and is ready for topping with the berry mixture and enjoying!
We hope you LOVE this vegan panna cotta! It’s:
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
- Easy Vegan Flan
- Raw Fruit Crisp (10 Minutes!)
- Fudgy Tahini Date Chocolate Bars
- Easy No-Bake Chocolate Chip Cookies
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!
Vegan Panna Cotta with Mixed Berries
- 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*)
- 3 cups fresh or frozen mixed berries (we like blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries)
- Fresh mint leaves
- 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.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with 1 cup each of blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries.