That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta #VanillaWeek

Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta

Home Β» 900+ Best Dessert Recipes Β» Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta

Don’t you just love desserts with visible vanilla bean seeds? Like creme brulee or this splendid vanilla bean panna cotta?  This beautiful layered custard dessert will have jaws dropping from its gorgeous presentation and its dreamy flavor and texture.

Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta #VanillaWeek

Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta

It was The Daring Bakers group that encouraged me to make my first panna cotta years ago. I had never eaten this Italian dessert, which translates to cooked cream, till I created my own.

For this recipe, the silky, egg-free custard that characterizes panna cotta, was thickened with gelatin and flavored with white chocolate and  Nieslen-Massey’s Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste. Half of the panna cotta was topped with a raspberry sauce and the others with fresh berries and mint. A veritable hit with the two pickiest members of the household!

Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta

Inspired by an Italian Meal in New Zealand

Our family took a holiday to New Zealand over Nick’s college break. One of our favorite meals was at a tiny, family-owned restaurant in Rotorua called Leonardo’s. We stuffed ourselves silly with bruschetta, lamb, and pasta.

I’m certain the boys ordered something chocolate for dessert, but it was their raspberry topped panna cotta that caught my attention. I remember my previous attempt being more like jello than custard, and their version was quite the opposite.

Sweet and juicy macerated raspberries spilled across the top of the inverted custard and made for a memorable presentation. I knew I’d need to recreate this stellar dessert at home.

Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta

My Interpretation

You will not see the results from the mini panna cotta experiment in brioche molds. I dipped the exterior of one of these in hot water in an attempt to release the dessert from its metal form. It wouldn’t budge. And then I dipped it again and flipped it over onto a serving plate where it sank into a blob. Too much heat and not enough jell yielded a sloppy mess.. Thank goodness I had predicted this possible scenario and divided the rest of the custard mixture into glassware as Plan B. Proper refrigeration and no dipping allowed these to firm up just right. The vanilla bean paste perfectly complemented the white chocolate as the flavorings for this dessert. I think I hit a home run with these babies!

Hi and welcome to #VanillaWeek hosted by Terri from Love and Confections. I am so excited about this week-long event. Red velvet and chocolate are everywhere this time of year, and the #VanillaWeek Bloggers have come together to focus on one of our favorite flavors – Vanilla. We hope you join us throughout the week where we will be sharing vanilla recipes from breakfasts, drinks, desserts and even savory dishes! Also, don’t forget to enter below for our big #VanillaWeek giveaway! CLOSED.

 Nielsen-Massey graciously supplied us with a variety of quality products to use in our recipes. I love the dropped jaws when my friends spot the 32-ounce container of their stellar vanilla extract in my pantry. Nielsen-Massey products can be purchased at Williams-Sonoma. All Nielsen-Massey products are gluten-free, allergen-free, GMO-free and Kosher. And if you prefer to go organic, Nielsen-Massey has you covered with a line of organic products. I used both Nielsen-Massey vanilla and Dixie Crystals sugar in my #VanillaWeek desserts. Thanks to Bob’s Red Mill, Silpat and Quirk Books for their generous gifts, too.


Yield: 6 servings

Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta

Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta

White chocolate and vanilla bean paste flavor this luscious panna cotta

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Total Time 27 minutes


  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar (I used Dixie Crystals)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Bean Paste
  • 1 package of unflavored, powdered gelatin (Knox)
  • 3 tablespoons water to bloom the gelatin
  • 1-1/4 cups plain Greek yogurt
  • 10 ounces white chocolate, chopped
  • Raspberry sauce or fresh berries to garnish, optional


  1. Add the cream, sugar and salt to a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Once the liquid is heated through and sugar is dissolved, remove from heat and stir in vanilla bean paste. Sprinkle the gelatin over a small bowl containing 3 tablespoons of water and as soon as it softens, whisk the gelatin mixture into warm cream mixture till dissoved. Whisk in yogurt.
  2. Gently melt the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl, stopping to stir at 30 second intervals till smooth and melted. Let cool a bit before adding it to the cream mixture. Whisk till well combined.
  3. Carefully pour into glasses or ramekins. Garnish with raspberry sauce, berries and mint if desired.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 602 Total Fat: 30g Saturated Fat: 18g Trans Fat: 1g Unsaturated Fat: 9g Cholesterol: 62mg Sodium: 209mg Carbohydrates: 60g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 56g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 25g

You might also enjoy:

Strawberry Vanilla Smoothies from Life Tastes Good

Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Strawberry Gelee

Perfect Vanilla Cheesecake

The Giveaway! Now CLOSED



 Disclosure: Nielsen-Massey Vanillas, Bob’s Red Mill, Silpat, Quirk Books, and Dixie Crystals/Imperial Sugar are providing the prizes free of charge. These companies are also providing bloggers with samples and products to use for #VanillaWeek. All opinions stated are my own.

Note: This post may contain affiliate links; view my Disclosure Policy for details. I earn a small percentage from any purchase you make by clicking on these links at no extra cost to you.

35 comments on “Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta”

  1. Simply delicious! I love raspberry sauce.

  2. So pretty with the fresh fruit, but I think I’ll have one with the raspberry sauce please:@)

  3. SImply damn delicious and fancy vanilla bean panna cotta….
    fyi, Indonesia is one of the largest vanilla bean exportir, but we rarely seen it in the market thou..

  4. My kind of dessert…and you did it so beautifully! Will need to try this one soon, or maybe this could be my birthday dessert this year…it has everything I love and nothing I don’t! πŸ™‚

  5. Delectable Liz:) What an aromatic event. I think I can smell the scent of vanilla from here. I’ve never tried Vanilla Bean Paste. I think it’s high time I do though. I’m curious, is it colorless?

    Thanks for sharing, Liz…

  6. This looks awesome Liz! I want to lick the screen your pictures are so pretty!

  7. I made panna cotta yesterday too and styled my photo with the exact same tea towel (Crate & Barrel Valentine’s Day 2014 catalogue :p). Your photos made me smile. Great minds think alike?

  8. Sweet and delicious and raspberries are the perfect little tart compliment to this dessert.

  9. Your panna cotta is just gorgeous, Liz!

  10. What a pretty dish! I love panna cotta — such nice flavor. The raspberry sauce is an inspired idea. Thanks for this.

  11. Panna Cotta, a recipe so easy and so complicated! So easy because is easy to make it and complicated because there is so many ways to cook it and a only a few are gorgeous ! Yours looks terrific Liz !
    Like a lot the Vainille’s idea !

  12. I love a really good vanilla ice cream. The bean seeds are a must.

  13. These look so good. I’m a sucker for panna cotta and would choose it over pudding anytime.

  14. What a gorgeous treat! I’ve never made panna cotta, but it looks like a decadent treat!

  15. Oh dear, Liz! Sorry that your attempt in the brioche molds slumped into a blob!
    You got there in the end, though. I love the idea of making a panacotta with Greek yoghurt!

  16. Liz, this vanilla bean panna cotta is GORGEOUS! I have yet to make some myself but now that I have the Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Bean Paste, I’ve got to try this right?! love this, so beautiful and elegant looking!

  17. I love pannacota…and yours look so pretty with the layer of berry sauce and fresh berries…I like the idea of using yogurt…
    Hope you are having a great week Liz πŸ™‚

  18. LOVE the color. This is so perfect for Valentine’s Day

  19. White chocolate + vanilla bean = total perfection in one cup. Love it so much, Liz!

  20. This is an amazing recipe! I can’t wait to make this

  21. Beautiful panna cotta with a luscious raspberry sauce. Wish I had these for my dessert tonight! πŸ™‚

  22. Aside from such a delicious recipe, these photos are absolutely gorgeous!! I love the styling with both toppings. So beautiful, Liz!

  23. For some reason when I made paΓ±na cotta, it didn’t turn out. You have inspired me to try it again. Vanilla week is a great idea!

  24. oh! This panna cotta looks amazing! I love the raspberry sauce! It must be delicious! Can’t wait to give your recipe a try!
    Have a wonderful day, Liz!

  25. Such a pretty panna cotta, I love the raspberry layer!

  26. WOW it looks so delicious and yummy! Love your pictures!

  27. I love Panna Cotta Liz. I’m inspired to make some now πŸ™‚

  28. Honestly my favorite vanilla flavored food is vanilla ice cream…Although your panna cotta does look sublime, Liz =)

  29. This looks amazing! Going to a dinner party tomorrow and may just have to bring this along!

  30. Wow Liz this is a stellar dessert!

  31. So pretty and perfect for Valentines Day.

  32. This panna cotta looks creamy and dreamy. πŸ™‚ Australia and New Zealand are on my bucket list…someday I hope to get there. I would like to travel there like you did with your kids when they are old enough to totally appreciate it all. πŸ™‚

  33. What a lovely panna cotta, it looks delicious πŸ˜€

    Choc Chip Uru

  34. At which point did you add the yogurt to the cream? Before heating? After?

    Sorry if you already included, but I really can’t find this step despite several read through.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.