This spectacularly creamy Coconut Panna Cotta is extremely easy to make, similar in texture to a classic panna cotta, and has no refined sugars, and is paleo, dairy-free and vegan-friendly! It’s a healthy dessert perfect for breakfast/brunch too!
Have you guys tried Panna Cotta before?
My first panna cotta was one I made many years ago, after seeing it on TV. It sounded fancy, but seemed pretty simple, and I decided to give it a go. I made a classic panna cotta with passion fruit, and it was love at first sight and taste!
I’ve shared a few different versions of panna cotta on the blog before – like this white chocolate and coconut panna cotta with hibiscus, butterscotch and chocolate panna cotta, and more recently, this creamy matcha panna cotta with mango passion fruit compote!
As you too will find out when you start making it, panna cotta is ridiculously easy to make! And it tastes delicious, so it’s a fantastic dessert to impress friends, family and guests with not much effort and marvel at your culinary genius! 😉 But once you know the basics, it’ll be even more fun to experiment with flavors and such.
So today, I’ll be sharing with you guys a creamy and healthy Panna Cotta made with Coconut milk served 3 ways – with passion fruit, or raspberries, or granola! So this coconut panna cotta with fruit is perfect as a dessert (duh!), but it’s also healthy and great for breakfast too! Dessert for breakfast anyone?
So what is panna cotta?
Panna cotta is an Italian dessert which literally translates to “cooked cream”. It’s a molded dessert, traditionally made of sweetened/flavored cream and hardened with gelatin. Even though it means cooked cream. it’s only heated to the point of dissolving the sugar, and then the gelatin. A classic panna cotta is never “boiled”.
How is this coconut panna cotta recipe different?
This recipe is for panna cotta is made with coconut milk and NO refined sugars. So it’s dairy free and refined sugar free. Which makes this a PALEO COCONUT PANNA COTTA! You can of course use regular sugar for this recipe, or use honey, or coconut sugar, or agave, or maple syrup instead as well.
This paleo coconut panna cotta isn’t vegan, but it’s easily adaptable to be made vegan too. Simply replace gelatin with agar agar. The texture will be a little different to a classic panna cotta, but the taste will be the same!
Another reason why this paleo coconut panna cotta recipe is different is that this recipe is the CLOSEST in texture to a classic panna cotta. I’ve found that a lot of recipes online use too much gelatin, causing the panna cotta to be more jelly-like, rather than custard-like, which a traditional Italian panna cotta is. This coconut panna cotta on the other hand is perfectly creamy and delicate, with a custard-like texture than a jello dessert.
What kind of coconut milk to use for this recipe
It is important to use the right kind of coconut milk for this recipe too. I like to use canned coconut milk, and I choose a brand where the coconut milk doesn’t separate into two layers. The coconut milk is emulsified better, and remains homogeneous. Coconut milk that separates into two separate layers as it sits, will not work in this recipe. You coul also use coconut milk that is sold in cartons (like blue diamond unsweetenend coconut milk), although I have not tried this.
How to serve this panna cotta?
This recipe is very versatile. Here I’m showing you just 3 simple ways to serve this delicious dessert.
- Coconut panna cotta with a tropical twist with passion fruit syrup (made with honey).
- Coconut panna cotta with macerated raspberries (or any other type of berry) – a great every day choice.
- Coconut panna cotta with almond granola. This is perfect for breakfasts and brunches! Combine this with a fruit compote and it’ll be like a breakfast pudding parfait!
But you’re more than welcome to try different flavor options! Try some other fruit combinations like lychee, strawberries, peaches, pineapple, mango or lemon curd. Or try it with different granola flavors, maybe some dark chocolate, or even a caramel sauce flavored with some booze! 🙂
You can serve this paleo coconut panna cotta in serving glasses. This is the easiest way to serve it because you can simply top it with fruits, granola etc. and serve individual-sized portions. OR you can also unmold this panna cotta onto a serving plate too. But keep in mind that if you are planning on unmolding this panna cotta onto a serving dish, then use metal or silicone molds to prepare the panna cotta, because this way it’ll be a lot easier to release the panna cotta later, or use a little extra gelatin to make the panna cotta stiffer.
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Coconut Panna Cotta
Coconut panna cotta
- Coconut oil to brush the molds (if you want to unmold the panna cotta)
- 6 cups serving cups or molds
- 1 packet gelatin approximately 10 grams, or 2 1/2 tsp
- ¼ cup water
- ½ cup almond milk
- ⅓ cup honey ½ cup sugar
- 2 ¼ cup coconut milk homogeneous coconut milk from a can. Not the kind that separated into two layers.
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
Passion Fruit Syrup
- ⅓ cup of passion fruit pulp about 2 - 3 fruits
- 2 tbsp honey
- ¾ cup whole raspberries (or frozen is fine too) or more
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp lemon juice
Granola, as needed
Coconut Panna Cotta
- If you're using molds to unmold the panna cotta before serving - gently rub the inside of the molds with some coconut oil. However, if you plan to serve the panna cotta in the serving cups, then you don't need to grease the sides.
- Sprinkle the gelatin over the ¼ cup of water. Stir gently and allow the gelatin to bloom for 10 minutes.
- Place the milk, honey and coconut milk in a saucepan. Heat gently while stirring to mix in the honey completely.
- When the milk mixture is just starting to steam (DO NOT BOIL!), remove the saucepan off the heat, and add the bloomed gelatin and stir to completely dissolve the gelatin. Then stir in the vanilla.
- Place the serving cups or molds on a small tray that will fit in your fridge. Pour the milk mix evenly into the serving cups or molds - about ½ cup of liquid per serving. But if you want to serve larger portions, that's fine too! Allow the panna cotta to cool down, and then cover the serving cups with plastic wrap. Place the tray in the fridge overnight to set. These can be made up to 3 days in advance, but keep the panna cotta covered in the fridge during that time.
If the panna cotta is going to be served in serving cups
- Top the panna cotta with fruit compote, sauce or granola.
If the panna cotta is going to be served unmolded
- Take a large bowl and fill it with hot tap water. Place the metal or silicone mold in the water (make sure the hot water is touching the bottom and the sides of the mold) and gently move it in circles for about 5 seconds to loosen the panna cotta. Use a thin blade knife to loosen the edges/sides of the panna cotta, ONLY if needed.
- Place the mold over the serving dish, and shake or tap gently to unmold.
- Serve the coconut panna cotta with fruit compote, sauce or granola.
Passion Fruit Sauce
- Mix and passion fruit pulp and honey until well combined.
- Spoon over the panna cotta.
- Mix the raspberries, honey and lemon. Crush the raspberry gently (do not puree, keep the compote chunky), and mix well.