Homemade Panna Cotta Recipe- Paleo and Allergy Friendly Options, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Vegan Option

Cashew milk panna cotta topped with homemade chocolate sauce drizzle, redbud flowers,
and garnished with clementine segments and coconut flakes

I mentioned the other day that I bought 2.2 lbs of gelatin in bulk- I never expected I'd put it to use this quickly!

My neighbor is coming over for lunch tomorrow, and I wanted to make a tasty dessert to serve after the meal, but I had a bit of a dilemma. You see, my neighbor is allergic to nuts and many raw fruit- the very things that I typically use to make my desserts, since I don't eat dairy, gluten, grains, egg, or white sugar. Coming up with a dessert that everyone at the table would be able to eat was a challenge, and a friend recommended coconut milk panna cotta, and sent me the link to this recipe.
I'd never heard of panna cotta before, but it sounded terrific- its an Italian milk or cream based jello, essentially, and it could be flavored a variety of ways.
I made some homemade coconut milk to make panna cotta... and then found out that my guest might also be allergic to coconut, but isn't to cashews, so then made some cashew milk.
Because of that, I ended making two versions of this same dish- one with cashew milk, and one with coconut milk. One sweetened with maple syrup, one with white sugar. Both different, both delicious.
I recommend this dessert to anyone- since it can be made with whatever milk you can use/have available, and with whatever sweetener you like- and can be made vegan with agar agar- according to this site, replace the gelatin with 1 teaspoon powdered agar, and instead of heating the milk until it steams as in step two, bring it to a boil and let it boil, mixing constantly, for 30 seconds.

I've seen panna cotta made with fennel, which inspires me to make some wild fennel infused panna cotta next time. It also inspired me to top my panna cotta with foraged edible sweet and sour redbud flowers.

 To make your panna cotta fancier and even tastier, top with chopped up fruit, edible flowers, nuts or shredded coconut, or drizzle with syrup. I made homemade chocolate syrup to drizzle on ours.

Coconut milk panna cotta topped with redbud flowers and garnished with chocolate sauce.

Don't forget to oil the sides of your molds- I didn't, which caused some of mine to break...

Of course, with the right plating, even broken panna cotta can look purposeful and fancy, so even if yours does break upon removal from the mold, it is still salvageable.

Homemade Panna Cotta Recipe- Paleo and Allergy Friendly Options, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Vegan Option

1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin (I use fish gelatin)
4 cups homemade coconut milk, cashew milk, almond milk, cow milk, or any other milk of choice
1/3-1/2 cup maple syrup, honey, coconut sugar, jaggery syrup, white sugar, or sweetener of choice, or stevia to taste
1 pinch vanilla powder or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pinch salt
Oil for greasing
Fruit, flowers, or syrup of choice for topping.

1. Mix the gelatin with 1 cup of the milk, and let sit for 15 minutes to soften. If using a crystallized sugar, add it at this point as well to give it time to dissolve,

2. Heat up the gelatin and milk mixture on a medium/low heat, mixing constantly, until the gelatin (and sugar, if using) is completely dissolved, and it starts steaming.

3. Add the rest of the milk, and add the sweetener if you didn't before, as well as the salt and vanilla, and mix well.

4. Grease your molds with a little bit of oil (yes, even if they're made if silicon or other non stick materials) and then pour your milk mixture into them.

5. Let cool in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours to fully set.

6. Slide a knife along the edges of the mold to assist in releasing it from the mold, and overturn it on to a serving dish. Alternatively, you can just serve them in your molds, and top them in there- its just less fancy that way.

7. Drizzle with syrups, top with fruit and flowers, and enjoy! Make sure the syrups being used are completely cold as well or they will cause the panna cotta to melt.

Have you ever had or made panna cotta before? What was it made with? What topping did it have? Does this look like a recipe you'd try? Which version would you make?

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal


Thank you for leaving a comment on your blog. Comments are moderated- please be patient to allow time for them to go through. Opposing opinions are permitted, discussion and disagreements are encouraged, but nasty comments for the sole purpose of being nasty without constructive criticisms will be deleted.
Just a note- I take my privacy seriously, and comments giving away my location or religion are automatically deleted too.

  1. I've made often a mousse using agar - my favorite is coffee mousse You can find this recipe in many macro cookbooks. I got mine from
    the Whole World Cookbook from the editors of East West Journal. One can use sweetened water with rice syrup instead of apple juice

    1 quart apple juice
    5 Tablespoons agar flakes
    1 Tablespoon dry instant grain coffee
    pinch sea salt
    2 Tablespoons tahini
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 Tablespoon barley malt
    several walnuts, shelled

    Place apple juice in a saucepan over medium heat and sprinkle in agar
    flakes, stirring with a wire whisk. Turn up heat and bring liquid to
    a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring constantly.
    Dilute grain coffee in a little cool apple juice. Add diluted coffee
    and salt, remove from heat and let cool until set. (I put salt in at

    When mixture has jelled, put in blender along with tahini, vanilla,
    and barley malt (I omit malt). Blend briefly until smooth. Pour
    into wine glasses and chill. Decorate with toasted walnuts



  3. Thank you for sharing this recipe. I have some house guests coming over Easter and I was thinking of a dairy free desert that would seem a bit fancier than my usual go to's.

  4. Has anyone tried this with stevia?

Previous Post Next Post