Whole Milk Panna Cotta

Apparently somehow in life I had never had Panna Cotta. And I am not sure how that happened. Probably because I didn’t know anyone of Italian descent as a child and we didn’t eat out much as kids – and more so, it isn’t very often I get dessert when eating out anyways. It occurred to me that maybe I should try more old-school recipes and enjoy the simplicity of the flavors. And no, this Panna Cotta is not vegetarian. It has gelatin in it. Since I was making this for the boys, they were quite happy (and they got more protein).

Do not use low-fat milk. Just don’t. Enjoy it for what it is, a simple, rustic pudding that soothes you!

Whole Milk Panna Cotta Without Cream

Whole Milk Panna Cotta


  • 3 cups whole milk, divided
  • 2 tsp gelatin (about 1 packet)
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped, or 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch fine sea salt


Lightly oil 6 ½-cup ramekins, place on a rimmed baking sheet.

Pour ½ cup of the milk into a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin on top, let soften for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a tall saucepan, heat remaining milk, sugar, honey, vanilla, and salt over medium-high, to a simmer. Take off heat, whisk in gelatin mixture thoroughly.

Divide between ramekins, let sit on the counter for 10 minutes to cool a bit, then transfer to refrigerator. Chill for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.

To plate:

Run a thin metal spatula around the bowl. Top with a serving plate, gently flip over and tap gently on the bottom of bowl till it releases. Serve with handmade strawberry jam if desired.

Makes 6.

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  1. I made this with 2% because my husband forgot to get the heavy cream.
    It worked! I thought it wouldn’t set but it did. I’m sure its not as decadent as with whole milk or cream but it turned out with a flan texture and I’d totally do it again.

  2. Thank you for a yummy ending to my dinner party. I used buttermilk and lemon zest and topped with some h2o thinned marion berry preserves. Race reviews from all!!