Panna cotta is having a moment

Once found almost exclusively on Italian restaurant menus, panna cotta seems to be bursting out everywhere, says Bon Appetit’s Genevieve Yam. She feels we are currently “living in panna cotta’s golden age—one where all sorts of restaurants are spinning the dessert into their own form.” What’s not to love? Panna cotta is infinitely variable, with opportunities to infuse loads of flavor into an easy-to-serve dessert.

Wild berry panna cotta from Authentic Italian Desserts by Rosemary Molloy

It’s a wonderful make ahead dessert, lighter than its cousin posset but still silky and cool, and it is easy to scale up or down. Those qualities make it attractive for restaurants that don’t have the room or staff to make elaborate plated desserts, but conveniently they also make panna cotta ideal for home cooks. With a few attractive garnishes you can impress your family or guests without breaking a sweat or breaking the bank.

The EYB Library has enough online panna cotta recipes that you could make a different one every day for over a year and a half and never repeat. Although the vast majority of the recipes are for desserts, clever folks have developed some savory ones to serve as a fun appetizer. Panna cotta is generally gluten-free, and while there are only a handful marked as vegan in the Library, it’s a dessert that is ripe for converting to vegan using dairy alternatives and vegan gelatin. Here are a few highlights of the hundreds of panna cotta recipes from the Library:

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  • lkgrover  on  June 30, 2022

    I think panna cotta (and similar American-style pudding & mousse) are ideal summer desserts, because I can make them quickly on the stovetop. No added heat from the oven!

  • hillsboroks  on  June 30, 2022

    I discovered panna cotta many years ago in Bon Appetit magazine and have had great fun serving different variations, usually with a fancy fruit compote. It is the perfect make-ahead summer dessert but is delightful any time of the year.

  • Pennyc07  on  July 8, 2022

    I recently enjoyed small glasses of panna cotta at the breakfast buffet in a hotel in Italy. Thanks for the reminder to make it!

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