Buttermilk Vanilla Panna Cotta is an easy Italian buttermilk custard that is delicious and a great dessert to make for guests. This Italian custard is made up of buttermilk, heavy cream (just a little), vanilla and gelatin and honey is drizzled over the top before serving. This buttermilk custard is a great way to use up extra buttermilk that you may have and lighter than a traditional panna cotta since we are using mainly buttermilk.
About this Buttermilk Custard
Italian panna cotta (which means cooked cream in Italian) is a very easy Italian dessert from the Piedmont region of Italy that uses gelatin to hold the lightly cooked cream and ingredients together. To make this vanilla buttermilk panna cotta, you will only need a few ingredients and we make buttermilk the star flavor of the recipe.
This makes a great dessert to make ahead of time when you are having guest over since the panna cotta need time to chill and set up in the refrigerator.
This buttermilk panna cotta has a nice tangy flavor and it almost tastes like a frozen yogurt. I enjoy a little drizzle of honey on top but you can leave this out if you prefer.
Ingredients you will need
- Heavy Cream.
- Gelatin. I have used gelatin packets. If you do not have packets, I will give you ratios of how many gelatin sheets to use below.
- Water. This is to help dissolve the gelatin.
- Vanilla extract. You can also use vanilla beans if you prefer the pretty specs of vanilla in your panna cotta.
Tips for making perfect panna cotta
Panna cotta is a very easy Italian dessert to make but like all recipes, there is always room for error. Here are my tips for making panna cotta that comes out amazing everytime.
- Make sure to fully dissolve the gelatin in your cream mixture before adding it to an ice bath. If the gelatin is not dissolved fully, the panna cotta will not set up causing a grainy panna cotta.
- Let the panna cotta chill for as long as possible. You may be in a rush to eat this creamy Italian dessert but if you rush the setting up time, your panna cotta will not be as firm.
Toppings and flavors for panna cotta
Panna cotta is wonderful all on its own like with this simple panna cotta with strawberries, but you can also add wonderful flavors and get creative with it. Maybe a horchata panna cotta or mango panna cotta for the summer months.
You can also top your panna cotta with tasty additions. I love fresh fruit and honey.
You can also drizzle a little Italian coffee liquor on to your panna cotta or add fresh whipped cream.
There is no wrong way to add flavor or additions to this easy Italian dessert.
More Italian Desserts You May Like
Buttermilk Vanilla Panna Cotta
- 8 small ramekins
- 3 ½ cups Buttermilk
- ½ cup Heavy cream
- ⅓ cup Granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon powdered gelatin (or 4 sheets of gelatin.)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- honey and fresh fruit for serving optional
- Place the water in a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over the top. Stir to distribute, and set aside to soften 2 to 3 minutes.2 tablespoons water, 1 tablespoon powdered gelatin
- Get out your dishes that you will be pouring the panna cotta in and set aside.
- Half-fill a large bowl with ice and add enough water to make an ice bath and set aside.
- In a small saucepan, combine the buttermilk, cream and sugar and bring to a simmer over medium heat.3 ½ cups Buttermilk, ½ cup Heavy cream, ⅓ cup Granulated sugar
- Remove from heat, and whisk in the softened gelatin and the vanilla extract.½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Mix until the gelatin is fully dissolved. This may take a couple minutes.
- Once the gelatin is dissolved, set the saucepan in the ice bath (making sure the top of the saucepan is well above the surface of the water), and whisk until the mixture is lukewarm.
- Pour mixture into ramekins and chill at least 4 hours or overnight. If you’re going to keep them longer than overnight, cover them with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap gently against the panna cotta to prevent a skin from forming.
- When ready to serve, run a sharp knife along the edge of the panna cotta in the ramekin. Invert over a small serving dish. It may need a minute to release and you can help the panna cotta release from the ramekin with a few taps on the bottom of the ramekin.
- Optional: drizzle panna cotta with a little honey and top with fresh fruit.honey and fresh fruit for serving
We made this over the weekend and it was delicious. The tangy buttermilk with the sweet vanilla were perfect together.