Coffee Panna Cotta Recipe (Popular Italian Dessert)

Panna cotta (that literary means “cooked cream”) is a popular Italian dessert of sweetened cream thickened with gelatin and molded. The cream could be aromatized with vanilla, coffee, rum, or other flavorings. For this pannacotta recipe, I used espresso coffee – because my husband likes espresso a lot– and I want to surprise him tomorrow morning with a piece of pannacotta cake and a cup of espresso coffee. I know he would be delighted!

Coffee Panna Cotta Recipe makes 16 small serves or 6 regular serves, the recipe can be doubled or halved. Here is the recipe:

Coffee Panna CottaCoffee Panna Cotta


  • 55 grams caster sugar (1 7/8 ounce)
  • 20 grams (3/4 ounce) freshly ground coffee (mine was ground for espresso machine)
  • 270 grams (9 1/2 ounce) milk
  • 2 ½ gelatin leaves or 11 grams of gelatin (1 package)
  • 270 grams (9 1/2 ounce) whipping cream (if you are in the USA) or unthickened pouring cream (if you are in Australia)



  • Place the gelatin into a bowl and cover with cold water whilst you heat the milk (I usually ripe the sheets into 2 or 3 pieces so they are smaller and fit into a small bowl).
  • Pop sugar, milk, and coffee into a saucepan and bring to a simmer stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar, remove from heat.
  • Squeeze excess water from gelatin, discard the water and add the leaves to the milk mixture and stir to dissolve all gelatin.
  • Add cream and stir well.
  • Get a large jug with a handle and place a sieve over the top lined with 4 layers of muslin. If you do not have muslin you may use clean unused dishcloths or even a coffee filter or paper towels. Pass the coffee mixture through the lined sieve into the jug. Ensure as much of the mixture as possible gets through, you may need to replace the top layer if it becomes clogged.
  • Pour mixture into molds to achieve the separate layers I allowed the smaller containers to sit at room temperature for around 10 minutes or so until the layers are evident.
  • Allow setting in the fridge overnight covered with plastic or in an airtight container.
  • Serve in a container or if you are turning out run a knife carefully around the edge and then gently warm the top with a dishcloth soaked in warm water before placing the plate on top of the mold and then turning both over. The pannacotta should slip out perfectly.

Buon appetito!



  • The weights for the liquids are actually weights on a set of electric scales.
  • If you’re searching for the small square cups I suggest searching under disposable square cups or square verrine cups.
  • You can find pannacotta molds in many kitchen and baking stores. The ones I normally use are small single plastic molds, so pretty much it is a fancy way of saying little plastic cups.

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