Espresso Panna Cotta Recipe with Chocolate Shavings

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This espresso panna cotta recipe is so easy to make with only a few basic ingredients. The hardest part of this simple recipe is waiting for the creamy dessert to set. If you are looking for an easy no bake dessert that your friends and family will love then this is the perfect dessert for you. 

how to make espresso panna cotta Italian pudding

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Espresso Panna Cotta Recipe Ingredients 

This coffee panna cotta only requires a few simple ingredients. You will need:

  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp unflavored gelatin powder 
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 heaping tsp instant espresso powder
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • dark chocolate shavings
5 ingredient panna cotta

Measure out all of your ingredients before getting started to make the process easier. The chocolate shavings can wait until the espresso panna cotta is finished and set.

espresso panna cotta ingredients

How to Make Espresso Classic Panna Cotta 

The key to making this classic Italian dessert is to take your time. These steps should not be rushed, or your efforts will be in vain. First, pour the milk into a small saucepan. 

pour milk into saucepan

Next, gently sprinkle gelatin onto the milk. 

sprinkle gelatin in milk

Let the gelatin and milk sit for 5 minutes to allow the gelatin to bloom. You will notice a sort of pucker in the milk and gelatin mixture. 

bloom gelatin in milk

After 5 minutes stir the milk and gelatin over medium heat. Continue stirring until the gelatin dissolves completely. Do not let this boil. (Appx 2-3 minutes)

stir to dissovle gelatin

Once the gelatin is dissolved add the cream to the saucepan. Do not substitute this. You need heavy cream and not a low fat substitute. It’s essential to the recipe.

heavy cream in panna cotta

Add the sugar. Caster sugar or granulated sugar works best. Caster sugar is a finer powder than granulated, but not as fine as confectioner sugar. 

sugar in panna cotta

Next, add the espresso powder, and salt to the mixture.

instant espresso powder

Reduce to low heat and stir the hot cream mixture until the sugar dissolves. (Appx 3 minutes)

stir over low heat

Once fully dissolved you should have a creamy coffee lovers liquid. 

heat pan cotta until sugar dissolves

Pouring The Panna Cotta

Next, you will need to carefully pour the panna cotta mixture. We transfer the liquid to our milk frothing pitcher so that we can easily pour without making a mess. If you are confident in your pouring skills and can pour from the saucepan then go for it. Otherwise, transfer to something with a spout that you can easily pour with. 

transfer creamy mixture to a pitcher with spout

Pour the cream mixture into individual dessert cups. We are using 6oz dessert cups. 

espresso panna cotta in glass custard cups

​Fill each cup about halfway to 3/4 of the way to start. 

pour panna cotta

This way you can make sure that the cups are filled evenly. Then go and top off each dessert cup until all are full.

pour creamy panna cotta mixture into single serving cups

Cover the panna cotta dessert cups with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for a minimum of 4-6 hours. Ideally, leaving them in the refrigerator overnight is perfect to make sure that they are set.

For the first hour, take them out every 20 minutes and gently stir the creamy mixture. This helps to remove any air bubbles and reduce any chance of separation. 

cover with cling wrap

Espresso Panna Cotta Coffee Desserts

The hardest part of this recipe is the wait. You may want to eat them before they are ready, but if you hold out they are worth the wait. Garnish the top of each panna cotta cup with dark chocolate shavings and enjoy. You can also drizzle the top of the panna cotta with coffee syrup if you’d like. 

how to make panna cotta

If you are feeling fancy you can serve this espresso panna cotta in martini glasses if you don’t have small dessert cups. These 6oz dessert cups are pretty perfect for these and can be found here: Custard cups.

coffee panna cotta

These Italian puddings are great desserts for dinner parties and are loved by the whole family.

easy panna cotta recipe

The creamy texture and coffee flavor will impress your guests. 

close up Espresso Panna Cotta Recipe with Chocolate Shavings

After a delicious meal, sit back, relax, and serve this espresso panna cotta with a nice hot espresso. It’s the perfect way to complete a meal. This is sure to become one of your favorite dessert dishes.  

Espresso Panna Cotta Recipe with Chocolate Shavings

If you love trying different panna cotta recipes then you should check out this strawberry panna cotta made without gelatin, and this coffee jello with condensed milk recipe.

FAQs and Variations

You can always adjust a recipe to your own personal preference. Doing this may yield different results.

My panna cotta didn’t set properly, what happened?

If your panna cotta doesn’t set, it may mean that you didn’t dissolve the gelatin completely.

Why did my panna cotta separate into layers?

If you skipped the stirring of the panna cotta during the first hour this could result in separation of the ingredients. Simply reheat the mixture on the stove again and start again from that step.

Espresso Panna Cotta Recipe with Chocolate Shavings

Espresso Panna Cotta Recipe with Chocolate Shavings

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 7 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Additional Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 14 minutes

This espresso panna cotta recipe is so easy to make with only a few basic ingredients. This is the perfect creamy dessert everyone will love.


  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp unflavored gelatin powder
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 heaping tsp instant espresso powder
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • dark chocolate shavings


  1. Pour milk in a saucapan and gently speinkle the gelatin in with the milk
  2. Let it sit for 5 minutes
  3. Then stir over medium heat until the gelatin fully dissolves.
  4. Add the cream, espresso powder, sugar and salt.
  5. Reduce to low heat and stir until the sugar dissolves.
  6. Pour the panna cotta mixture into dessert cups.
  7. Cover with pastic wrap adn refrigerate for 4-6 hours or overnight
  8. For the first hour, stir the the panna cotta every 20 minutes.
  9. Garnish with chocolate shavings.
  10. enjoy

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 450Total Fat: 37gSaturated Fat: 24gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 111mgSodium: 101mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 1gSugar: 23gProtein: 7g

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  1. These look delicious! I love anything that is flavored with coffee! I’m here via Senior Pitstop. We would love to have you link up at Tuesday Turn About via My Wee Abode. We open on Tuesdays and close on Fridays. Hope to see you there!

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