This 15-minute easy vegan Raspberry Panna Cotta is creamy, rich and literally foolproof. With no gelatin, it is so easy, you can make it every day. I'll show you how to make Panna Cotta that is dairy-free, sugar-free and absolutely delightful. Perfect for any occasion.
Everyone loves Panna Cotta. It's dreamy, tangy with a silky and creamy texture.
If you've never tried this classic Italian dessert in vegan version, you're in for a treat.
This best vegan coconut Panna Cotta is possible thanks to the agar agar, a gelatin-like substance made from seaweed.
Agar powder holds the same gelling properties as gelatin, but is completely free of animal products.
I first tried creamy Panna Cotta during my vacation in Slovenia. As soon as I took the first bite, I was hooked.
Since adapting a plant-based diet, I gave up many of my favorite desserts made with dairy.
But everything changed when I discovered a glorious agar agar. It works wonderfully in desserts that require thickening like custards and mousses. Try my Lemon Tartlets and you won't be able to say they're vegan.
💭 Why This Recipe Works
- simple. Made with just 7 ingredients, this agar agar based dessert is super easy and requires no special skills;
- festive. Homemade raspberry sauce that is served on top of a coconut custard makes this simple dessert look beautiful and worthy to be served for Valentine's Day, birthdays or other occasions;
- healthy. Did I say this Vegan dessert is healthy? Thanks to a custard made with coconut cream, vanilla and Maple syrup, this Italian dessert is wholesome and completely dairy-free and refined sugar free. Plus, agar agar also holds several potential benefits, so you can enjoy this Panna Cotta without a guilt.
Here's an overview of the specific ingredients for this recipe. For the exact ingredients and measurements, please scroll to the recipe card below.
Typically Panna Cotta is not a vegan dessert. It's made with heavy cream and vanilla, gelatin. Gelatin is an animal product and is not used in a vegan diet. There are a few different option on how to thicken a custard without gelatin. Some people use cornstarch or pectin, however I love Agar Agar.
Agar is made of red-purple marine algae and is completely vegan.
- coconut milk. For this dairy-free recipe, make sure to use a full fat coconut milk, as reduced fat milk might not thicken enough;
- agar powder. I usually buy it on Amazon and the whole bottle will last you forever; Make sure to use the powder versus agar flakes. Although you could use the latter, but the quantity would be 3 times bigger than if you use the agar powder;
- Maple syrup. I use Maple syrup as a sweetener. It's not refined which makes it a wonderful healthier substitute to a cane sugar.
- Boil. Add coconut milk, agar powder, Maple syrup, vanilla extract and lemon juice to a medium sauce pan and set over medium high heat. Use a hand whisk to make sure there are no lumps.
- Cool. As soon as the coconut mixture starts boiling, remove from the heat and let the mixture cool for at least 15 minutes before distributing it among the serving glasses.
- Pour. It's best to use a measuring glass for pouring the coconut mixture. Prepare 4 serving glasses or bowls and distribute the cooled coconut custard evenly among the glasses. Refrigerate the glasses for at least 1 hour or until set.
- Prepare the Raspberry sauce. (You can make the sauce at the same time as cooking coconut custard). In a medium saucepan combine frozen raspberries and and Maple syrup. Simmer for 10 minutes or until slightly thickened. Taste the sauce and if you think it needs more sweetness, add more Maple syrup, 1 tablespoon at a time. Remove the sauce from the heat and cool to a room temperature.
- Serve. Remove dessert from the fridge, top with a raspberry sauce and enjoy!
👩🏻🍳 Chef's Tip
If after boiling and cooling, the coconut mixture has a thin film over it, you can pour the mixture through a fine-mash strainer into a bigger bowl or measuring glass.
Alternatively, you can prevent the formation of a film by pressing a piece of plastic wrap on top of the coconut Panna Cotta.
💬 Frequently Asked Questions
You sure can. However, since neither soy or almond plant-based milk doesn't have a high fat content, you will need to increase the amount of agar powder to approximately ¾ teaspoons.
Coconut sugar or organic cane sugar are all good options.
The answer is simple - you probably added too much agar powder. For the exact precision I always recommend using a measuring spoon and then using a small knife or other straight edged utensil to level the agar powder across the measuring cup.
Yes! Cut the vanilla pod in half lengthwise, then use the back of a knife to scrape out the brown flecks inside. Add these to your coconut mixture as it boils.
🥄 Serving Suggestion
You can also pour Panna Cotta into the lightly greased ceramic ramekins.
Then, once the gelatin free dessert is set, you can invert the ramekins onto the serving plates and top with a raspberry sauce.
🍮 Flavors & Toppings
The great thing about this classic Italian dessert is that it works with so many different flavors and toppings. Using fresh or frozen berries would be the simplest and most affordable option. Aside from homemade raspberry sauce, here are some of my favorite suggestions:
Apricot. Apricot compote is amazing and I highly recommend you try it as well.
For the apricot sauce, use 1 pound of fresh apricots without a pit, 3 tablespoons of water, ⅓ cup of Maple syrup or ½ cup of organic cane sugar, 1 anise star and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Cook for 25-30 minutes, chill and serve on top of chilled dessert;
Strawberry. Use frozen strawberries and follow the same cooking instructions as for the raspberry sauce;
Lemon. Although I add lemon juice to the coconut custard, you can make it even tangier by increasing the amount of freshly squeezed lemon juice to 2 tablespoons and using a zest of 1 lemon. Cook it altogether, then strain, cool and pour into the glasses.
Mango. One of the best toppings for sure. To make mango sauce, follow the same directions as for the raspberry sauce;
Walnut Cocoa Streusel. I bet you haven't heard this before. Melt 1 tablespoon of vegan butter in a skillet. Add ½ cup of chopped walnuts, toast for 5 minutes, add 4 teaspoons of brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of cocoa powder and stir until sugar dissolves, about 1 minute. You can even serve streusel in addition to any of the fruit topping;
Chocolate. For the chocolate version, stir in 2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder into the coconut mixture and bring to a boil as instructed above.
🌡️ Storing And Freezing
Vegan Panna Cotta will keep in a refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Because it is made with agar, I would not recommend to freeze it. Custard made with agar-agar is sensitive to freezing and will cause the custard to become destructured.
🍧 Similar Recipes
If you make this recipe, please leave me a comment below and rate it. I always appreciate the feedback. Also, you can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest.
If you're looking for a quick overview of the recipe, please check out my Vegan Panna Cotta web-story.
Easy Vegan Raspberry Panna Cotta Without Gelatin
For the best vegan Panna Cotta
For a simple raspberry sauce
- 1 ½ c frozen raspberries
- 2 tablespoon Maple syrup
- Add coconut milk, agar powder, Maple syrup, vanilla extract and lemon juice to a medium sauce pan and set over medium high heat. Use a hand whisk to make sure there are no lumps.
- As soon as the coconut mixture starts boiling, remove from the heat and let it cool for at least 15 minutes before distributing it among the serving glasses.
- It's best to use a measuring glass for pouring the coconut custard. Prepare 4 serving glasses or bowls and distribute the cooled coconut custard evenly among the glasses. Refrigerate the glasses for at least 1 hour or until set.
Make a raspberry sauce.
- (You can make the sauce at the same time as cooking coconut custard). In a medium saucepan combine frozen raspberries and and Maple syrup. Simmer for 10 minutes or until slightly thickened. Taste the sauce and if you think it needs more sweetness, add more Maple syrup, 1 tablespoon at a time. Remove the sauce from the heat and cool to a room temperature.
Serve Panna Cotta
- Remove dessert from the fridge, top with a raspberry sauce and enjoy!