Coconut Panna Cotta

Coconut Panna Cotta

When I have people over for supper during the week, I need a dessert that I can whip up quickly after work and my go-to recipe for this is Coconut Panna Cotta. It is naturally gluten and dairy free and it can be adjusted to be vegetarian/vegan. You can make it in 10 minutes but you do need to leave it to set in the fridge for at least two hours before serving it.

The original recipe for this uses a combination of coconut milk and normal milk. In the past, I have substituted this with almond milk but it always seems to separate and although it tastes good, it doesn’t look the best. I now use only coconut milk, which I do think this makes the consistency a little firmer so if you are after the perfect Panna Cotta wobble, the key might be to use a little less gelatine!


When I make this recipe, I use powdered gelatine but if you are vegetarian/vegan you can substitute it with agar powder. The recommended quantity for this recipe is 2 teaspoons. I would recommend agar powder rather than agar flakes but if you use agar flakes, remember to strain the mixture before putting in the moulds. 


Both mango and pineapple are great flavours to enjoy with this dessert. The panna cotta recipe has quite a lot of sugar in it so I don’t think you need anything more sugary than just fresh fruit for the garnish. I have in the past bought a pre-made Mango and Passion Fruit coulis which was absolutely delicious!


Coconut Panna Cotta – gluten free and dairy free

A gluten free and dairy free Panna Cotta made with coconut milk

Prep Time:
10 minutes
Cook time:
10 minutes
Servings: serves 6
Tags: gluten free, dairy free, vegan option


  • 2 x 400ml cans coconut milk
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod or teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • 2 x 12g sachets powdered gelatine - to make it vegan you can substitute this with 2 teaspoons agar powder
  • handful coconut chips, toasted
  • Fresh Pineapple or mango


      1. Pour the coconut milk and milk into a saucepan, then add the sugar. Split the vanilla pod in half and scrape out the seeds, then add to the pan with the empty pod. Bring to the boil, then remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 5 mins.

      2. Spoon 200ml of the hot mixture into a small bowl. Shake over the gelatine (or agar powder) and whisk into the mixture until dissolved. If you have difficulty dissolving the gelatine (or agar powder), return the mixture to a gentle heat for 1-2 mins. Stir into the rest of the coconut mixture, discarding the vanilla pod. Pour into 6 x 200ml metal dariole moulds and place in the fridge for at least 2 hrs until firm with a slight wobble. Can be made up to 2 days ahead.

      3. Finely dice the pineapple or mango.

      4. To serve, dip each dariole mould into boiling water for a moment to loosen the panna cotta, then turn onto a serving late. Serve with the pineapple or mango.


To see the original recipe from the BBC Good Food here


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