Creamy Coconut Panna Cotta

Creamy panna cotta meets tropical paradise in this delicious dessert. Whip it up for a decadent dessert your family will love.

Todd Leonard, Executive Chef and Chair of Culinary Arts at UVU, shares how to make creamy coconut panna cotta.



Creamy Coconut Panna Cotta


  • 28 grams Gelatin — mixed with 6 tablespoons cool water
  • 30 ounces Coconut cream (sweet) — 2 cans
  • 27 ounces Coconut milk — 2 cans
  • 4 cups Heavy cream — very cold
  • 1/2 cup Powdered sugar
  • 1 Vanilla bean — cut in half and scraped


Bloom the gelatin by adding 6 tablespoons water to a bowl and then sprinkling the gelatin over the top, allow to completely soften and absorb.

Bring the coconut milk and cream to a simmer in a sauce pan. Lower the heat and stir in gelatin, make sure it totally dissolves.

Pour mixture through a strainer into a chilled bowl. Place bowl in ice bath to cool.

Mix vanilla bean, powdered sugar and cream together in a chilled bowl and fold into coconut mixture. Stir to incorporate.

Allow to cool slightly but not set up.

Pour mixture into serving vessel or mold and refrigerate until set up usually 1-2 hours. To speed it up you can place in freezer for 30 minutes and then refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Top with a tropical fruit salsa. Chop assorted tropical fruits (kiwi, pineapple, orange, mango, etc.) fine and drizzle with simple syrup.


    • Hi Dorinda! To finish off the panna cotta, top with assorted tropical fruits chopped fine and drizzled with simple syrup. You can use kiwi, pineapple, orange, mango, or any other tropical fruit you like. We hope this helps!

  • shoot, I went to make this panna cotta and discovered, after looking everywhere for coconut cream, that I had purchased a can of ‘unsweetened’. do you mean coco lopez which is cream of coconut that one uses for drinks and desserts? this recipe needs a warning label that you may need several days to find the correct ingredients from different stores who say they’ve never heard of coconut cream … or tell us just to go to the mixed drink aisle and get the cream of coconut.

  • I was so excited to make this recipe! I spent time and money doing so and it failed miserably. It never set up. Is the recipe correct?

    • I guess todd leonard stopped looking at these comments. mine set up okay, but I didn’t use coco lopez type of drink mixer coconut that was presweetened. I sweetened the coconut cream and it was thicker to start with. the crowd of 20 quite liked it. very mild.