Dairy Free Panna Cotta Recipe

Dairy Free and Refined Sugar Free Panna Cotta Recipe

Panna Cotta (Italian for “Cooked Cream”) is a delicious dessert that originated in northern Italy. It is made from simmering a mixture of cream, milk and sugar and then adding gelatin and chilling until set.

I found one source that said that the traditional Italian Panna Cotta Recipe was made by simmering cream with fish bones so that the gelatin in the fish bones would cause the cream to gel. Modern recipes almost always use Gelatin (this is the one I use) but the textures and flavors can vary depending on ingredients used.

A Healthy, Dairy-Free Panna Cotta Recipe

Panna Cotta is always gluten free grain free, but I wanted to find a dairy-free version as well. For this recipe, I used my homemade almond milk and homemade coconut milk, though store bought versions will work as well.

I sweetened this Panna Cotta Recipe with maple syrup and raw honey, though either one could be used alone or other sweeteners like coconut sugar or even stevia could be used as well.

I served this topped with fresh berries since berries are in season and easily available at the farmers market, but any seasonal fruit or other topping would work. Some toppings I’ve seen on Panna Cotta in restaurants:

  • Homemade chocolate sauce
  • Various fruit sauces
  • Caramel sauce
  • Grated chocolate and nuts

I love that this Panna Cotta Recipe can be lightly sweetened, just fruit sweetened or even completely unsweetened. The gelatin with fresh milks creates a silk-like texture that is a kid and adult favorite in our house. This recipe presents well and is excellent for formal gatherings but is also incredibly simple to make and perfect for a week-night treat.

I’ve even made this for birthdays before in place of cake or ice cream and it was a hit!

Dairy Free and Refined Sugar Free Panna Cotta Recipe

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Dairy Free Panna Cotta Recipe



Yield 8 +

Delicious and creamy homemade coconut milk panna cotta is a perfect nutrient-rich treat for any time of year. With healthy fats, skin-healthy gelatin and a hint of vanilla. A family favorite at our house!


  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon unflavored Gelatin
  • 3 Tablespoons Raw Honey
  • 3 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Toppings of choice


  1. Pour the milks in to a medium saucepan and sprinkle gelatin over it. Gently whisk in Gelatin and wait 5 minutes before turning on the heat to allow the gelatin to soften.
  2. Add honey and maple syrup and vanilla. Turn on medium heat and heat the mixture, stirring constantly, until milk is hot enough to steam. Do not boil as this will deactivate the gelling properties of the gelatin.
  3. Lightly grease small bowls or molds with coconut oil and pour the heated mixture in tot he bowls. Cover and place in the fridge for 5-6 hour or overnight.
  4. Serve in bowls or gently turn them upside down on to a place and add toppings.

Courses Dessert

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Additional Notes

Coconut milk or almond milk may be used, just use 4 cups of milk total. Dairy milk works well for this recipe as well.

Make sure that the Gelatin is actual gelatin and not collagen hydrolysate/collagen peptides or it will not gel.

Honey or maple syrup can be used alone or left out completely. Fresh fruit puree can also be used for natural sweetness.

Have you ever made Panna Cotta? How was it? Share below!

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Reader Comments

  1. We can’t use almond. Would it be ok to sub more coconut milk?

    • Oops you actually answeredthat later on in the post! Sorry 🙂 we will try this with just coconut! Thanks!

    • I use more coconut then almond, and it’s nice

  2. I just made panna cotta last night for the first time! I went with heavy cream, milk, and a bit of Greek yogurt for a probiotic factor. Absolutely delicious. The panna cotta was lemon flavoured, and for a topping the recipe called for gelled pomegranite juice (more gelatin). I think I’m in love. Looking forward to trying out a non-dairy version too.

  3. I just had to check this out because I’d never heard of Panna Cotta before. Interesting!

  4. When do you add the honey and vanilla?

  5. When do you add the honey and maple syrup? The directions don’t specify. Thanks!
    Oh, and, shouldn’t the word be grease instead of crease in direction #3?

  6. Im thinking this would be a nice breakfast food?

  7. When do the honey/maple syrup and the vanilla get added in? I’m not seeing that step in the method. After heating?
    I’m looking forward to trying this out.

  8. Looks yummy!!!

  9. Ooh! Smooth, creamy, and dairy free – its sure to be a winner 🙂 Would make a great breakfast. Do you think I could add protein powder?

    • You could certainly try it… Let us know if it works!

  10. Thank you!! I absolutely love panna cotta but haven’t had it since being dairy free, so I’m very excited to try this! Thanks for your great recipes!! 🙂

  11. I have a question about the meal program and your recipes in general. I love your whole food approach, and am considering the meal plans. One thing is holding me back, the weight issue. Is a healthy weight part of the planning of your meals and recipes in general? I’ve only seen your profile picture and have no idea about your family, but I do remember reading that you and your husband were obese before starting to eat real food. Are you overweight now? What is the design of your meals in regards to calories, carbohydrates, and weight gain? Before spending the money on a membership those are questions I think are important and not addressed.

    A private email reply is fine if you prefer, I just didn’t know anywhere else to ask this question. The CONTACT page isn’t exactly encouraging. Thanks xx

    • I think you must be thinking of another blog, as neither my husband nor myself have ever been obese. My approach to meal planning is to focus on nutrient-dense real foods like our great-grandparents and grandparents would have eaten, before there was ever drama about calories and carbs (and when there was a much lower obesity rate). If you haven’t already read it, I’d suggest the book “The Calorie Myth” by Jonathan Bailor for some great info on that 🙂

      On the other hand, I’m not posting bikini pictures to get people to sign up for the meal planning system… SO if that is a requirement for you, it might not be for you 🙂

  12. Of course I would to expect bikini pictures from a reapectable mother, I obviously offended you — which was my intention. I do believe you have mentioned that once you changed your family food plan you and your husband lost over 65lbs? Which is great! I guess that amount implied a weight problem to me. But again, since not many details are given about the meal plan — I just wanted to clarify before I buy xx

    • No offense taken. The post you’re referring to was a guest post from Sylvie McCracken from HollywoodHomestead.com which can be read here and where she mentions losing over 65 lbs.

      • Not sure where my reply went. I was trying to clarifying some embarrassing typos that implied I meant offense to you and that I think you should be in a bikini — neither of which are true, but iPhone spell check typos.

        I obviously mistook your guest author for you when reading about the massive weight loss. I thought it a positive thing, and wanted to know how it was contributing to your meal planning xx

    • Oh dear! I just now saw all the typos in my reply…note to self — never type on an iPhone.

      I meant I would NOT expect bikini pictures…and meant NO offense.

      Sorry for the sloppy reply xx

  13. Got it! That’s where I must’ve read it and not noticed the guest writer xx

  14. Hi, is it possible to use pectin instead of gelatin? Would that give me a similar result? Thanks.

  15. You’re so wonderful. I’ve been meaning to learn how to make this since the first time I had it just a few months ago.

  16. Just what I was looking for! Thank you, Katie!

  17. Hi Wellness Mama, not really directly to do with this recipe, but I bumped into a honey making expert by accident the other day. I knew that you couldn’t heat honey because you destroy all the beneficial goodness, however, this honey expert said that honey shouldn’t be added to very hot/boiling water as it becomes poisonous. He claimed that doctors were urging him to share this information with his buyers. Have you heard of this before and do you have any ideas on it?

  18. I wonder if using agar agar instead of gelatin would work? Is there a place to get good quality gelatin. I’ve seen videos of how gelatin is made and it is tragic. Any ideas? I am not a vegan but I need to know that products are created in ways that are not as traumatic as most meat processing.