This Mango Panna Cotta is silky, creamy and delicious. It’s an easy make-ahead dessert that is served in individual portions. Serve with fresh mangoes or mango coulis and everyone will love it!
Panna cotta is an Italian dessert that means “cooked cream” in Italian. It’s super easy, requires no baking and served in individual portions.
It’s similar to flan, but is made without eggs. I love this panna cotta recipe because it is rich and silky and at the same time fresh and fruity. It is hinted with warm cardamom and topped with sweet flavorful mangoes.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- You only need basic ingredients to make this fruit panna cotta.
- Top with fresh mangoes or a simple 3 ingredient mango sauce.
- It’s light and at the same time decadent.
- Panna cotta is the perfect make ahead dessert for special occasions and holidays. Make it in advance and keep it refrigerated til you’re ready to serve it!
Here are some useful notes on the ingredients needed to make mango panna cotta.
- Milk: Use room temperature whole milk.
- Heavy cream: Use room temperature heavy or whipping cream.
- Unflavored gelatin: Gelatin is a thickening agent made of tiny granules that have no color or flavor. Gelatin is what thickens the panna cotta. Gelatin is very easy to use. All you’ll need to do is stir it into some water, allow it to thicken then add it to the recipe.
- Granulated sugar: Granulated sugar sweetens the panna cotta.
- Cardamom: I like to use ground cardamom. It’s a warm spice that tastes so good with milk and other creamy recipes.
- Mangoes: Use fresh or frozen mangoes.
- Lemon: Lemon juice is used in the mango sauce.
See recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.
Substitutions and Variations
- Swap in 2% milk for the whole milk.
- Instead of cardamom, you can flavor the panna cotta with vanilla. Use 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract or half of a vanilla bean.
- If you love berries, top panna cotta with your favorite berries instead of mangoes. Use blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries or a combination!
- You can also serve panna cotta plain with no topping.
Here are the directions on how to make mango panna cotta.
Step 1: While the cream and sugar are heating, sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water. Stir to combine then set aside.
Step 2: Whisk the cream, sugar and cardamom together in a medium pot or saucepan. Place it over medium low heat and stir frequently.
Step 3: As soon as the cream reaches 140 degrees Fahrenheit or is hot to the touch, add in the hydrated gelatin. Whisk until the gelatin has dissolved then remove pan from heat. Whisk in the milk off the heat.
Step 4: Carefully pour mixture into a glass measuring cup or a pitcher with a spout.
Step 5: Pour the mixture evenly into glasses or ramekins. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or for around 6 hours, until firm but a little wobbly.
Step 6: Serve with chopped fresh mangoes or with mango coulis. To make the mango coulis, Combine chopped mangoes or frozen mango, lemon juice and sugar over medium low heat. Stir often for around 15 minutes. Puree in a food processor or with an immersion blender. Cool and top just before serving.
Hint: For a super easy dessert, skip the mango coulis (or mango sauce), and top with a chopped fresh mango. It’s a little easier and is equally delicious!
Tip #1: Serve panna cotta in glasses. Getting panna cotta cleanly out of ramekins can be a little challenging. I prefer to serve my panna cotta in glasses. It saves you the step of having to turn them out onto a plate.
Tip # 2: Serve with chopped fresh mangoes and/or mango coulis. Fresh chopped mangoes make the easiest topping. The mango coulis is also easy to make and is also delicious.
Tip #3: Pour mango coulis on the bottom of the glasses. Make the mango coulis first. Once cooled, spoon a few tablespoons of the coulis on the bottom of each glass. Pour the panna cotta on top then chill.
Tip #4: Pour directly in the middle of glasses. When pouring the panna cotta into individual containers, pour directly in the middle. This helps avoid getting panna cotta dripping down the side of the glass.
Panna cotta is sweet and creamy. This recipe is hinted with cardamom and served with mangoes.
Panna cotta means “cooked cream” in Italian.
Yes. Gelatin helps the cream set.
Store this mango panna cotta covered with plastic wrap in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Top with mangos or mango sauce just before serving.
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Mango Panna Cotta
- ¼ cup cold water
- 1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin 1 packet, 7 grams
- 1 ¾ cups heavy cream or whipping cream
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 cup whole milk room temperature, 2% can be substituted
- 1 pinch salt
Mango Coulis *
- 2 cups mango chopped, fresh or frozen
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar or to taste
- 1½ tablespoons lemon or lime juice or as needed
- water as needed
- Pour water into a small mixing bowl. Sprinkle gelatin overtop. Stir the gelatin in then allow mixture to sit for 5-7 minutes until thickened.
- In a large saucepan, add the heavy cream and sugar. Place pan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes until the mixture barely simmers.
- Remove from heat and whisk in the salt and gelatin.
- Whisk in the milk until blended.
- Pour mixture into a large glass measuring cup or some kind of pitcher with a spout to make it easier to pour into individual jars or ramekins.
- Divide mixture among 6 glass jars, wine glasses or ramekin. Pour about ½ cup of the mixture each. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator until set, at least 6 hours.
Mango Coulis *
- If using fresh mango, peel the mango and cut into cubes. For frozen mango, place it directly into the saucepan. No need to thaw it first, but you may need to add a little water as the mango is over the heat.
- Place the chopped mango, sugar and lemon or lime juice in a small saucepan over medium low heat for about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally until mangos are very soft. Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes.
- Pour mixture into a food processor or blender or stick an immersion blender in the saucepan. Blend until sauce is smooth and thick. Taste and add more sugar, if desired.
- Allow to cool completely at room temperature or in the refrigerator before spooning over the panna cotta.
Please note that nutritional values are created by an online calculator and should only be used as an estimate.