This creamy and luscious Vegan Cinnamon Panna Cotta may look delicate and fancy, but it can possibly be the easiest dessert recipe you can ever make! It’s a dairy-free take on the classic Italian sweetened cream dessert topped with cranberries, red currants and pomegranate – prepped and ready for chilling in just 5 minutes! The perfect holiday dessert for Christmas, New Year’s Eve and any other occasion!
Easy Vegan Cinnamon Panna Cotta Recipe
If you love creamy and fruity desserts like my Semolina Raspberry Pudding, Caramel Cheesecake Mousse and Blackberry Mousse, then you will absolutely fall in love with this Vegan Panna Cotta! It is naturally sweetened with agave syrup and laced with vanilla and cinnamon for a delicately sweet and warm flavor. The bright berry topping adds a burst of tanginess and sweetness that makes it irresistible!
You will be amazed at how easy it is to make too! It will only take you 5 minutes to have the thickened sweet cream molded and ready to set. It is the perfect dessert made to impress on date nights, Christmas Valentine’s day, and Mother’s day.
What is Panna Cotta?
The term Panna Cotta simply means “cooked cream”. It is a classic Italian dessert traditionally made with sugar, cream, gelatin, and flavorings like vanilla and coffee. The cream is cooked with sugar and thickened with gelatin. It is usually served drizzled with caramel or chocolate sauce, or a berry sauce called coulis.
To make the famous original Italian Panna Cotta vegan, I used coconut milk instead of heavy cream, and agar powder instead of gelatin. It is also refined sugar-free because I opted to use agave syrup to sweeten it up.
Ingredients Needed and Possible Substitutions
For the Panna Cotta
- Coconut milk: this dairy-free milk is perfect for making panna cotta because of its naturally thick and rich texture. However, you can use any other rich plant milk creamy flavored drink. If it is sweetened, I recommend using less syrup or sugar. Do a taste test before adding more to make sure it does not become overly sweet.
- Agave syrup: this adds just the right amount of sweetness to the panna cotta. You can use other syrups like maple syrup too. Refined white oder raw cane sugar will also work in a pinch.
- Vanilla extract: this will add a nice flavor and aroma to the dessert. If you do not have this, you can use the e pulp of a vanilla bean instead.
- Cinnamon: This warming spice should not be missing, especially at Christmas time! Of course, you can also vary the flavor with other spices and flavorings such as cocoa, chai tea, or espresso.
- Agar powder: also called agar-agar powder. This is a plant-based thickener that works the same way as gelatin. If using agar-agar flakes you will need 3 times as much.
How to make Vegan Cinnamon Panna Cotta
As always, I recommend checking out the recipe video and these step-by-step instructions first. Then you’ll the full recipe with exact measurements in the recipe card below!
Step 1: Cook plant milk and agar
Pour half of the coconut milk into a saucepan. Whisk in the agar powder and bring to a boil. Simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 1-2 minutes or according to package directions. Remove from heat and quickly stir in the agave syrup or sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon and remaining coconut milk.
Note: You could theoretically put all ingredients in the pot at once and cook it, however, I find that the agar powder doesn’t dissolve as well in a lot of liquid.
Step 2: Chill and serve!
Pour the mixture into four dessert glasses or pudding molds (to avoid lumps, you can strain it through a fine-meshed sieve). Allow to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate at least 1 hour until set.
Aside from sugared cranberries, fresh red currants, pomegranate seeds, rosemary and desiccated coconut, you can garnish the cinnamon panna cotta with other toppings! Here a few ideas:
- Berries: such as cranberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, cherries, currants or strawberries.
- Fruits: such as mango, lemon, pineapple, peaches, apples, passion fruit, pomegranates and pears. Cinnamon apples, red fruit jelly or other compote is also really delicious!
- Sauce: whether chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, vanilla sauce or raspberry or strawberry sauce – all sweet and fruity sauces go well with panna cotta!
- Nuts: sliced almonds, chopped walnuts, roasted hazelnuts, pistachios, macadamias, shredded coconut, etc.
- Sweets: dark chocolate shavings, pralines, coconut shavings, sprinkles, mallows, and crushed candies.
Tips when making Vegan Panna Cotta
- Use full-fat coconut milk for the best results. If using other types of plant milk like cashew milk, soy milk, oat milk or almond milk, you can make them richer by mixing in nut butter like cashew, hazelnut, peanut, or almond butter.
- You can technically put all ingredients in the pot at once and cook it. However, I find that the agar powder doesn’t dissolve well in a lot of liquid, so the extra step is necessary.
- Let the mixture cool down before placing them in the fridge to set for a smoother result.
- Instead of using silicone molds, you can also pour the thickened mixture into dessert glasses or mason jars so you can easily garnish and serve them right away.
These sweet and jiggly custard-like treats can be stored, covered, in the fridge for up to 5 days. Take note that the bottom may become watery the longer they are stored.
This Vegan Panna Cotta Recipe is:
- Quick and easy to make
- Smooth and creamy
- Light and fruity
- Low in calories
- Super delicious
- Ideal for romantic dinners or other occasions!
- The perfect holiday dessert!
More easy vegan dessert recipes:
- Vegan Tiramisu
- Coconut Rice Pudding
- Chocolate Mousse
- Blueberry Chia Pudding
- Lemon Curd Dessert
- Mango Mousse
- Semolina Pudding with Raspberries
- Caramel Cheesecake Mousse
- Blackberry Mousse
If you try this easy vegan coconut panna cotta recipe, feel free to leave me a comment and a star rating! And if you take a picture of your dessert and share it on Instagram or Facebook, please tag me @biancazapatka and use the hashtag #biancazapatka because I would love to see your result! Enjoy! 🙂
Vegan Cinnamon Panna Cotta (Easy Holiday Dessert)Author:
To Garnish (optional)
- sugared cranberries
- red currants
- desiccated coconut
*Note: Check out the recipe video + step-by-step photos above!
- Pour half of the coconut milk into a saucepan. Whisk in the agar powder and bring to a boil. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, for 1-2 minutes or according to package directions.
- Remove from the heat and quickly whisk in the agave syrup, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and remaining coconut milk. Then pour into four dessert jars or pudding silicone molds. (You could technically put all ingredients in the pot at once, however, I find that the agar powder doesn't dissolve well in too much liquid.)
- Allow to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for about 1 hour until set.
- Garnish your cinnamon panna cotta with sugared cranberries, fresh red currants, pomegranate seeds, rosemary and desiccated coconut as desired.
- Enjoy! 😊
- You can also use another rich plant milk or creamy drink with your favorite flavor. If it is sweetened, I recommend using less syrup or sugar. It's best to just give it a try. To make dairy-free milk richer, you can mix in some nut butter like cashew, hazelnut, peanut or almond butter.
- Feel free to serve your dessert with cinnamon apples, red fruit jelly, caramel sauce, vanilla sauce or raspberry / strawberry sauce.
- More tips and information about this recipe are mentioned in the blog post above.
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