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Vanilla Panna Cotta with Rhubarb Coulis

Packed with delicate spring flavors this silky and creamy vanilla panna cotta with a vibrant, tart rhubarb coulis is a must-try this season. These cooked cream cups are an elegant and decadent Italian dessert that’s perfect for a Spring gathering.

Two champagne coupes filled with vanilla panna cotta and rhubarb coulis.
Table of contents

Why you’ll love this vanilla panna cotta recipe

Our family inherited a couple of rhubarb plant from my husband’s Gran and it’s such a pleasure to make something delicious with it every spring to remember her. This rhubarb panna cotta is certainly ticking many boxes:

  • Meal-prep friendly: An excellent meal prep dessert as it ideally sets overnight.
  • Spring: This Italian dessert celebrates fresh spring flavors including cream, milk, and rhubarb. Perfect for special occasions such as Easter or Mother’s Day.
  • Single-serve: Perfect for a dinner party when you want to impress the guests and get out your fancy glassware or ramekins.


  • Cream and milk – The fat content in the cream and milk not only gives this dessert rich flavor it also helps the panna cotta to set properly. Don’t use low-fat alternatives.
  • Gelatin – Unflavored gelatin powder or leaves are needed for this panna cotta.
  • Vanilla – Vanilla paste, extract, and a fresh vanilla pod all work well for this recipe. Choose a vanilla product with beans.
  • Rhubarb – The color of the coulis depends on the hue of your stalks. Choose deep red stalks for a vibrant coulis.
  • Sugar – Castor sugar works well for this recipe.
  • Salt – Don’t skip the salt. It rounds out the flavors of the coulis.


Seasonal fruit – Berries including strawberries as well as cherries make a delicious coulis. Stewed stonefruit such as peaches and nectarines work well too. Passionfruit makes another fabulous panna cotta topping. My stewed apples and pears or macerated blueberries also go well with panna cotta.

Cream – Top the panna cotta with whipped cream or mascarpone cream for some extra indulgence.

Ramekins – I serve the panna cotta in champagne coupes but you can also make it in ramekins molds.


How do you store panna cotta?

You can store it in the fridge for 2 days which makes it a great make-ahead dish.

What’s the best serving temperature?

You can serve panna cotta cold or at room temperature. Both taste delicious. Serve it cold in summer for s refreshing dessert.

For more delicious dessert ideas, make sure to check out the following recipes:

If you loved this Vanilla Panna Cotta Recipe or any other recipe on my website, please leave a 🌟 star rating below. Thank you!

Two champagne coupes filled with vanilla panna cotta and rhubarb coulis.

Vanilla Panna Cotta with Rhubarb Coulis

Caro Jensen
Silky and creamy vanilla panna cotta topped with a vibrant, tart rhubarb coulis. The perfect single-serve spring dessert!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Cooling Time 4 hours
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 portions
Calories 595 kcal


Prosecco Panna Cotta

  • 2 cups full-fat cream (35%) divided
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tsp gelatine powder or 4 leaves
  • 2 tbsp water cold

Rhubarb Coulis

  • 2 cups rhubarb stalks
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt


Panna Cotta

  • Combine half of the cream and the milk in a medium saucepan. Bring everything to a simmer while stirring to dissolve the sugar. Don't boil the mixture. Remove the saucepan from the heat and set aside.
    2 cups full-fat cream (35%), 1 cup milk, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • In the meantime, add the gelatine powder to the cold water. Stir and let it sit for 5 minutes to soften (bloom).
    3 tsp gelatine powder, 2 tbsp water
  • Whip the other half of the cream and vanilla extract until stiff peaks form.
  • Add the dissolved gelatine to the warm cream mixture while stirring. Cool it down in the fridge or freezer for 10-15 min until it starts to thicken.
  • Strain and pour it into 4 dessert glasses or ramekin molds and let it cool to room temperature. Place it in the fridge for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight until set.

Rhubarb Coulis

  • Add the stalks to a medium saucepan alongside the sugar, water, and salt.
    2 cups rhubarb stalks, 1/3 cup sugar, 1/8 tsp salt, 1/2 cup water
  • Cook everything on low heat for 10-15 minutes until the rhubarb starts to fall apart and the liquid has a syrup-like consistency.
  • Let the rhubarb cool down and purée it. Add it to the panna cotta and serve cool.


Don’t boil the cream mixture as it will impact the gelatin from setting.
Soaking or “blooming” of the gelatin is essential. Make sure it’s completely dissolved.
You have to cool down the cream and gelatin mixture before adding the  whipped cream or the whipped cream will melt.
Add the rhubarb coulis when serving after the panna cotta has fully set in the fridge.


Calories: 595kcalCarbohydrates: 42gProtein: 8gFat: 45gSaturated Fat: 29gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 142mgSodium: 139mgPotassium: 383mgFiber: 1gSugar: 40gVitamin A: 1910IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 209mgIron: 0.3mg
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