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Vanilla Coconut Panna Cotta – Vegan, Soy Free

(Dairy Free, Paleo, Grain-Free, Gluten-Free) - Coconut Panna Cotta:

I first made this recipe a little over a year ago… because I wanted to impress a guy.

I was crazy about this guy and wanted the dessert to be absolutely perfect. Each trial was coming out *so close* but not yet there. Simultaneously working on perfecting the coconut panna cotta and attempting to keep the kitchen clean (normally with my experiments, the kitchen turns into a giant mess), I was growing more and more nervous by the second.

What if I didn’t get it right by the time he arrived?

And then I ran out of coconut milk… At 5 PM I was running off to Whole Foods to buy coconut milk—no makeup and dishes still piled high in the sink.

(Dairy Free, Paleo, Grain-Free, Gluten-Free) - Coconut Panna Cotta:

Thankfully, the eleventh hour vegan panna cotta was a fantastic success—perfectly soft and custard-like.

And I had a full two minutes to spare!

Vegan Panna Cotta

(Dairy Free, Paleo, Grain-Free, Gluten-Free) - Coconut Panna Cotta:

Vegan Vanilla Coconut Panna Cotta

(makes 6-8)

  • 1 cup milk of choice
  • 1 13.5-oz can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp agar flakes (look at Whole Foods or an Asian market)
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp granulated sugar or xylitol
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste (can sub 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract)

Lightly grease 6-8 small dishes or ramekins, then set aside. In a small saucepan, combine all ingredients except the vanilla. Stir, then let sit 10 minutes before heating. Slowly bring to a boil. Once it starts to boil, lower to a simmer and cook until the agar dissolves (about 5-8 minutes). Turn off the heat and stir in the vanilla. Pour the mixture into the prepared dishes, then chill uncovered in the refrigerator until set (about 3-4 hours). Once set, you can either run a knife around the sides and slide the vegan panna cotta out OR you can cover and leave in the dishes until the next day. Note: If you wish to sub carton coconutmilk or another milk for the full-fat canned coconut milk, please feel free to experiment, but at your own risk.

View Coconut Panna Cotta Nutrition Facts


Healthy Peanut Butter Fudge

Healthy Peanut Butter Fudge

P.S. More than a year later, I’m still crazy about the guy.

Published on April 16, 2015

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  1. Miss Polkadot says

    ” More than a year later, I’m still crazy about the guy.” <- That's the sweetest part of the post. Okay, and the panna cotta sounds great, too. I've been meaning to try coconut panna cotta for-ev-er but somehow never got around to making it so far.

  2. Erogo says

    Looks delicious, cant wait til I get the money for more food to go and try this myself. I love to expirment with recipes when I have the chance, making gluten, corn, soy, dairy, and peanut free recipes out of those that are not so I can eat them is interesting to say the least. My issue is always funding only ever really get to try anything if someone sponsors me for it -_- . But cooking something for someone else and having it turn out perfect is always so much fun, the delight on their face when you make something for them special and it turns out perfect. That feeling that you have just made that persons day is just so rewarding in of it self.

  3. Angela says

    Katie, I just LOVE you! This dessert sounds fabulous and also loved the personal story about the guy. He is incredibly lucky to have you, as I’m sure he’s probably figured out by this point, if it’s been over a year already! Sending hugs, thanks for making my life better with your recipes and your authenticity and your shining light!!

  4. Chelsea says

    Yes! I’ve made a million versions of panna cotta, traditional and healthified, but somehow I never thought of using coconut milk as the creamier portion. I’ve tried it with all fat free milk, still okay but definitely not the same. I love panna cotta with some form of balsamic vinegar and berries – either a balsamic reduction or just equal parts balsamic vinegar and brown (or coconut) sugar. Blackberries are my favorite with this. I’ll have to try this with the coconut milk.

  5. Anna says

    Awww that’s so sweet. 🙂 I’m so glad it turned out perfect for you. It looks so beautiful I’ll have to try it sometime.

  6. Renee @ lovely palate says

    I love your charming story. The Vanilla Coconut Panna Cotta looks delicious as well! Thank you for sharing.

  7. Matea says

    Food is always a good way to impress people 😉
    This panna cotta looks so smooth and creamy! Glad it turned out perfectly before your guy showed up 🙂

  8. Katie says

    This looks so good, I’ve never made panna cotta but willing to give er a try! How do you get the bubbly shape? Was it poured into a bowl shaped dish? Or does it naturally settle like that??? Hope that’s not a stupid question.. T.I.A.

  9. Rachel Burke - The Skinny Chick's Cookbook says

    I’ve never tried Panna Cotta, but I’m obsessed with coconut, and your pictures look delicious! You’re one of the bloggers who inspired me to start my recipe blog (since I have a major sweet too!) so thank you for all your hard work, and congrats on your book success!! xo

  10. Barbara says

    This is delicious, Katy. You sure did get it perfect! I just finished eating a ramekin
    of it. Great consistency & texture. Next time I will unfold it & serve it as a pretty dessert to company. I have used agar flakes before…better than corn starch! I also made my own vanilla bean paste and was happy to have a recipe to use it in. ❤️ Barbara

  11. Kathryn says

    I think about this recipe a few times a week, but I’ve yet to make it 🙁 Must. Make. Soon.
    Also, I want to hear more about this guy! Are you still crazy about him?

  12. Chess says

    I adore this! I’m going to try and make this asap! As a question- how would you say using light coconut milk for a slightly lower fat recipe would be? I’d image it’d be quite a bit less rich, but overall I’d imagine it could make a good substitute- no?

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