strawberry vanilla panna cotta in a glass jar

Vanilla Strawberry Two-Tone Panna Cotta

strawberry vanilla two tone panna cotta

Its strawberry season!!!! Here in Alabama our local farms are pumping out some super amazing strawberries. Thus, making this the perfect time to create an awesome dessert using strawberries straight from the farmers’ fields in the form of this delicious Vanilla Strawberry Two-Tone Panna Cotta.

Custard Desserts

Light custard desserts are such a great way to celebrate the season change along with bringing a cool delightful dessert that can really be enjoyed anytime of the day. Creme Brulee, Panna Cotta, and Pot de Creme are just a few in this family that have unlimited potential in the flavor department in which you can create with a simple technique.

Custards 101 is a post I did about all the different type of desserts in the custard family including creme brulee, pots de creme, creme anglaise, pastry cream, and panna cotta. Check it out!

What is a Panna Cotta

Panna Cotta is a custard made partially on the stove top that contains milk, cream, or half and half. Often times it can be a combination of them all.

Bullet points of Panna Cotta

  • Made partly on the stoveop
  • Sweetened with sugar
  • Contains no eggs
  • Contains gelatin for thickening

Vanilla Strawberry Two-Tone

two glasses of strawberry panna cotta on a platter

This Vanilla Strawberry Two-Tone Panna Cotta combines the delicious vanilla custard with a strawberry puree served in small glasses that are tilted when filled to give a neat presentation. Come along and let me show you how you can make it.

Making Vanilla Panna Cotta

strawberry panna cotta on a mini cake plate
Special Presentation

Firstly, the panna cotta is made by warming milk and sugar, adding bloomed gelatin, vanilla, and cream. You might be asking what in the world does “bloom” mean? Simple hydrating the gelatin with cold water first to let it “expand/bloom” before adding to the hot mixture. If you were to add straight powdered gelatin to a liquid it would most likely clump. Super hard to whisk out. Definitely don’t want that in your dessert, ha ha.

The gelatin gets added to the warmed milk where it dissolves, when chilled will thicken up the custard. Very important to use COLD water to bloom the gelatin and not hot.

Angling the Vanilla Custard

Once the panna cotta is made and cooled down slightly, it gets poured into angled small glasses. These are just cocktail glasses I purchased at Home Goods. This is done by using a muffin pan with some paper towels in the bottoms of the muffin cups to keep the glasses positioned where they aren’t able to move around while the custard firms up.

pouring panna cotta into angled glasses in a muffin pan
Panna Cotta poured into the angled glasses

An overnight in the fridge allows them to firm up and prepare for adding the strawberry puree

Strawberry Two-Tone Effect

strawberry vanilla panna cotta

While the panna cotta is firming up, strawberry puree gets made by taking fresh strawberries and pureeing them in a blender and adding a simple syrup with a little gelatin to firm up the mixture for the second side of the angled presentation.

Once the panna cotta is chilled and firmed, glasses are then put right side up and filled with the strawberry puree mixture and back to the fridge where they get chilled. Vanilla Strawberry Two-Tone Panna Cotta is starting to get me excited.

Garnishing with Strawberries

strawberry vanilla panna cotta
sliced strawberries and white chocolate ganache drizzle

Once everything is chilled it gets a garnish of chopped strawberries and you can even add a touch of mint for a beautifully colored dessert presentation. You can totally wow your guests with this dessert. Not only does it look super cool, but it tastes amazing too. Super light and fruity and not too sweet I might add. Perfect cool dessert to quench those hot summer days.

I made this Vanilla Strawberry Two-Tone Panna Cotta dessert for our monthly family get together meals and everyone loved it! Glasses were squeaky clean and lots of smiles to go around. That’s what making desserts is all about, isn’t it?

I would LOVE to see what you create if you give this recipe a try. Let me know in the comments below.


Vanilla Strawberry Two-Tone Panna Cotta

strawberry vanilla two tone panna cotta

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Delicious panna cotta paired with a fresh strawberry puree for a delightful two-tone dessert.

  • Author: Stacey
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 24 hours
  • Yield: 6 desserts 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: Dessert



Panna Cotta

1 1/2 cups whole milk

1/4 oz unflavored gelatin (1 packet)

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1 1/4 cups heavy cream

Strawberry Puree

1 cup strawberry puree, about 2 cups fresh strawberries

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons water

1/8 oz of unflavored gelatin, roughly 1/2 of a packet, about 3 grams

Fresh Strawberries, cut into small pieces.


Assembling the glasses

Place small square of a paper towel into each of the 6 muffin cups.

Take small cocktail glasses and insert them into the muffin cups angled.  The paper towels will keep them from moving around.

Making Panna Cotta

Take 1/4 cup of the cold milk and mix it with the gelatin and allow to set for about 10 minutes till firm.

Heat the remaining milk and sugar in a saucepan on the stove to steep, don’t allow to boil.  You want it to barely simmer and dissolve the sugar. You can test this by placing liquid mixture between your fingertips and rubbing.  If you don’t feel any granules, you are good to go!

Remove from the heat and add in the firm gelatin mixture, whisk till dissolved.  The heat will melt the gelatin.

Add in the vanilla and cream and whisk till all combined.

Allow to cool to 10-15 minutes.

Pour the mixture into a Pyrex measuring glass to make it easy to poor into the glasses.

Divide the mixture into the 6 glasses and pour till the panna cotta reaches 1/2 way or 3/4 to the rim of the glass.  Will vary depending on the size of your glasses if you will have leftovers.

Gently place in the refrigerator and allow to set up overnight.

Strawberry Puree

Take the strawberries, remove stems and place them into a blender or nutribullet and blend till smooth. You want enough to make 1 cup, making any needed adjustments to the amount of strawberries.

Combine the gelatin with the water in a small bowl, whisk to combine and allow to firm up about 10 minutes.

Heat the water and sugar in a small saucepan till simmer and the sugar dissolves. 

Remove from the heat and dump in the gelatin mixture and whisk till dissolved.  Make sure gelatin is fully dissolved so you don’t get any clumps.

Stir in the strawberry puree and mix everything till combined.  

Remove the panna cotta cups from the fridge, stand each glass upright in the muffin cup.

Divide evenly the strawberry puree into each glass, till 3/4 full or completely full.  This will give you the angled two-tone look.

Place back in the fridge and allow to firm up 4-5 hours, longer if  needed.


Take fresh strawberries and add them on top and serve.

Fresh whipped cream and a strawberry would also be a wonderful garnish.

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