This Vegan Coconut Panna Cotta is a delicious light Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free and Refined Sugar Free dessert. Topped with a quick homemade strawberry compote, this summer dessert is the perfect way to finish a meal!
This post may contain affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission - at not cost to you - for purchases made through these links.
This Coconut Panna Cotta is simply too simple to make not to try! It is made with a few ingredients only and can be customised in so many different (and yummy ways).
Today, I made this Gelatin-Free Panna Cotta with a yummy homemade strawberry Sauce but you could really just use any fruit you have to top up the dessert.
To make this Dairy-Free Panna Cotta, you will need:
- 1 Can of Coconut Cream (about 400ml / 13.5 oz), well shaken
- Coconut Milk
- Agave Syrup
- Vanilla Paste
- Agar Agar Powder
Panna Cotta can be made with only Coconut Cream or Coconut Milk but I personally like to mix both of them to get a creamy yet light texture.
- Coconut Cream & Milk: I love to use a mix of both, but you could also use just Coconut Milk (for a lighter panna cotta) or just Coconut Cream (for a more dense panna cotta)
- Agave Syrup: you can use any natural liquid sweetener to make this recipe as well, such as Maple Syrup or Rice Malt Syrup.
- Vanilla Paste: can be replaced by 1 fresh Vanilla Bean or some Vanilla Essence / Vanilla Extract.
Is this dessert Gluten Free?
Yes, this dessert is completely Gluten Free, as it only requires Coconut Milk/Cream, Agave Syrup and Agar Agar Powder!
Simply make sure that the Agar you get is Gluten Free, although in its pure form, it will always be gluten and grain free. You can read more about it here.
Panna Cotta with Agar Agar Powder
The main ingredient to make a Vegan Panna Cotta is Agar Agar Powder. This plant-based gelling agent is made from seaweed and thus completely vegetarian and vegan.
I love to use Agar Agar because it sets way more quickly than classic gelatine and it is also reversible when gelatine isn’t. That means that if you put one of these Coconut Milk Panna Cotta in a pot on the stove after it is set, it would melt back into a liquid!
Agar Agar Powder is very easy to use; no need to dilute it with water or blend it in with a mixer. The only thing this gelling agent needs is a high temperature to get activate.
In our case, it means bringing the Panna Cotta liquid to a boil before adding the gelling powder, then whisking it in for a couple of minutes. That’s it!
Find more recipes that use Agar Powder:
How to make Vegan Panna Cotta
The creamy coconut layer is fairly simple and quick to make. All you need is a pot and a stove.
- First, make sure to shake the Coconut Cream can well to combine both layers (you will often see a thick layer at the top of the can and a liquid layer at the bottom).
- Place the Coconut Cream, Coconut Milk, Vanilla Paste and Agave Syrup in a medium size pot. Whisk well to combine then turn on a medium heat.
- Leave to simmer until all the ingredients are fully melted and combined, then increase the heat to bring to a boil.
- Once the liquid is boiling, add the Agar Agar Power and vigorously whisk for 1 to 2 minutes to make sure it is completely melted and combined.
- Remove from the heat and directly pour into the serving cups, bowls or molds. Note that the panna cotta will be very hot at this point so you should be careful when pouring it, and make sure to use a heat-proof recipient.
- Place in the fridge to set for 1 to 1,5 hours.
Quick Strawberry Compote Topping
A great way to finish your Vegan Coconut Panna Cotta is with a homemade fruit sauce or fresh fruits. You can use many different types of berries of tropical fruits like mango, passion fruit or even pineapple.
This time, I chose to make a compote with Frozen Strawberries. It is extremely easy to make and will only take 10 minutes or so!
Here are the steps:
- If using fresh strawberries, wash and core the fruits.
- Place the strawberries (fresh or frozen, directly from the freezer) in a small pot with the Syrup and the Lemon Juice. Turn on low to medium heat and leave to reduce for about 10 minutes
- If using frozen strawberries, it may take another 5 minutes or so to thaw completely.
- Optional: to get a very smooth sauce, use an immersion blender to mix the strawberry compote.
- Leave to cool down completely before topping the strawberry compote on the coconut panna cottas. Otherwise, store in a sealed jar/container in the fridge for a couple of weeks.
How to store this Panna Cotta with Coconut
Panna Cottas should always be stored in the fridge. They are best eaten within 48 hours. I highly recommend adding the Strawberry Sauce topping just before serving.
This recipe will not freeze or thaw well – so I do not recommend freezing it.
More Vegan Dessert Ideas:
- Spiced Red Wine Poached Pears
- Orange and Grapefruit Panna Cotta
- Vegan Avocado Chocolate Mousse
- Easy Vegan Lemon Tart
- Vegan Carrot Cake Muffins
- Vegan Gluten Free Banana Bread
- Vegan Sticky Date Puddings
Vegan Coconut Panna Cotta with Strawberry Sauce
Vegan Coconut Panna Cotta
- 1 400 ml Can (13,5 oz) Coconut Cream
- 350 ml (1 1/2 cup) Unsweetened Coconut Milk
- 1/2 teasp. Vanilla Paste
- 45 ml (3 tbsp) Agave Syrup, or Maple Syrup
- 1 teasp. Agar Agar Powder
- 250 gr (1 cup) Strawberries, Fresh or Frozen
- 1 tbsp Agave Syrup, or Maple Syrup
- 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
- 1 handfull Coconut Flakes , optional
Vegan Coconut Panna Cotta
- Pour the Coconut Milk and Coconut Cream in a small pot (shake the can of coconut cream well before opening). Add the Vanilla Paste and Agave Syrup and turn on low heat. Bring to a simmer and leave until the syrup is fully dissolved.
- Bring the liquid to a boil, then add the Agar Agar Powder. Whisk for 1 to 2 minutes, then remove from the heat.
- Directly pour into individual cups, jars or into silicone molds (1). Place in the fridge to set for 1 to 1,5 hours.
- Place the Strawberries in a small pot with the Agave Syrup and Lemon Juice (2). Turn on low to medium heat and leave the strawberries to reduce for 10 minutes.
- Remove from the stove and transfer to a bowl or container. Leave to cool down completely (3). Keep chunky as a compote or use an immersion blender to get a smooth sauce.
Serving the Panna Cotta
- When ready to serve, pour the Strawberry Sauce over the Coconut Panna Cotta (4).
- Optional: place a handful of coconut flakes on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Toast under the broiler in your oven for 30 seconds to 2 minutes, depending on your oven (make sure to keep an eye on it because it will start to burn fairly quickly). Garnish the Strawberry Coconut Panna Cottas with the Toasted Coconut Flakes
- The liquid will be very hot at this point so be careful when pouring it. Also make sure to use heat-proof recipients.
- If using fresh, wash and core the strawberries first.
- If not using it straight away, the strawberry compote should be kept in an air-tight or sealed container in the fridge
- I recommend adding the strawberry compote just before serving.