This Double Mango Panna Cotta Recipe makes the most delicious and light Summer Dessert. Super creamy and packed with flavour, this Panna Cotta with Mango is a great make-ahead dessert for parties, barbecues and summer gatherings!
Why we love this recipe
If you are looking for a light and fresh summer dessert, you MUST try this recipe for Mango Panna Cotta. It is a super easy dessert that can be prepared in advance and kept in the fridge until ready to be served.
The sweet Mango fruit is combined with fresh Lime Zest and a little bit of Vanilla for a truly flavourful dessert. Finish it with some freshly sliced Mango, a sprinkle of Mint and some desiccated Coconut for a beautiful yet easy party dessert!
The ingredients required to make a Panna Cotta are super simple: a liquid - usually cream or milk (or a combination of both like here), a little bit of sugar and some gelatine. For this recipe, we added some Mango Coulis, Lime Zest and Vanilla for flavouring.
To make this recipe, you will need 6 ingredients only (scroll down to recipe card for all quantities):
- Mango Coulis: a light mango sauce made from mango, sugar and lime juice
- Full Cream Milk + Heavy / Thickened Cream: You can make Panna Cotta with only Milk or only Cream, but I have found that the combination of both is a great way to create a light yet rich dessert
- Caster Sugar: or fine White Sugar
- Lime Zest: a simple way to add even more freshness to the dessert!
- Gelatine Powder: needed to set the Panna Cotta and give it its light jelly-like texture.
- Vanilla Paste: an optional ingredient but a great way to boost the flavours of the dessert.
How to make Panna Cotta with Mango
There are two steps to make this recipe: first, prepare the Mango Coulis, then make the Panna Cotta Cream.
The Mango Coulis might add an extra step, but it can actually be prepared up to a week in advance!
As explained above, a Mango Coulis is a thick mango sauce made from cooking mango, lime juice and sugar. The compote is then blended until smooth. It makes a great thick mango sauce that can be kept for about a week in the fridge.
You can read all about how to make mango coulis here! For this recipe, you will need a full batch of this coulis.
Panna Cotta Cream
Once the Coulis is ready, you can start preparing the Panna Cotta:
- Place the Milk, Cream, Sugar, Mango Coulis and Vanilla Paste (optional) in a small Pot.
- Whisk well to combine, then place on the stove on low to medium heat.
- Heat up until you reach a simmer. Make sure to stay close as milk tends to start boiling (and boiling over...) very quickly! Remove from the heat.
- While the liquids are heating up, place the Gelatine Powder in a small bowl and add a little bit of very cold water to dissolve. I added about 1 to 2 tablespoons of water for 2 teaspoons of gelatine powder.
- Remove the pot from the stove and add the dissolved Gelatine to the hot liquid. Mix very well with a whisk to fully melt and combine the gelatine.
- Add the Lime Zest and whisk to combine
- Directly pour the Panna Cotta Cream into individual serving Cups.
- Place in the fridge to cool down and set. It will take at least 2 hours for the cream to fully set. Make sure to cover each cups so that the desserts don't absorb any odours from the fridge.
- when ready to serve, add the rest of the Mango Coulis over the set Panna Cotta Cream and finish with some fresh Mango cubes, some fresh Mint and a little bit of desiccated Coconut.
Tips to make this recipe
- If preferred, you can use all Milk or all Cream instead of a mix of Milk + Cream (substitute 1 for 1). With all Milk, you will get a very light panna cotta. Using all cream will get you a richer dessert.
- Add Vanilla Paste (or vanilla extract) to the panna cotta to boost its flavour. Vanilla actually acts as a flavour intensifier!
- Make sure to heat up the liquids on a low to medium heat to avoid burning the milk/cream or having it boiling over. And stay close - once it starts getting hot, it will starts to boil very quickly!
- Don't forget to dissolve the Gelatine in cold Water before adding it to the cream. This is to insure it melts evenly into the cream.
- Add the gelatine away from the heat - gelatine does not need to be boiled or be mixed at a high temperature to be activated.
- To insure the gelatine is very evenly melted into the cream, you can use an Immersion Blender to mix it in.
- Add the Lime Zest at the end - and away from the heat - so that it does not turn brown and keeps its bright green colour.
- To easily pour the liquid panna cotta into individual cups, transfer it into a measuring jug first. You can also set the Panna Cotta in individual Silicone Molds if you do not want to serve them into cups.
- Make sure the Mango Panna Cottas have fully set before topping them with the rest of the Coulis, so that you get clean layers.
I personally prefer to use a Coulis instead of a simple puree because the Sugar and Lime Juice added to the coulis will really help bring out the flavours of the mango.
If you are looking for an easier or quicker alternative, you can absolutely use a homemade Mango Puree instead. Simply blend about 500 grams (1 pounds) of Fresh (or thawed frozen) Mangoes until smooth.
Note that if using puree instead of coulis, the second layer will be much more liquid and not as thick as here.
Absolutely - that's one of the great thing about Panna Cotta. You can really use any type of Cream and/or Milk - Dairy and Dairy-Free - to prepare it.
To make this recipe Dairy-Free, simply replace the Milk by a Dairy-Free Milk (Soy, Almond, Coconut,...) and the Cream by a Plant-Based Cream like Coconut Cream or Soy Cream.
Flavour-wise, I highly recommend using Coconut Milk and Coconut Cream (if you like coconut of course). Coconut works perfectly with the tropical flavour of Mango!
For a Vegan alternative, you will need to use another type of gelling agent than Gelatine.
Yes, you can very easily replace the Gelatine with a Vegan Alternative: Agar Agar. Agar is a natural, plant-based gelling agent derived from algae. Unfortunately, it does not work exactly the same way as gelatine as it needs to be boiled to activate, which means you cannot always substitute one for the other.
Luckily, Panna Cotta is one of recipe where you can absolutely substitute one for the other since we are boiling the liquids anyway! Be careful when replacing gelatine for agar though, as agar has a much stronger gelling ability than gelatine.
To make this recipe with agar agar like I did with my Vegan Coconut Panna Cotta, you will need to replace the Gelatine Powder with 3/4 teaspoon of Agar Powder (or 1.5 grams).
The process to incorporate the agar agar will be slightly different too. You will need to bring the Milk, Cream, Sugar and Mango Coulis to a boil first, then add the Agar Agar Powder and whisk vigorously for about 2 minutes.
Storing this dessert
How to keep the dessert
The Mango Coulis can be stored in the fridge in a jar or air-tight container for up to a week before using it to make this dessert. It can also be frozen for a couple of months!
The Panna Cotta itself should be stored in the fridge, covered with wrap, and be served within two days.
I highly recommend adding the layer of mango coulis and your choice of topping just before serving for maximal freshness.
Can I make it in advance?
Yes, it makes a great make-ahead dessert! As explained above, the Mango Coulis can be made well ahead to help you prep, and the Mango Panna Cotta can be stored in the fridge for up to two days.
For more freshness and the best taste though, I recommend making it up to 24 hours in advance. Don't forget to leave the toppings until last minute!
Can I freeze Panna Cotta?
The Mango Coulis can easily be frozen, but the panna cotta will not freeze well.
More Summer Desserts
- Creamy Mango Ice Cream from Know Your Produce
- Banana Chia Seed Puddings
- Fresh Apricot Crumble
- Double Raspberry Mousse Cups
- Easy Cherry Clafoutis
- Easy Peach Galette
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Mango Panna Cotta
Mango Coulis (see note 1)
- 400 gr (0.9 lbs) Mango - fresh or frozen
- 1 small Lime - juice only
- 30 gr (2 1/2 tablespoon) Caster Sugar
Mango Panna Cotta
- 250 ml (1 cup) Full Cream Milk - or Dairy-Free Milk if required
- 250 ml (1 cup) Heavy / Thickened Cream - or Dairy-Free Cream if required
- 40 gr (3 tablespoons) Caster Sugar
- 180 ml (3/4 cup) Mango Coulis - (keep the rest of the coulis for the toppings)
- 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Paste - optional
- 7 gr (2 teaspoons) Gelatine Powder - with a little bit of cold water
- 1 Lime, Zest Only
- the rest of the Mango Coulis
- Suggestion: Fresh Mango Cubes, fresh Mint and Desiccated Coconut - to taste
- Prepare the Mango Coulis following to these instructions (same quantities). It can be prepared up to a week in advance and kept in the fridge or frozen. See note 1 if substituting for mango puree.
Mango Panna Cotta
- Place the Milk, Cream, Sugar, Mango Coulis and Vanilla Paste (optional) in a small pot and mix well. Place on the stove on a low to medium heat until it starts to simmer (see note 2) Remove from the stove.
- While the liquids are heating up, place the Gelatine Powder in a small Bowl and stir in a little bit of cold water to dissolve (see note 3).
- Away from the heat, add the dissolved Gelatine to the hot Liquid and whisk well to combine until fully melted.
- Add the Lime Zest and whisk to combine.
- Directly pour into individual serving cups and place in the fridge to set for at least 2 hours or until set (see note 4).
- Just before serving, pour the rest of the Mango Coulis over each set mango panna cotta.
- Optional: finish the dessert with som fresh Mango Cubes, some fresh Mint and Desiccated Coconut - to taste
- The Mango Coulis can be substituted with about 500 grams / 1 pounds of Blended Mango. But the Mango layer will not be as thick or flavourful as with the Mango Coulis.
- Make sure to stay close as milk/cream tend to start boiling (and burning) very quickly when left unattended.
- I added about 2 tablespoons of cold water to the 2 teaspoons of gelatine.
- Make sure to cover the cups to insure the panna cottas don't absorb odours from the fridge. It can be kept in the fridge overnight as well, or up to 2 days before adding the toppings and serving.