Buttermilk and Strawberry Panna Cotta


Buttermilk and Strawberry Panna Cotta Dessert

Homemade pudding has been well documented on this here site quite a bit. It’s a near and dear dessert that’s so close to my heart. Puddin’ is the thing I want to eat after a super heavy meal when I can barely even think to think about dessert, but totally want to. Am I making sense?

And no matter how many new pudding memories I make, pudding will always, ALWAYS remind me of Billy Madison. (Please tell me you clicked on that link and watched him dance down those stairs. You’re welcome.)

Billy loved his Snack Packs! I remember watching that movie over and over and begging my mom to add them to her grocery list. She did. I was a girl obsessed with Billy Madison and chocolate pudding.

Buttermilk and Strawberry Panna Cotta Dessert

A bunch of years later, I realized there was a whole world of different flavored puddings. And then I learned about panna cotta–oh my! Now, I’m sort of a brat about panna cotta. No rock hard panna cotta! No way. It should be silky and smooth and not super stiff.

This panna cotta was the perfect balance between holding form and not being overly gelatinized.

This gem of a recipe comes from the new book, Bakeless Sweets, by Faith Durand.

It’s a book all about desserts like puddings, custards, panna cottas, ice box cakes and rice pudding. Yum! A collection of beautiful, bakeless desserts!

And totally spot on, seeing as in a few months none of us are going to want to turn on our ovens and we’re going to be incessantly complaining about mosquito bites and humidity. Ugh. Not ready.

Strawberry and Buttermilk Panna Cotta Dessert

In the book, this recipe uses peaches, but since we’re not there yet, strawberries took their place. I think this thang would do great with other fruits too, like blackberries or slices of mango.

And since we’re still doing the whole Mama’s Day thing, this would be perfect for a make-ahead dessert for Sunday.

Buttermilk and Strawberry Panna Cotta



  • 8 ounces fresh strawberries, sliced thinly
  • 1 1/2 cups cultured buttermilk, well shaken, divided
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons powdered gelatin
  • 1/4 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • Pinch of salt


  • Divide the strawberries among six cups of glasses that hold at least 6 ounces each. Chill the glasses.
  • Pour 1/2 cup of the buttermilk into a 2-quart saucepan and sprinkle the gelatin over the top. Set aside for 5 minutes to allow the gelatin to soften. Warm gently over medium heat and stir the sugar in. Heat gently until the gelatin and sugar have both fully dissolved, then turn off the heat.
  • Whisk in the remaining buttermilk and the cream, vanilla, pepper, and salt. Taste to check sweetness; add more sugar if desired.
  • Transfer the mixture to a measuring cup with a spout. Divide this mixture among the child cups, pouring it over the strawberries. Cover the glasses lightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the panna cotta and let it set for at least 2 hours--but preferably overnight. The panna cotta can be made up to 3 days ahead and left in the refrigerator, covered.

Recipe tweaked (only a little) from Bakeless Sweets by Faith Durand

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  • Avatar
    Reply Natalie May 9, 2013 at 1:07 am

    This looks sublime! I’ve only made rose panna cotta before, will have to try strawberries next 🙂

    • Adrianna Adarme
      Reply Adrianna Adarme May 9, 2013 at 8:47 am

      Oooo. I think a splash of rosewater would’ve worked in this recipe!

  • Avatar
    Reply DessertForTwo May 9, 2013 at 5:07 am

    Thanks for letting me know about this book! I want it!

    I’m puddin’ obsessed, too!

  • Avatar
    Reply Tieghan May 9, 2013 at 5:14 am

    I am pudding obsessed!! This looks crazy goood!!

  • Avatar
    Reply Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar May 9, 2013 at 5:44 am

    Such a treat! This sounds lovely!

  • Avatar
    Reply Heather @ A Sweet Simple Life May 9, 2013 at 5:51 am

    Such a dainty little dessert! Perfect for Mother’s Day!

  • Avatar
    Reply Stacey May 9, 2013 at 7:05 am

    I’ve always been terrified of working with gelatin. The last time I tried to use it it was to stabilize whipped cream for frosting and it was a giant chunky disaster. But! You’ve single-handedly help me overcome my fear of frying things, so I feel like with your guidance I can learn to embrace gelatin. 🙂

    Stop looking at me, Swan!

    • Adrianna Adarme
      Reply Adrianna Adarme May 9, 2013 at 8:48 am

      Oh gracious. Working with gelatin in this recipe was a cinch! I hear to stabilize whipped cream the trick is a teaspoon or two of creme fraiche. Apparently this is what restaurant kitchens do to make sure it’s fluffy for hours upon hours. 🙂

  • Avatar
    Reply Marie @ Little Kitchie May 9, 2013 at 7:45 am

    Panna cotta is my go-to dessert for entertaining. It’s so good, you can make it ahead, and it just looks cute when everyone has their own individual dish. This is absolutely lovely!

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    Reply Aimee St.Germain (Cooking the Strip) May 9, 2013 at 9:54 am

    An entire cookbook of no-bake desserts? That’s moving to the top of my “must purchase” list. I love the idea of buttermilk in panna cotta – sounds so good! Thanks for sharing!

  • Avatar
    Reply Michelle May 9, 2013 at 10:38 am

    i ALWAYS think of Billy Madison when thinking of pudding. It’s unavoidable!!

    If I didn’t have an allergy to strawberries, I’d be ALL over this.

  • Avatar
    Reply Nicole @ Young, Broke and Hungry May 9, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    When i was younger I ate pudding everyday after school, it was delightful. However I always thought of panna cotta having an unpleasant constancy but this recipe changed my mind. It looks so silky and smooth!

  • Avatar
    Reply M.C.@ ThousandStoryKitchen May 9, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    These look awesome. I never thought about buttermilk in panna cotta- sounds amazing! Now to watch Billy Madison for nostalgia! Thanks! 🙂

  • Avatar
    Reply Lindsey May 9, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    i can’t wait till nyc gets fresh strawberries! awesome recipe!

  • Avatar
    Reply Joel May 9, 2013 at 7:14 pm

    Where can I get jars like the ones you used? they are so pretty for presentation.

  • Avatar
    Reply Jayne May 9, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    Oh yes… good Mother’s Day treat. My mom doesn’t fancy desserts that are toothachingly sweet. This will go into my Pintrest!

  • Avatar
    Reply Lisa the Gourmet Wog May 10, 2013 at 4:27 am

    I love the addition of pepper! Very cool

  • Avatar
    Reply brandi May 10, 2013 at 11:29 am

    i LOVE panna cotta – such a simple thing, but so delicious and perfect when it’s done right.

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    Reply Dina May 10, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    this sounds delish. i love buttermilk and this is a creative use for it!

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    Reply Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) May 10, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    Wow, these look so delish. I have never made panna cotta and I love them inside the jars!

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