Buttermilk Panna Cotta

Total Time
17 min
15 min
2 min
The name of this terrific make-ahead dessert, panna cotta, is Italian for “cooked cream,” although it is hardly cooked at all.


Unflavored gelatin

package(s), (1 1/2 teaspoon)

Fat free half and half creamer

¾ cup(s)

1% low fat buttermilk

1 cup(s)



Table salt


Vanilla extract

¾ tsp

Strawberry jam

8 Tbsp, or strawberry sauce


  1. Spray four 5-ounce ramekins or 6-ounce custard cups with nonstick spray.
  2. Sprinkle the gelatin over 1⁄2 cup of the half-and-half in a small bowl. Let stand until the gelatin softens, about 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the remaining 1⁄4 cup of half-and-half, the buttermilk, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan and set over medium heat. Cook, whisking, until the sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the gelatin mixture until completely dissolved. Whisk in the vanilla. Pour the custard mixture through a fine-mesh sieve set over a medium bowl. Divide the custard evenly among the ramekins. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled and set, at least 4 hours or up to 1 day.
  4. Run a thin knife around the edges of the ramekins to loosen the custards, then dip the ramekins, one at a time, into a bowl of hot water about 5 seconds. Unmold the custards onto chilled plates and spoon 2 tablespoons strawberry sauce around each. Yields 1⁄2 cup custard and 2 tablespoons sauce per serving.


Originally a specialty of the Piedmonte region of Italy, panna cotta is now enjoyed all over Italy and America. Our more healthful version has all of the lushness of a classic panna cotta but with less fat.