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Pandan panna cotta in a glass garnished with pink flowers.

Pandan Panna Cotta

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  • Author: Nguyet Vo
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Chilling Time: 6 hours
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 6 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Asian Inspired, Italian


This silky and creamy panna cotta has a delicate pandan and vanilla flavor. It makes for an elegant dessert but is surprisingly easy to put together.


Units Scale
  • 1/2 cup whole milk, divided
  • 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin powder (I use Knox gelatine)
  • 1/2 cup fresh (or frozen and thawed) pandan leaves cut into 1-inch pieces (see Note 1)
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste


  1. Bloom gelatin. In a small bowl, add 1/4 cup milk. Sprinkle the gelatin powder over the milk (see Note 2). Let sit for 10-15 minutes while continuing with next steps.
  2. Blend pandan leaves. In a blender, add pandan leaves and remaining 1/4 cup milk. Blend for about 2 minutes until most of the leaves are finely chopped, scraping down side of blender as necessary.
  3. Stir. Pour milk-pandan mixture into a small saucepan being sure to get as much of the chopped pandan leaves as possible. Stir in cream, sugar, and vanilla paste. 
  4. Steep. Bring cream mixture to a bare simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat and let steep for 5 minutes.
  5. Add gelatin. After 5 minutes, bring mixture back to a bare simmer (don’t let boil). Remove from heat then add in gelatine mixture. Stir until gelatine is dissolved.
  6. Strain. Strain mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean bowl, pressing down on solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard the leftover pandan pulp.
  7. Pour. Divide panna cotta mixture among four ramekins or glasses. (see Note 3) 
  8. Chill. Refrigerate panna cotta until set, about 6 hours. Once set, cover the ramekins with some plastic wrap if you won’t be serving the panna cotta right away. 


  1. For those who prefer to measure by weight, 1/2 cup cut pandan leaves is 10 grams or 3/8 ounce. You can also substitute the pandan leaves with 1/4 teaspoon of pandan extract paste. If using extract paste, skip the blending step and add all the milk and the extract paste to the pan with the cream.
  2. Sprinkling the gelatin powder over the milk ensures all the gelatin powder will dissolve or “bloom” properly.
  3. Use caution when pouring hot liquids into glassware. To reduce the risk of cracking your glassware, stir the panna cotta mixture in a metal bowl placed in an ice bath until it is cool (but not set) then pour into glasses.
  4. Panna cotta can be stored covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
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