Decadent Espresso Marbled Panna Cotta Recipe

Greetings coffee lovers! Are you ready to indulge in a decadent dessert that perfectly balances the rich flavors of espresso and creamy panna cotta? Look no further than this espresso marbled panna cotta recipe. Perfect for any occasion, this dessert is sure to impress both your taste buds and your guests.

As a barista and coffee connoisseur, I understand the importance of a quality cup of joe. That’s why I’ve created this recipe using only the finest espresso coffee that provides both richness and depth to this delightful dessert. This recipe incorporates gelatin as the main binding agent which makes it a no-bake, hassle-free dessert that’s easy to make at home.

Whether you’re looking for an after-dinner treat or need an impressive dessert for a special event, this espresso marbled panna cotta recipe is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. So grab your apron and get ready to create a masterpiece in your own kitchen!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Espresso Marbled Panna Cotta
Espresso Marbled Panna Cotta

Are you a coffee lover? Then, this recipe is going to rock your world! The Espresso Marbled Panna Cotta Recipe is simply divine! Why will you love this delicious recipe?

First of all, it’s a perfect indulgence for dessert lovers. The combination of the silky smooth panna cotta and rich espresso coffee creates a decadent treat that is hard to resist. This dreamy recipe is not only pleasing to the taste buds but also has a visually appealing marbled effect that will wow your guests.

What’s more, the recipe ingredients are simple and easy to find at your local grocery store. You only need milk, gelatin, raw sugar, espresso coffee, and vanilla bean. These ingredients are few in number and can be found in many kitchens, which means this dessert can be whipped up with ease.

Also, this caffeine-laden dessert is a great after-dinner indulgence. Whether you’re preparing for a fancy dinner party or looking for something sweet after an intimate evening meal, Espresso Marbled Panna Cotta will have you satisfied! Its creamy texture and sweet taste make it a versatile dessert that can be paired with different toppings like hazelnut brittle or chocolate syrup.

Lastly, this decadent dessert recipe can also accommodate dietary restrictions as it can be made dairy-free with coconut milk instead of regular milk or condensed milk for calorie-conscious eaters. It’s also gluten-free! This Espresso Panna Cotta marbled recipe would satisfy everyone regardless of their preferences!

In conclusion, the Espresso Marbled Panna Cotta Recipe is sure to satisfy all your dessert cravings while providing an assured energy boost. So why wait? Give this recipe a try today and indulge in its luscious flavors!

Ingredient List

 Pour, mix, and swirl your way to coffee perfection!
Pour, mix, and swirl your way to coffee perfection!

Recipe Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons of gelatin
  • 1/4 cup of cold water
  • 2 cups of heavy cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthways and scraped
  • 1/3 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 cup of freshly brewed espresso coffee, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup of raw sugar
  • 1/4 cup of cold milk
  • 1 teaspoon of espresso powder
  • 3 tablespoons of powdered sugar

These are the ingredients you’ll need to make a rich and heavenly Espresso Marbled Panna Cotta. In order to make the perfect recipe, it is important that you have all the ingredients ready and measured out. I recommend using freshly brewed Espresso coffee for this recipe as it provides an intense flavor. The gelatin is used to give the panna cotta its unique texture, while the vanilla bean and raw sugar add a captivating flavor. The combination of milk and espresso powder creates a smooth separate layer in the center of the panna cotta. The powdered sugar is used for sweetness when serving the dessert.

Note: For a dairy-free alternative, you can use coconut milk instead of cream. Also, if you want to impress your guests and make this recipe more indulgent, add some chocolate syrup or hazelnut brittle on top before serving.

The Recipe How-To

 Making coffee can be artful - create a masterpiece with this Espresso Marbled Panna Cotta!
Making coffee can be artful – create a masterpiece with this Espresso Marbled Panna Cotta!

Step 1: Infuse the Milk

To get that rich, roasted espresso flavor, you’ll need to start by infusing the milk with a strong espresso coffee. In a saucepan, combine 2 cups of milk with 1/4 cup of espresso coffee liquid and 1/4 cup of raw sugar. Heat on low and stir until the sugar is dissolved.

Step 2: Add Gelatin and Vanilla

Next, bloom your gelatin. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of gelatin powder into the infused milk mixture, whisking continuously to prevent any lumps from forming. Allow this mixture to dissolve for a few minutes. Then add powdered sugar (1/3 cup) and vanilla bean split (2 tsp) into the infused milk mixture.

Step 3: Make Espresso Panna Cotta

Carefully pour the mixture into four cups, evenly distributing it among each glass. Place the cups in the refrigerator for about 4 hours or up to overnight to set.

Step 4: Marbling the Panna Cotta

To make Espresso Marbled Panna Cotta, you will need to bake chocolate for topping. To heat up a small amount of milk, while constantly stirring in order to melt it down slowly. Once melted completely add your leftover espresso blend until combined well. Taking out only half at a time, use toothpicks to marble across your already-set panna cotta.

Once completed, place back in fridge for another 30-45 minutes maximum!

And there you have it; a perfect Espresso Marbled Panna Cotta recipe! Congratulations!

Substitutions and Variations

 Who knew coffee could be so pretty? Marbled Espresso Panna Cotta for the win.
Who knew coffee could be so pretty? Marbled Espresso Panna Cotta for the win.

If you’re feeling adventurous and want to mix things up a bit, here are some substitutions and variations that can give this espresso marbled panna cotta recipe a fun twist.

1. Dairy-free: Swap out the cream and milk with coconut milk or almond milk to create a dairy-free version of this dessert. You can also use condensed milk instead of cream for a richer taste.

2. Hazelnut Brittle: Add a piece of hazelnut brittle on top of each panna cotta cup for some crunchy texture.

3. Caramel Sauce: Create an indulgent topping by drizzling some caramel sauce on top of each panna cotta cup.

4. Dark Chocolate Panna Cotta: Substitute the espresso with melted dark chocolate and cocoa powder for a decadent chocolate panna cotta dessert.

5. Coffee Syrup: Drizzle each cup with some coffee syrup for extra richness and sweetness.

These substitutions and variations can add some creativity to your dessert-making process, allowing you to experiment with different flavors and textures. Don’t be afraid to try out new combinations to find your favorite one. Get creative and enjoy the deliciousness!

Serving and Pairing

“I love coffee, I love tea, I love the Java Jive and it loves me!” – Java Jive by The Ink Spots. Love your coffee even more with Espresso Marbled Panna Cotta.

Nothing complements the rich and decadent flavor of this espresso marbled panna cotta quite like the deep, complex notes of a robust coffee. So why not pair your dessert with a piping hot cup of freshly brewed espresso or coffee? Trust me, it’s a match made in heaven.

Alternatively, you could also serve this indulgent dessert with a dusting of espresso powder or a drizzle of chocolate syrup for an added touch of decadence. For those who prefer to cut through the rich sweetness of the dessert with a bit of tang, consider serving with a side of fresh berries or sliced fruit.

If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, this espresso marbled panna cotta could also be paired perfectly with a glass of bold red wine, such as a Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon. The tannins in the wine will help to complement and balance out the dessert’s flavors.

No matter how you decide to serve it, this espresso marbled panna cotta is sure to impress your guests and leave them craving more. So go ahead and indulge in a little decadence – you deserve it!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A stunning dessert that tastes as good as it looks - Espresso Marbled Panna Cotta.
A stunning dessert that tastes as good as it looks – Espresso Marbled Panna Cotta.

One of the great things about this Espresso Marbled Panna Cotta recipe is that it can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge until serving time. This feature makes it a perfect dessert to serve when hosting dinner parties and special events.

To make this recipe ahead of time, follow the instructions in section (4) The Recipe How-To, but chill the panna cotta overnight in the refrigerator before serving. When you’re ready to serve, remove from the fridge and allow it to sit at room temperature for a few minutes before adding any toppings or serving sauce.

To store leftover Panna Cotta, cover the dish tightly with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge. It should last for up to three days.

When reheating, we recommend using low heat and stirring constantly. If you reheat on high heat or let it cook too long, the Panna Cotta may separate or curdle. So, handle with care!

This recipe is not only delicious, but also versatile. Experiment with different ingredients to customize your espresso marbled Panna Cotta experience! To make this dessert dairy-free, substitute milk with coconut cream or condensed milk.

With these tips and tricks, you’ll enjoy this Espresso Marbled Panna Cotta recipe even more!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Life is too short for plain desserts
Life is too short for plain desserts

Now that you have all the ingredients and steps to make this delicious espresso marbled panna cotta, it’s time to ensure that your final product will be flawless. Here are some tips for perfect results.

1. Use good quality coffee for an authentic taste.

The main ingredient in this recipe is espresso coffee, so it’s essential to use high-quality beans. The better the coffee you use, the tastier your panna cotta will be. Try experimenting with different types of coffee to discover what works best with your palate.

2. Gelatin – how much is too much?

Gelatin is used in this recipe to give the panna cotta its texture and stability. However, using too much gelatin can result in a rubbery, unappetizing consistency. Stick to the recipe’s gelatin measurements, and you’ll achieve a perfect texture.

3. Prevent lumps in your mixture.

Having lumps in your panna cotta mixture can ruin the dessert’s smoothness and appearance. To avoid lumps, add the sugar in small batches while continuously whisking, along with a sieve when combining the coffee and milk with the gelatine.

4. Pour carefully for neat layers.

Getting those perfect marbled layers could seem like a daunting task at first, but there’s a simple trick to making them look amazing! Pour each layer in small amounts and slowly let each layer cool and set before adding the next layer; this will prevent melting and overlapping of both flavors.

5. Adjust sweetness according to your preference.

Although powdered sugar is used in this recipe to sweeten the panna cotta, everyone has different sweetness preferences. Don’t hesitate to adjust and add more sugar if you like something sweeter or less if you prefer subtler levels of sweetness.

By following these simple tips on making espresso marbled panna cotta, you’ll be sure of producing perfection every time!


Now that you have all the information you need to make a delicious espresso marbled panna cotta, let’s address any questions or concerns you may have. Here are some frequently asked questions and answers about this recipe that will help you achieve the perfect dessert every time.

What does panna cotta mean in Italian to english?

Originating from Piedmont in Italy, Panna cotta is a classic Italian dessert known for its smooth and creamy texture that is created by a combination of sweetened cream and gelatine.

What happens if you use too much gelatin in panna cotta?

Achieving a successful panna cotta requires the precise amount of gelatin. The ideal panna cotta should have a delicate balance of gelatin, giving the cream a barely-there cohesiveness that wobbles ever so slightly to the touch. However, if you add too much gelatin, your custard will be overly firm and unappetizingly cheese-like. Conversely, if you err on the side of too little gelatin, you’ll risk having a shapeless and watery mess when you attempt to remove it from the mold.

Why is my panna cotta not smooth?

Achieving a creamy and velvety texture for your panna cotta is essential, and one way to guarantee it is to strain the mixture while pouring it. In the case that your panna cotta fails to set, I suggest reheating it on low heat and adding a small amount of gelatin, while being careful not to let it boil.

Why is panna cotta so good?

In the present day, gelatin has become a popular ingredient in the preparation of panna cotta, as it results in a velvety smoothness and a delicate texture that dissolves effortlessly in the mouth.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this recipe for Espresso Marbled Panna Cotta is the perfect dessert for coffee lovers who also appreciate the creamy texture and sweetness of panna cotta. The marbling technique creates an impressive visual effect and amplifies the depth and richness of the espresso flavor. Moreover, with a few adjustments and substitutions, this recipe can also cater to those with dietary restrictions or preferences, such as using dairy-free milk or adding hazelnut brittle on top instead of caramel.

Overall, I highly recommend trying out this recipe and experimenting with variations to suit your taste preferences. With easy-to-find ingredients and a relatively simple process, you can impress your guests or treat yourself to a delicious and sophisticated dessert that looks like it came straight out of a fancy Italian restaurant. So gather your ingredients and heat up your espresso coffee- it’s time to whip up some Espresso Marbled Panna Cotta!

Espresso Marbled Panna Cotta

Espresso Marbled Panna Cotta Recipe

This is from Donna Hay's Autumn Issue 2 (from about 2001 I think). I added more vanilla (you can reduce this to half if you only like a slight vanilla taste) and used raw sugar (not as sweet). I have made this with raspberries as well (see separate recipe). Looks great in a clear glass so you can see the pretty marbled effect (and no messy unmoulding!) Time doesn't include refrigeration time.
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Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Calories 326.3 kcal


  • 2 cups cream
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split
  • 2 teaspoons gelatin
  • 1 teaspoon milk
  • 1/4 cup espresso coffee, liquid
  • 1/4 cup raw sugar


  • Espresso syrup - Put coffee & raw sugar in a small saucepan and stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved.
  • Simmer 5 minutes or until thick and syrupy. Set aside to cool totally.
  • Panna Cotta - Put cream, powdered sugar & vanilla bean in a saucepan over low heat & simmer slowly, stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduced by approximately one third. Remove from the heat.
  • Put gelatine in a bowl, cover with the milk & stand for 5 minutes.
  • Stir into cream mixture and simmer for 1 minute longer.
  • Remove vanilla bean & allow mixture to cool.
  • Drizzle the coffee syrup over the inside of 4 clear glass moulds/ramekins/glasses.
  • Fill immediately with cooled panna cotta mixture. Cover & refrigerate for 4-6 hours or until firm.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 159gCalories: 326.3kcalCarbohydrates: 26.9gProtein: 4.3gFat: 23.3gSaturated Fat: 14.5gCholesterol: 79.4mgSodium: 53.1mgSugar: 22.4g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Australian, Christmas, Dessert, European, Gelatin, Refrigerator, Stove Top
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