Lemon Basil Panna Cotta

Panna Cotta is one of the easiest and most elegant dessert recipes you can make.  It is also gluten free, requires few ingredients and no cooking, and is endlessly adaptable.  As long as you have cream, milk, yogurt, and/or coconut milk and some gelatin, you can make a delicious Panna Cotta.

Last week at my local Farmer’s Market I sampled some Lemon Basil, and it was so vibrantly flavorful, I took a giant bunch and used it in just about every meal for 3 days straight.  As Mother’s Day approached I noticed that many of my favorite food blogs were posting recipes for Panna Cotta, so I am chiming in with a Lemon Basil version.

Lemon Basil

Lemon Basil

My recipe is adapted from the one posted on David Leibovitz’s blog, which I have successfully adapted using different liquids and fruits several times.

Yield:  6 Servings

6 Servings


2 cups heavy cream

2 cups buttermilk

1/2 cup sugar

1 bunch Lemon Basil

2 packages unflavored gelatin, such as Knox

Strawberry Jam, for serving

Lemon Wedge, for serving



Soften gelatin over 6 tablespoons cold water.

Heat cream and buttermilk over low heat with the sugar and stir until dissolved. Do not boil. Remove from heat.  Add Lemon Basil and transfer to a blender.  Puree until smooth.  Pour into bowl.

Stir in gelatin until melted. Pour into glass serving goblets or bowls.

Chill for at least 2 hours. Once firm, top with Strawberry Jam and a squeeze of Lemon Juice.

Lemon Basil Panna Cotta

Lemon Basil Panna Cotta


12 Comments on “Lemon Basil Panna Cotta

    • Jess, I now love Panna Cotta, it’s easy, elegant and tasty! I’m not quite the baking & decorating wizard you are so I like to keep it simple!

  1. Is there a substitution I could make for the sugar? Does Stevia work ok with something like this? This recipe I could actually handle! 😉

      • Perfect! Yes, I’ve been gluten free (including corn) and sugar free for about 6 weeks now and keeping carbs low and my joints are feeling great! I’m also losing weight finally. (and I took your advice about taking a good probiotic daily)

    • It was, there’s a fantastic Thai stand at our Saturday market that sells every imaginable herb you could imagine and their Lemon Basil and their Purple Basil are outrageously delicious! Thanks for visiting!

  2. Dear Birgerbird, I am going to prepare this and make it explode with even more tart lemon flavor by squeezing fresh lemon juice all over the panna cotta. Thank you for this great recipe.

    • Thank you! The taste is mostly of the cream with a hint of the herb, lemon basil. A kind of sweet, green taste mostly like basil but with a little lemon fragrance. So good, we are eating it for breakfast right now!!!! I froze it because it’s so hot and poured a little hot green tea over like an affogato!

  3. Pingback: Hot Weather Cold Custard Breakfasts | birgerbird

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