Orange Creamsicle Panna Cotta

 Panna Cotta is one of my favorite, easy, semi impressive desserts. They look great for a party and most people think they're a lot more work than they actually are. Unlike puddings, there's no flour ratio, no eggs and no real cooking. It's just gelatin, milk, cream and sugar. It's a very rich, very satisfying dessert that has just the right amount of sweetness and acidity to cut through the rich nature.

This recipe came about accidentally when I mis-measured my vanilla. It was so strong that I knew I wouldn't be able to mask it. Instead, I had to find a way to use the vanilla flavor to my advantage. I've always loved the orange and raspberry ice cream bars, and I knew that would be the closest I could get with this strong vanilla flavor. This didn't have the artificial taste the ice cream usually has. The vanilla was more subtle once it cooled, and the pure tangerine puree had a great, very sharp citrus note that was only present in the upper gelee. Highly recommended.

Orange Creamsicle Panna Cotta

  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 3 sheets gelatin (1 sheet is about 3/4 tsp powdered)
  • 2 ½ cup cream
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 zested blood orange or tangerine
  • juice from 1 orange
  • just over ½ tsp vanilla (closer to 1 tsp)

For the orange gelee

  • 4 Tbsp tangerine puree
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 sheet of gelatin
  • ½ cup + 2 Tbsp water


  1. Bloom 3 sheets of gelatin in ½ cup milk. Simmer sugar, cream, milk, orange juice and zest until sugar dissolves
  2. Add vanilla and dissolve in gelatin. Pour into cups chill until almost completely set
  3. Bloom 1 sheet of gelatin in 2 Tbsp water.
  4. Simmer together puree, honey, lemon juice and ½ cup water. Stir in gelatin until dissolved and let cool until panna cotta is almost set
  5. Gently spoon gelee over panna cotta and return to refrigerator. Let set completely before serving. 


  1. This looks awesome! I am making a Blood Orange Panna Cotta for my restaurant tomorrow and your recipe gave me a nice base on which to build my version of it, along with the gelee recipe.

    My variation includes vanilla bean (because I have it) Blood orange (of course) and local vanilla yogurt. I'm thinking about piping the gelee into a design on the top of the cup because I want them the see the (pink) color of the panna cotta hopefully. Wish me luck!

    1. That's fantastic! Let me know how it goes and make sure to take pictures.


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