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PSL Panna Cotta

Pumpkin spice latte in panna cotta form! Now you can have your PSL and eat it, too!

Pumpkin Spice Latte Panna Cotta

For the printable recipe click here.


An Underrated, Elegant Dessert

The first time I had panna cotta was at Macaroni Grill. I was in my early teens, dining with a friend, and having trouble picking a dessert. When the server informed me there was a sampler that allowed me to try several Italian-inspired desserts, both my sweet tooth and my indecisive nature were delighted.

I remember that all the desserts were good, but the only one whose memory stands the test of time was the panna cotta. What a revelation! Creamy, dreamy, with just the right amount of sweetness, and unlike anything I had had before.

Unlike somewhat similar desserts like flan or creme brulee that rely on eggs or a mixture of eggs and cornstarch for their thickening and gelling, this Italian dessert relies on gelatin. Panna cotta is in fact very similar to Jello, but rather than employing something like hot water or juice as its base liquid, panna cotta typically uses milk or heavy cream to create a creamy, opaque gelatin mixture.


Pumpkin Spice Latte Panna Cotta

​PSL Panna Cotta

This creamy pumpkin panna cotta should definitely be on your list of fall desserts to try.

Inspired (obviously) by the season's favorite espresso drink, the pumpkin spice latte, affectionately (or lazily) referred to as a PSL, this panna cotta combines the flavors of pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and espresso into a delightfully fresh take on fall desserts.

​If you're looking for a no bake pumpkin dessert, pumpkin spice latte panna cotta has you covered.


Pumpkin Spice Latte Panna Cotta

How it works

Gelatin is a substance derived from the connective tissue collagen found in animals. If you've ever made a really good chicken stock that had a little more jiggle than flow after a few hours in the fridge, then you've seen gelatin doing it's thing straight from the source.

Note: This would be a good time to point out that this recipe (and anything containing gelatin) is not vegan. Sometimes agar agar can be used to create vegan version of recipes that call for gelatin, but I have not experimented with that yet. Ok, back to our pumpkin panna cotta recipe!

The gelatin used here comes in powdered form. I use one from Vital Proteins that comes from grass-fed cattle.

Powdered gelatin needs to bloom, or be hydrated so that each little granule swells up. In this recipe, we bloom the gelatin powder by sprinkling it over a portion of coconut milk, while the rest of the coconut milk gets blended with pumpkin, espresso, and warm spices.


The pumpkin mixture is then heated just to a slight boil and poured over the bloomed gelatin to melt it all up. The melted gelatin incorporates with the other ingredients to allow them to swell and gel as well.


This gelling happens best over several hours in a chilly environment. so once the mixture has been poured into the desired serving vessels and has cooled to room temperature, we stash the containers in the fridge to set to the perfect panna cotta consistency.


Pumpkin Spice Latte Panna Cotta

What makes it paleo?

Unlike traditional panna cotta, which typically relies on dairy products like milk or whipping cream, our PSL Panna Cotta uses coconut milk--the kind that is sold as a beverage and comes in a carton.


Additionally, while a similar, non-paleo recipe might use brown sugar or white granulated sugar, this recipe relies on coconut sugar and a touch of maple syrup.


I would not feel bad about using organic brown sugar in place of the coconut sugar here, so do what feels right to you.


Whipped topping

​While it's not completely necessary, I just love the addition of a creamy whipped topping on these PSL panna cottas.

Whether you serve this dessert in a large glass bowl or in individual glasses or ramekins, the contrast in colors and textures takes things to the next level.


Feel free to use a store-bought whipped coconut cream, or for better control over the ingredients, make your own by whipping a can of coconut cream with a little maple syrup or organic powdered sugar.

I typically do not add the topping until serving time. Once crowned with whipped coconut cream, sprinkle just a pinch of pumpkin pie spice over the top, and pass out the spoons!

With a creamy texture and the fun fall twist of pumpkin flavor, this creamy dessert is a festive departure from some of the typical pumpkin things we enjoy this time of year. We hope you will love it!

Pumpkin Spice Latte Panna Cotta

Here's what you'll need:

  • 4 cups coconut milk (beverage), divided

  • 2 T powdered gelatin

  • 2/3 cup pumpkin puree

  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar

  • 1 T maple syrup

  • 2 1/2 tsp instant espresso granules

  • 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice, plus more for serving, if desired

  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt

  • 2 tsp vanilla extract or a vanilla bean

  • whipped coconut cream for serving, if desired

Here's what you'll do:

  1. In a medium-sized heatproof bowl, sprinkle the gelatin powder over 1/2 cup coconut milk. Let sit for at least 5 minutes for the gelatin to hydrate, or "bloom."

  2. Meanwhile, in a highspeed blender, blend the remaining coconut milk, pumpkin puree, coconut sugar, maple syrup, instant espresso powder, pumpkin pie spice, and salt and high until very thoroughly combined.

  3. Transfer the mixture to a small saucepan or medium pot over medium heat. If using vanilla bean instead of extract, split the pod along its length, scrape out the seeds, and add the seeds and the pod to the pot. Bring the mixture just to a slight boil. Off the heat, stir in the vanilla extract or removed the vanilla bean pod, and pour the coconut milk mixture over the bloomed gelatin, stirring to completely melt the gelatin.

  4. If you desire for the dessert to set in individual servings, distribute the panna cotta mixture among desired serving vessels now. It may be helpful to place the individual glasses or ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature, then cover with plastic wrap and let set in the fridge for at least 4 hours (longer if using a larger bowl rather than individual servings). I like to let them set overnight. Best consumed within 5 days.

  5. To serve, top with whipped coconut cream and sprinkle with just a pinch of pumpkin pie spice, if desired.

pumpkin spice sweet potatoes


For the printable recipe click here.


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Hey Y'all!

I'm the Monster Momma.

I'm a Christ-follower, wife, mother to five sweet paleo monsters, writer, and

paleo food fiend.

Join me and my family on our paleo journey!

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