By: Chef Ben Davis

Vegan Coconut Panna Cotta

Panna Cotta is an Italian dessert made of thickened sweet cream with the addition of light flavorings. With the main ingredients being cream and gelatin, panna cotta, while delicious, is not a vegan-friendly dessert. To satisfy every individual’s lifestyle and sweet tooth, Executive Chef, Ben Davis, created a vegan version of this classic Italian masterpiece.

The coconut milk and root starch are substitutes for the cream and gelatin while not leaving behind the unique, creamy texture of traditional panna cotta. The coconut milk also adds an extra kick of flavor and vegan goodness! This is a quick and impressive dessert that can be made in advance with little hassle.

Panna Cotta is a perfect option if you’re craving a lighter dessert or have some fresh fruit impatiently waiting to be devoured. This simple sweet treat will bring joy to the uncompromising vegan, the passionate vegetarian, and even those with absolute food freedom!

Serves 4 to 6


1 can (400ml) full fat coconut milk

50 g (2 ½ tbsp) agave nectar

½ vanilla bean or substitute 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract

33 g kuzu root starch

Optional star fruit 


1. In a blender combine the coconut milk and agave nectar.  If you are using the vanilla bean scrape the seeds into the blender, if you are using the paste or extract just add to the mixture.

2. Blend the mixture at high speed for about 20 seconds to combine.  Reduce the speed to low and pour in the kuzu root starch while the blender is running to thoroughly mix in the starch and prevent lumps from forming.  Once all the starch is added let the blender run for about 15 seconds.

3. Transfer the mixture to a heavy saucepan and place over a medium flame to heat while stirring constantly with a heat-proof spatula.  After about 7 to 10 minutes the mixture will start to thicken.  When you can draw a line with your spatula and see the bottom of the pot for 3 seconds the mixture is done.

4. Divide the mixture between 4 to 6 ramakins that you have sprayed lightly with pan spray.  Smooth the tops with the back of a spoon or spatula and then chill for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.

5. Remove from the ramakins by inverting on onto a plate and serve with fresh or roasted tropical fruits.