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Buttermilk Panna Cotta – Day 5 Grain Free Challenge

by Deliciously Organic on September 14, 2011

When you’re so used to cakes, cookies, and muffins it can be hard to think of a satisfying, but grain-free dessert. I’m here to tell you there are thousands of options out there! Puddings, custards, ice creams, cookies and cakes made with ingredients like almond and coconut flour. It only requires a little shift in our thinking.

Here are some options for grain free desserts:

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies 
Chocolate Almond Joy Bars – Elana’s Pantry
Chocolate Wonder Pops 
Mocha Frappe
Pumpkin Custard – Nourished Kitchen

A custard or pudding is one of the easiest options and doesn’t require much work. I made my own buttermilk, added some cream, maple syrup, and gelatin and chilled it until firm. It’s smooth, creamy, and a bit tangy like yogurt. I topped mine with raspberries since they’re abundant right now.

How is your first grain-free week going? Have you discovered any tips or favorite recipes?

Buttermilk Panna Cotta

Serving Size: Serves 6

Buttermilk Panna Cotta


  • 2 1/4 teaspoons unflavored gelatin (I prefer Bernard Jensen)

  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • 1/3 cup maple syrup

  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 pint fresh berries


Stir together gelatin and 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl. Set aside for 10 minutes. Whisk together cream and maple syrup in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Heat until it just begins to steam. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes. Whisk in gelatin until dissolved. Whisk in buttermilk and vanilla. Pour into 6 small bowls, cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours until firm. Serve with fresh berries.

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Marla September 14, 2011 at 4:36 pm

No fuss of a crust is the way to go girl!! I can see why you have all been enjoying this dessert :)


Nancy@acommunaltable September 14, 2011 at 7:42 pm

I love Panna Cotta and love the tanginess from the buttermilk!!! A perfect dessert for this time of year too (ah, heck, it’s perfect any time!!)


Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen September 14, 2011 at 8:16 pm

Panna Cotta’s are such a nice elegant dessert. There’s no reason to miss grains with a dessert this indulgent and satisfying.


Allison [Girl's Guide to Social Media] September 14, 2011 at 9:09 pm

Gorgeous! I love panna cotta.


Katrina September 15, 2011 at 4:15 am

I’ve been wanting to try panna cotta for a while now. Thanks for this. It looks lovely!


Bobbi Kenow September 15, 2011 at 5:30 am

This is where I struggle with the whole “non-grain” way of life…my family can’t do a lot of dairy…that makes it SO tough! This looks DELICIOUS though!


Karen September 15, 2011 at 7:31 am

Bobbie – Go for Carrie’s gluten free peanut butter chocolate chip cookies (link above), they are to die for. These are the first thing I made for my son when we began our journey of gluten/wheat free, he loves them.

Carrie – the challenge is going fabulously! My son and husband haven’t even realized they haven’t been getting any grains, HA. I’ve been loading our plates with fruits and veggies, they are completely satisified. Snacks…cheese, fruit, dehydrated nuts (thanks for that one, they are amazing). I’m feeling better already. Thanks for the challenge.


Deliciously Organic September 15, 2011 at 10:36 am

Thanks for the advice about dairy free options. I’m so glad to hear the challenge is going well for you! I’m loving it as well!


Bobbi Kenow September 15, 2011 at 1:57 pm

Karen…as soon as I saw that cookie recipe…I KNEW it would be in my future!Thanks!


Thia September 15, 2011 at 7:02 am

Bobbi- try subbing coconut milk in recipes; that’s what I do. In this particular recipe, you’d loose the tang of the buttermilk, though. Adding lemon might work?


Bobbi Kenow September 15, 2011 at 1:58 pm

Thanks! We always use coconut milk in smoothies…but I have never tried it in substitute of heavy cream…


Tonya September 15, 2011 at 7:24 am

I am following a Paleo diet and am very excited to see your grain-free recipes. I will sub the heavy cream for full fat coconut milk and buttermilk for almond milk with a little lemon juice . Looks like a great weekend treat. Thank you!


Deliciously Organic September 15, 2011 at 10:37 am

I’ll have to give that a try too! Great idea!


Bobbi Kenow September 15, 2011 at 2:00 pm

Tonya…I do use coconut milk and almond milk quite often…and love them both!

I am wondering…have you ever used full fat coconut milk in a quiche? I have always wanted to try it because my fav quiche recipe calls for heavy cream…but I don’t want to ruin the recipe and waste so many eggs, you know? :)


Tonya September 16, 2011 at 11:07 am

I have not tried it with a quiche but I think it would taste great. I have had good results in other recipes where I subbed coconut milk for heavy cream.


Maria September 15, 2011 at 8:53 am

Beautiful dessert!


Lucy Lean September 15, 2011 at 9:58 am

I have spent the last year perfecting panna cotta – can’t wait to try your recipe – my friends now joke that I will bring this to any dinner party! I like to use the sheets of gelatin – and I like to make a batch and put it in little glass votives – especially good for a quick fix when craving a sweet treat.


Niki of Spilled Ingredients September 15, 2011 at 12:01 pm

Hi Carrie, I’ve also been loving Elana’s Chocolate Almond Joy Bars – and reposted on my own site. :) This panna cotta looks right up my alley, I love the incorporation of buttermilk here. I haven’t gone “all in” but am also very interested in the wheat-free movement and have been posting wheatless recipes too. Good luck to us all ~ I found it difficult around the 30 day mark!


HeatherChristo September 15, 2011 at 12:03 pm

Not only does that look so tasty, but your pictures are so pretty Carrie!


Anna September 15, 2011 at 12:12 pm

How do you make buttermilk?


Deliciously Organic September 15, 2011 at 12:29 pm

It’s 1 cup milk and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Stir, cover, and leave at room temperature for 24 hours. That’s it!


Georgia Pellegrini September 15, 2011 at 4:14 pm

I love panna cotta soooo much. I’ll definitely be making this.


Chloe September 16, 2011 at 1:51 am

I’m a huge fan of non-grain desserts, the photography is beautiful, and panna cotta, a weakness of mine.


jenjenk September 16, 2011 at 10:54 am

Love, love, love panna cotta!!! must give this a try!


Pam September 17, 2011 at 1:49 am

I currently live in Italy and Panna Cotta is my favorite gluten-free dessert! I love using buttermilk in recipes and can’t wait to try this one.


Brooke September 18, 2011 at 3:13 am

I believe in any recipe you’re cooking up. Especially if it’s dessert. Look forward to trying this one.


Carmen September 23, 2011 at 10:19 am

The recipe for this dessert is very easy to make and it is absolutely delicious! Thank you so much for sharing.


Deliciously Organic September 23, 2011 at 12:29 pm

Thanks for the feedback! :)


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