Creamy maple pumpkin panna cotta evokes the flavors of fall in a simple, elegant dessert. It’s sweetened with maple syrup and spiced with a cinnamon stick that simmers in the milk. Yum!
To make this panna cotta recipe, you just need a saucepan, six ingredients, and either some small glasses/jars or your favorite panna cotta molds.
It’s delicious served on its own, or topped with Greek yogurt, chopped pecans, and/or more maple syrup!
Maple Panna Cotta with Pumpkin Puree
I always thought panna cotta was complicated to make, just because it looks so fancy. Fortunately, I actually tried making it myself earlier this year, and I was pleasantly surprised how easy it was!
In fact, it’s essentially as simple as making jello, but in this case we’re using natural flavors (pumpkin puree, vanilla extract, and a cinnamon stick). It’s a fun, no bake fall dessert that’ll impress your friends – without any hard work.
This panna cotta doesn’t have any refined sugars, either. It’s sweetened with maple syrup (which pairs so well with the other fall-inspired flavors).
It does take a few hours to set in the fridge, but that just makes it even more perfect for dinner parties and events, because you can make it ahead of time!
You might also enjoy these other maple syrup dessert recipes!
A few notes on the ingredients in this cinnamon-infused panna cotta:
- Plain canned pumpkin puree gives us the pumpkin flavor here. I love Libby’s brand pumpkin puree, but you can use your favorite (as long as it isn’t super liquid-y). I don’t recommend using pumpkin pie filling.
- This panna cotta is sweetened with pure maple syrup. Don’t use maple flavored syrup (like pancake syrup). Honey can be used instead if you’d like.
- Half of a cinnamon stick gets simmered with milk to infuse the panna cotta with a lightly-spiced flavor. If you don’t have a cinnamon stick, you can instead sprinkle a little ground cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice over the panna cotta when you serve it.
How to Make Pumpkin Panna Cotta
First off, if you don’t have special panna cotta molds, that’s ok! You can serve it in a small parfait-style glass or wine glass if you want. I’ve even used small wine glasses as molds before.
Now, to make this panna cotta: start by “blooming” the gelatin. Pour the milk into a saucepan, then sprinkle the gelatin on top. Let it sit for 5 minutes.
Next, whisk the milk and gelatin together. Add the half cinnamon stick, then continuously whisk over medium heat until the mixture is just simmering. Watch it carefully – you don’t want it to burn!
Remove the saucepan from the heat. Use a spoon or fork to remove and discard the cinnamon stick. Then, whisk in the pumpkin puree, maple syrup, and vanilla extract.
While you let the mixture cool, spray molds with cooking spray, then wipe the excess with a paper towel. (You only need a very thin coating). (Skip this step if you won’t be removing the panna cotta when you serve it).
Once the panna cotta mixture is cooled to room temperature, pour even amounts into your molds/glasses.
Cover with foil or plastic wrap and place in the fridge to chill for at least 4 hours, until set.
When you’re ready to serve, remove the panna cotta from the molds (hot tip: running warm/hot water over the bottom and sides of the molds helps). Then, add desired toppings and enjoy!
Store panna cotta in the refrigerator, in an airtight container or covered with plastic wrap, for up to 3 days. I recommend waiting to add any toppings until you’re ready to serve!
Tips for Removing Panna Cotta From Molds
Loosen panna cotta from its mold by running the bottom and sides of the mold under hot water for 5 seconds. Place a plate upside down on top of the mold, then flip it right side up and slowly remove the mold.
The panna cotta may take a few seconds to start sliding away from the mold, so be patient! If it still isn’t coming out, repeat the process with the hot water.
Pumpkin Panna Cotta Topping Ideas
Feel free to top this panna cotta with whatever you like! Here are some ideas:
- vanilla Greek yogurt
- chopped pecans or walnuts
- whipped cream
- a drizzle of maple syrup
- chocolate shavings
- crushed graham crackers or Biscoff cookies
If you make this pumpkin panna cotta, I’d love if you shared your thoughts with a rating and comment below.
More fall treats to try:
- No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
- Oatmeal Chai Cookies with Pecans
- Double Chocolate Sweet Potato Bread
- Mini Apple Crumb Tarts
- Pecan Sweet Potato Blondies
- Pumpkin Spice Bars with White Chocolate
Maple Pumpkin Panna Cotta
- 1 packet powdered gelatin (about 2.5 teaspoons)
- 2 cups milk
- 1 cinnamon stick* (broken in half)
- ½ cup plain canned pumpkin puree
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Add gelatin and milk to a saucepan (don't heat it yet). Allow to sit for 5 minutes to "bloom" the gelatin.
- Add the half cinnamon stick to the milk. (Save the other half for another use). Heat the saucepan over medium heat, whisking the mixture continuously, until just simmering. Small bubbles should appear on the surface. (Watch carefully so it doesn't burn). Remove from heat.
- Use a spoon or fork to remove and discard the cinnamon stick. Whisk in pumpkin puree, maple syrup, and vanilla extract.
- Let the mixture cool to room temperature. Meanwhile, spray panna cotta molds with cooking spray, then wipe the excess with a paper towel (leave just a thin coating). (Skip this step if you don't plan to remove the panna cotta from its container).
- Divide the mixture evenly between molds/glasses. Cover and chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours, until set.
- To serve, remove panna cotta from molds**. Add desired toppings and enjoy!