Vanilla and Cider Panna Cotta with Spiced Ginger Cookies


These cinnamon and vanilla panna cotta are topped with an elegant apple cider gelée. More Great Fall Desserts

Vanilla-and-Cider Panna Cottas with Spiced-Ginger Cookies
Photo: © John Kernick
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
4 hrs

This creamy dessert is the ideal finale for fall or winter dinners. Chef Shawn McClain makes his panna cotta with vanilla beans, cinnamon, cream, and tops it with a gelée made with apple cider. He likens the dessert to a Creamsicle, because it successfully combines creamy and tangy flavors. The panna cotta is lovely on its own, but if you have time, make the spiced ginger cookies to serve with it.


  • 3 cups whole milk

  • 3 cups heavy cream

  • 3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar

  • 2 plump vanilla beans, split and seeds scraped

  • 3 cinnamon sticks, cracked

  • 4 teaspoons powdered unflavored gelatin (from 2 envelopes)

  • 3 cups apple cider

  • Spiced Ginger Cookies, for serving


  1. In a large saucepan, combine milk with cream, 3/4 cup of the sugar, vanilla beans and seeds, and cinnamon sticks and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat, cover and let stand for 30 minutes. Strain mixture through a fine sieve and return it to the saucepan.

  2. In a small bowl, sprinkle 3 teaspoons of the gelatin over 1/4 cup of cold water and let stand until softened, about 2 minutes. Scrape gelatin into saucepan and whisk until dissolved. Transfer mixture to a pitcher and pour about 1/2 cup into each of 12 small glasses. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours.

  3. In a clean saucepan, boil cider with the remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar until reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle the remaining 1 teaspoon of gelatin over 1 tablespoon of water and let stand until softened, about 2 minutes. Whisk gelatin into cider mixture until dissolved. Transfer mixture to a pitcher and let cool completely (but don't let gelatin set), about 30 minutes. Gently pour 2 tablespoons of the cider into each panna cotta over an inverted spoon and refrigerate until set, at least 2 hours. Serve with Spiced Ginger Cookies.

Make Ahead

The panna cottas can be covered tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 2 days.

Related Articles