Meyer Lemon Coconut Panna Cotta

Meyer Lemon Coconut Panna Cotta

Panna cotta gets an update in this recipe for Meyer Lemon Coconut Panna Cotta using coconut milk. This elegant dessert is simple and easy for entertaining.

Panna cotta gets an update in this recipe for Meyer Lemon Coconut Panna Cotta using coconut milk. This elegant dessert is simple and easy for entertaining.

After nearly a week in the freezing Utah mountains, with skies that gifted us with a powdery winter wonderland, we landed in SFO to a balmier 50 degrees.

“It’s so hot,” I complained to my daughter, as I tugged off my down jacket. We were waiting for our ski gear at baggage claim, and we were sweltering.

“How hot is it?” she asked me, looking as though she were melting in her flannel.

“I dunno, 52 degrees?” I guessed.

“I’m not used to it being so hot!” she said, and then I laughed, because, at this time a week prior, we would complain that the same temperatures felt so cold.

Utah toughened us up, in a good way.

It’s good to be home, though, and not only did we come home to warmer weather, we returned to torrential rain. But we still found some sun.

As the rain continued to pour, when we got home from the airport, we found a bag of more beautiful Meyer lemons from my friend Leslie welcoming us on the kitchen counter.

Panna cotta gets an update in this recipe for Meyer Lemon Coconut Panna Cotta using coconut milk. This elegant dessert is simple and easy for entertaining.

As you know, I’ve already been having so much fun with the Meyer lemons this year. Before our little trip to Utah, I shared some tender scones with you, but I also made these silky Meyer Lemon Coconut Panna Cotta.

Panna cotta gets an update in this recipe for Meyer Lemon Coconut Panna Cotta using coconut milk. This elegant dessert is simple and easy for entertaining.

They are little pots of sunshine for these wintery January days, when the sun prefers to hide behind the clouds. Using coconut milk in place of heavy cream gives it a tropical twist, and perhaps it’s a bit of my subconscious coming through — I’ve been dreaming of an island getaway lately, despite how much fun it is to play in the snow.

If you’re in need of a little brightness, I hope you try it. It’s creamy, decadent, but so simple to make, sunshine will always be in ready supply.

Panna cotta gets an update in this recipe for Meyer Lemon Coconut Panna Cotta using coconut milk. This elegant dessert is simple and easy for entertaining.

Eat Seasonal

The New Year brings all things bright and hopeful, and the same can be said for recipes as I join Becky from Vintage Mixer and our friends to share dishes that embrace eating seasonal! Check out these recipes for more #EatSeasonal inspiration this January.

Healthy Tangerine Julius Smoothie by Letty’s Kitchen

Leek and Turnip Soup by Vintage Mixer

Apple Almond Bircher Meusli with Winter Fruits by Simple Bites

Olive Oil Cornmeal Cake with Grapefruit and Fennel by Floating Kitchen

Saucy Sweet Potatoes with Coconut Curry and Mint by Healthy Seasonal Recipes

Garlic and Herb Spaghetti Squash Boats by She Likes Food

Peanut Butter Crusted Sweet Potato Fries by JoyFoodSunshine

Raw Brussels Sprouts Salad with Harissa Vinaigrette by Project Domestication

Winter Cauliflower Rice Bowl with Cranberry-Mustard Sauce Cafe Johnsonia

Maple Orange Teriyaki Salmon Bowls by Flavor the Moments

Meyer Lemon Coconut Panna Cotta

Serves 4-6 | Prep: 5 minutes | Cook: 10 minutes

A traditional panna cotta is made with heavy cream, but in this recipe, the panna cotta gets a little tropical sunshine twist with coconut milk and fragrant Meyer lemons. This elegant dessert is simple and perfect for entertaining.


For the Panna Cotta:
2 cups coconut milk, divided
1/4 cup water
1 package gelatin
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup 2% milk
zest of 1 Meyer lemon
1 tablespoon Meyer lemon juice

For the Meyer Lemon-Apricot “Compote”:
1/2 cup apricot jam
zest and juice of 1 Meyer lemon


In a saucepan, combine 1 cup of coconut milk with 1/4 cup of water. Sprinkle gelatin over the coconut milk and let it sit for 5 minutes. Warm the saucepan over low heat and stir, until the gelatin dissolves completely.

Add the remaining coconut milk, sugar, 2% milk and cook over medium heat until steam arises, stirring periodically. Turn off the heat, cover the pan, and allow to sit for about 20 minutes.

Stir in the lemon zest and juice, then pour the mixture into ramekins or serving cups. If you prefer, you can also strain the zest.

Chill the panna cotta in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.

The topping is a “cheat’s” compote. To make the compote, stir together the apricot jam, zest and lemon juice.

Serve the panna cotta topped with the compote, within 24 hours.

Panna cotta method adapted from Mark Bittman’s Recipe of the Day: Panna Cotta, New York Times, September 11, 2008.


  1. marcie

    Your trip to Utah sounded amazing, Liren — and it so much warmer here isn’t it? These panna cotta are like rays of sunshine! Your photos are so pretty, and these are just calling my name!

    • Liren Baker

      Utah was incredible – we can’t wait to return. But yes, it is nice to be back to warmer weather, and thank goodness for all the rain we’ve been having!

  2. Izz

    It’s been really hot where I live lately, like 80 degrees and I’m not liking it too much! I’d much rather colder temps with a little snow!

    This panna cotta is gorgeous and i’m sure it tastes just as delicious! I love that it’s made with coconut milk :)

    • Liren Baker

      Wow, 80 degrees sounds pretty awesome to me, actually! I’ve become such a wimp with the snow, but it sure is nice to visit and play :)

      I love using coconut milk in panna cotta – it’s such a delicious twist!

  3. Liz @ Floating Kitchen

    50 degrees sounds hot to me too, since it was about 6 degrees this morning. I would kill for 50 degrees right now! Love Meyer lemons so much and I’ve all ready been playing with them too. I need to try these panna cotta. They are the perfect lighter dessert for January!

    • Liren Baker

      Brrr, it’s frigid over there! Stay warm, Liz!! Enjoy the Meyer lemons – I don’t think I’ll ever tire of them!

  4. Aimee @ Simple Bites

    Gosh, I adore meyer lemons and this is the cutest dessert. Very creative. I think I’m going to have to try the recipe very soon. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Liren Baker

      I love Meyer lemons so much, I could probably devote the whole month of January to them! I hope you try the panna cotta, Aimee!

  5. Becky

    These are stunning! So glad you enjoyed our beautiful state and glad it toughened you up ;)

    • Liren Baker

      You live in the most gorgeous place, Becky! Every time I visit, I am reminded more and more — I think I could live there. But yes, California has made me into a wimp with the weather…but nothing that a few days in Utah couldn’t fix ;)

  6. Laura

    I love Utah in the winter! So glad your family had a great trip…but it’s always great to go back home!

    • Liren Baker

      Thanks, Laura! So far I’ve been to Utah twice in the winter and once in the fall. I’ve decided I need to return in the spring and the summer…and I have a feeling I will love it even more!

  7. Katie | Healthy Seasonal Recipes

    I know exactly what you mean about the same temp feeling totally different depending on what your mind set is. Like in the spring, 40 feels so hot, but in the fall it is so cold. Ha ha. Love these little panna cottas. These images are stunning Liren.

    • Liren Baker

      Isn’t it crazy, Katie? I think about that all the time when my husband and I go back and forth on the thermostat. How does 70 feel so different in the summer vs the winter?

  8. MaryB

    This looks absolutely delicious. Panna cotta is a favorite at our house and I love this twist. Question – do you use canned, unsweetened coconut milk or the boxed variety? Thanks.

    • Liren Baker

      Hi Mary! Thanks so much for your question — I use canned, unsweetened coconut milk and have yet to try the boxed kind. If you give it a whirl before I do, please let me know! I’m sure it would be just fine.

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