Glasses with a red panna cotta in an outside garden with red flowers behind them
Photography, Andrew Montgomery

Rhubarb Panna Cotta

This dessert is all about the contrasting textures.

Rosie Daykin, the Vancouver-based interior designer, recipe developer and author of The Side Gardener: Recipes & Notes from My Garden, showcases tart, fruity rhubarb in this seasonal dessert. “This recipe is all about textures: silky panna cotta, chunky jammy rhubarb and the slight crunch of the sugary graham crumbs make every mouthful perfect,” writes Daykin. “If you aren’t a fan of the rhubarb or graham, you can simply omit them as the panna cotta is just as lovely topped with fresh berries.”

Glasses with a red panna cotta in an outside garden with red flowers behind them

Rhubarb Panna Cotta

Rosie Daykin's recipe for rhubarb panna cotta topped with a graham cracker crumble.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Canadian, Italian
Servings 6



  • 2 cups (200 g) chopped rhubarb stems
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

Panna Cotta

  • 1 envelope (2.5 tsp/7 g) unflavoured gelatin
  • ¼ cup water
  • 3 cups whipping cream
  • ½ cup sugar
  • tsp vanilla paste
  • ½ tsp salt

Graham Topping

  • ¼ cup graham crumbs
  • 1 tbsp sugar


  • Place six glass compotes (ideally ¾ cup/180 ml size) or ramekins (see note #1) on a small baking sheet or tray and set aside.


  • In a small saucepan, combine the rhubarb, sugar and lemon juice over medium-high heat and stir to combine. Continue to stir for another 5 to 8 minutes, until the sugar starts to melt. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook until the rhubarb has broken down and become quite mushy, like a chunky jam.
  • Divide the rhubarb evenly between the six compotes and set aside.

Panna Cotta

  • In a small saucepan, warm the gelatin and water over medium heat until the gelatin has dissolved. Remove from the heat.
  • In another saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the cream, sugar, vanilla paste and salt. Adjust the heat to bring it to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the gelatin mixture until combined.
  • Divide the panna cotta mixture among the compotes, carefully pouring it atop the rhubarb in each one. Place the panna cotta tray in the refrigerator until they just start to set, about 1 hour.

Graham Topping

  • In a small bowl, stir to combine the graham crumbs and sugar.
  • Remove the tray of compotes from the refrigerator and sprinkle the top of each one with approximately ¾ tablespoon of graham crumbs. Return the tray to the refrigerator until the panna cotta has fully set, at least 3 hours or overnight.


  1. If you have chosen to use ramekins, you will need to release each panna cotta onto a plate to fully appreciate the layers when serving. To do this, simply set the ramekins in a shallow bowl of hot water for a few seconds, making sure the water only rises halfway up the side of the ramekin.
  2. When ready, run a small knife around the edge of the panna cotta and then invert it over a small dessert plate. Gently lift the ramekin to release it.

More recipes from Rosie Daykin

Garden Panzanella Salad
Rosie Daykin's recipe for a panzanella salad with garden-grown produce and savoury toasted bread chunks.
Get the recipe
A dish with salad resting in an outdoor garden

A book cover in a light frame

Excerpted from The Side Gardener by Rosie Daykin. Copyright © 2024 Rosie Daykin. Photographs by Andrew Montgomery. Published by Appetite an imprint of Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.
Share this article:

Sign up for our Good Life newsletter and get a FREE Easy Week Night Dinners Recipe Booklet

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.