Caramel Fig Panna Cotta

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Caramel Fig Panna Cotta

Creamy sweet cream panna cotta and heavenly fig caramel! This recipe for panna cotta is just so special. It’s quick and show-stopping, fun and impressive. 

A spoon perched in a bowl of caramel sauce with figs.

I wait all year for fig season. It’s my favorite time of the year, and figs are honestly one of my very favorite fruits. They are juicy, mild, and bursting with crunchy seeds and tender flesh. Figs make it onto every cheese board I prepare, and they serve beautifully as a quick snack, sublime in the summer months!

This recipe for panna cotta with figs and sweet cream is ready in an hour! Fig panna cotta is a good last minute dessert that's elegant.

Orchard Choice and Sun-Maid California Dried Figs are my way to enjoy that figgy deliciousness all year long. I don’t have to worry about refrigerating them, and they don’t perish as quickly as fresh figs. I love them with toasted almonds for a quick energy- and fiber-packed snack, or served up alongside cheese for a girls’ night with my friends. Give me a glass of wine and a handful of figs with some spicy salami, and I’m a happy girl. When I make dinner for my family, we love to throw dry figs into our roasted chicken dishes.

Caramel sauce drips onto a sweet cream panna cotta with figs.

And I especially love to make fig caramel which is rich and delicious. This foolproof caramel recipe makes this a fig panna cotta that will become your new favorite for these little dried gems! You can top so many delicious dishes with it, from this recipe for panna cotta to a topping fit for waffles or ice cream.

This recipe for panna cotta with figs and sweet cream is ready in an hour! Fig panna cotta is a good last minute dessert that's elegant.

Not only is it exploding with figgy, creamy deliciousness, but this fig panna cotta with caramel is the perfect easy midday snack when the sun is shining or, after dinner, as a wonderful dessert. The richness of the fig caramel complemented against the cool smoothness of the cream will satisfy all whenever you serve it up! It’s sure to be a hit with your loved ones.

If you’ve ever made caramel before, you know there are a few details involved—no stirring, looking for the color of the mixture to change and then adding in the cream and butter last. Because this isn’t a true caramel, brown sugar and cream melt together quickly to form a very traditional looking caramel sauce.  It won’t change color. Stirring also doesn’t affect this result—this fig caramel sauce can be stirred the entire time without causing concern for crystallization. This fig caramel also doesn’t solidify. Instead the sauce just cools slightly before you add it to the cooled panna cotta.  

Recipe for Panna Cotta with Fig Caramel

This recipe for panna cotta with figs and sweet cream is ready in an hour! Fig panna cotta is a good last minute dessert that's elegant.
Caramel Fig Panna Cotta
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Chill Time 3 hours
Servings 4


Sweet Cream Panna Cotta

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 envelope unsweetened gelatin
  • 2-3 tablespoons water

Fig Caramel

  • 1 cup Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs , sliced in half with stems removed
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Make the Panna Cotta

  • Bring the cream, milk, and sugar to a simmer over medium heat; do not boil. Add salt. Bloom the gelatin in the water by whisking together with a fork. Allow to stand 2-3 minutes. Whisk the bloomed gelatin into the cream mixture and whisk to dissolve completely. Remove from heat. Cool for 10 minutes. Divide evenly among four (10- to 12-ounce) glasses. Chill for 3 hours at least or up to 24 hours. 

Make the Fig Caramel

  • Add the sugar, cream, figs, salt, and butter to a saucepan. Simmer over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved, about 5 to 6 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before topping the cold panna cotta. You will have leftover caramel.
  • Stores great in the fridge for up to 1 week. Reheat extra fig caramel in the microwave to pour over ice cream. 


Recipe by Danielle Kartes

Photos by Michael Kartes

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and tag us @valleyfig —we’d love to see what you’re cooking on Instagram and Facebook!

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