Pumpkin Panna Cotta with Caramel Syrup

I wanted to make this long time ago but I can’t find a suitable size of pumpkin for this dessert. I don’t want to use a basketball size of pumpkin to make this dessert unless I have a big crowd to feed. Although if you have a big crowd to feed, please find a big pumpkin for yourself but do remember that you must also find a steamer that is big enough to steam the big pumpkin 😉

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Pumpkin Panna Cotta served with Caramel Syrup

Yes! I finally found my ideal pumpkin! Look, it fits on my palm.

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Pumpkin that fits my palm

This pumpkin panna cotta is based on a Thai dessert. However, the first time I had this was not in Thailand. It was in an island resort at east Malaysia. This Thai dessert uses egg and steamed together with the pumpkin. But I changed it to steaming the pumpkin first and as for filling up the pumpkin, I used the panna cotta recipe.

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Ready to drizzle the caramel syrup?

I personally don’t eat a lot of pumpkin but this pumpkin dessert caught my heart. The slightly sweet pumpkin with the creamy panna cotta as the filling and then drizzled with dark brown caramel syrup is one fine dessert to go after again and again. I have to tell you this, the best moment is when I slice open the pumpkin and look at the orange flesh of pumpkin contrasting with the white creamy panna cotta then I drizzle the dark brown syrup on it. Right there, that sweet moment!

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The sweet moment when you drizzle syrup on the pumpkin panna cotta slice

Pumpkin Panna Cotta with Caramel Syrup (Serves 4-6 person)


  • 1 small size pumpkin, about 800g
  • 1 cup thickened cream
  • 20g sugar
  • ½ of teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ of teaspoon powdered gelatin
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • Syrup, you can use honey or make yourself some caramel syrup
    • 1 cup of sugar
    • ¼ cup of water
    • ½ cup of water


  1. Wash the surface of the pumpkin. Steam the pumpkin for 30 minutes.
  2. Cut the top part of the pumpkin and keep the cut off part for decoration later.
  3. Remove & clean the seeds inside the pumpkin. This hollow space is for the cream to sit inside later. Let the pumpkin cool down.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the gelatin and cold water. Leave it for about 10 minutes.
  5. In a medium pot, combine thickened cream, sugar and vanilla extract together. Cook in low heat until the sugar dissolve.
  6. Let it slightly cool down as in the mixture should just be warm. Add in the water and gelatin. Whisk the cream to mix well with the gelation and water.
  7. Once the pumpkin and the custard mixture cool down, pour the cream mixture into the hollow space of the pumpkin.
  8. Put the whole pumpkin in the fridge for minimum of 6 hours for the cream to set.
  9. The syrup: Combine the sugar and ¼ cup of water in a pot. In medium heat, cook until the sugar mixture turns brown to become caramel. During this process, don’t stir the mixture. Just let it cook until it turns brown. Else you will disturb the process and crystallize the sugar.
  10. Once it turns brown, turn off the heat. Carefully add ½ cup of water into the mixture. It will sizzle and smoke, so be careful not to hurt yourself. Stir the water to mix well with the caramel. Turn on the heat to help you with the mixing if you need.
  11. When it’s time to serve, just slice and pour caramel syrup onto the pumpkin panna cotta.
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Pumpkin Panna Cotta
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A slice of pumpkin panna cotta

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