Bubble Tea Panna Cotta (Boba Tea Panna Cotta)

Silky milk tea panna cotta with brown sugar pearls


Published: July 2nd, 2021 | Last Updated: July 24th, 2021

Can’t get enough of bubble tea (a.k.a, boba tea or pearl milk tea)? Treat yourself to a fresh experience and make yourself a bubble tea panna cotta with brown sugar pearls! 

This bubble tea panna cotta is velvety smooth and extra creamy. It cuts through softer than butter and melts in your mouth instantly. It has a satisfying tea flavour and is a perfect light dessert and is not too sweet. This dessert includes brown sugar pearls which is a classic combo and gives another playful texture that pairs perfectly with the panna cotta.

This is a simple recipe that doesn’t require too many special ingredients or equipment. It takes about 3 hours from start-to-finish (but most of that is waiting for the panna cotta to set).


Milk Tea Panna Cotta (Makes 6)

  • 300ml heavy cream (35% fat)
  • 200ml whole milk (full-cream milk)
  • 60g caster sugar (5 tablespoons)
  • 6g loose leaf black tea (3 teaspoons)
  • 2 gelatine leaves (any type)

Brown Sugar Pearls

  • Pearls
  • 50g brown sugar (or dark brown sugar if you have it)
  • 25g water

Special Tools/Equipment used for this recipe*

Dariole moulds help achieve the traditional panna cotta look. We recommend these ones. Buy it on Amazon.

Other tools you may need if you don’t already have them

Saucepan to heat up the cream. Buy it an Amazon

Thermometer to check the milk temperature. Buy it on Amazon

Sieve to strain the tea leaves out of the mixture. Buy it on Amazon.

Scale for precise measurements of the ingredients. Buy it on Amazon

*Note: We earn a small commission for the links above at no extra cost to you.


TLDR Summary

  1. Combine the milk, cream, sugar and black tea, heat to almost simmering and steep for 5 minutes
  2. Bloom gelatin in cold water
  3. Strain mixture and dissolve gelatin
  4. Pour into moulds and refrigerate until set (4 hours to overnight)
  5. Prepare pearls according to package instructions
  6. Make a syrup with the water and brown sugar and combine with pearls
  7. Unmould the panna cotta, and spoon on some brown sugar pearls.

Milk Tea Panna Cotta

  1. Heat the milk, cream, sugar and black tea and stir until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture reaches 80°C or just before simmering. Try to avoid boiling the mixture as this will affect the water ratio and will allow the bitter and dry tannins to leak from the tea.
  2. Turn off the heat, cover the mixture with a lid and allow the mixture to infuse for 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, hydrate the gelatine leaves in cold water.
  4. Pass the mixture through a sieve or tea strainer to strain out the tea leaves.
  5. Squeeze the excess water out of the gelatin and stir it into the strained mixture until dissolved.
  6. (optional) To speed up the setting process, cool the mixture to room temperature stirring constantly with a spatula over an ice bath.
  7. Pour the mixture into dariole moulds (about 80g each).
  8. Allow to set completely in the fridge. It will take 1-2 hours if cooled with an ice bath, otherwise it will take around 4 hours.


  1. When ready to serve, prepare the pearls according to the provided instructions.
  2. Combine the brown sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat. Swirl the pan until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to a simmer and simmer until it has thickened and is syrupy.
  3. Combine the pearls and brown sugar syrup
  4. Turn the panna cotta onto a plate. Tip: dipping the dariole mould in hot water will help loosen the panna cotta from the mould. You may need to use a knife to help separate the edge of the panna cotta from the mould.
  5. Spoon the pearls and brown sugar syrup over the panna cotta.


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