Are you wondering what an espresso con panna is? Well, you’re not alone! What if I asked you which one you prefer; coffee or dessert? If that’s a hard question to answer, then this article will be great for you!

I will show you how you can combine these two with the Espresso con Panna.

The espresso con panna is a shot of espresso with a generous amount of whipped cream on top. If you want to make it at home, then it’s best to use 20% heavy cream from cow’s milk or cashew-based if you’re vegan instead of using whipped cream in a spray can. This espresso will help you if you’re craving something sweet with caffeine!

But that’s not all; below, you will learn where it came from and how to make the espresso con panna at home. Hint? It isn’t as hard as you might think!

What is an Espresso con Panna?

So, what is this coffee, and what has it to do with desserts?

An espresso con panna is a shot of espresso with a generous amount of whipped cream on top. You can sweeten this espresso as well, but it’s optional.

If you’re craving something sweet around the afternoon (or whenever you crave it), then the espresso con panna will save your day!

There are only two ingredients in this drink, so make sure that you like the espresso’s taste and that it’s of good quality. The same goes for whipped cream.

Of course, this is all your choice, but as long as it’s espresso and whipped cream, then you’re good to go!

In this recipe, I’m going to use a double espresso which is also called a doppio espresso. You can find more information about the doppio espresso here.

What do you need to make an Espresso con Panna at home?

I already covered it a bit above because this espresso doesn’t contain that many ingredients, but I’ll go over it below again with more detail.

However, if you already got everything prepared, then you can scroll down for the recipe.

  1. Espresso. The next thing you will need is an espresso machine or some way to create espresso, for example, with the Moka pot (a stove-top espresso-maker). You will also need ground coffee beans.
  2. Heavy cream. It’s best to use heavy cream and mix it at home instead of whipped cream in a can (the spray one). The best one to use is 20% (or more) heavy cream from cow’s milk, but if you’re vegan, then you can also go for a cashew-based cream.
All the ingredients that are needed to make an Espresso con Panna at home.

One thing to note here, it’s better to purchase whole beans and to grind the coffee yourself before making the espresso.

The drink will not only taste better but will also ensure that you get the best grind size possible for your espresso machine.

To make the best espresso at home, you need good coffee beans. You can check out this article for my recommendations.

You’ll also need to grind it fine enough to use in an espresso machine, which looks like this:

Espresso grind size.

If you want to make this drink from scratch as best as you can, you’ll also need the following equipment:

  • A whisk and a clean bowl. You will need these to make the espresso con panna at home.
  • An espresso cup, small glass, or a demitasse cup. Don’t forget to prepare a cup where you can put the drink in!
Homemade vanilla whipped cream, ready to use.
Whip your cream until stiff peaks form. Adding sugar is optional

Where does the Espresso con Panna come from?

Now that you know what the espresso con panna is, you might be wondering where it came from, right?

Well, no one’s really sure exactly where or how the espresso con panna started, but the name is an Italian term that roughly translates to “espresso with cream.”

Another fun fact is that the espresso con panna is sometimes also named Viennese, or Vienois, or Vienne. This could be confusing since a Viennese is a whole other espresso drink.

Even in the United States, you can ask for an espresso con panna and get a Viennese, as it really depends on where you are and what they call each drink.

Just remember this: If the drink only contains espresso (either a single or a double shot) and whipped cream, then it’s an espresso con panna.

Single and doppio espresso next to each other.
Single espresso on the left. Doppio on the right

You can make sure that you get it by saying that you want an authentic espresso con panna and by making sure that they know it’s with a single or double shot of espresso (your choice) and whipped cream.

Another great thing to know is that an espresso con panna is traditionally served in a demitasse.

You might be wondering now how hard it is to make an espresso con panna at home, right?

Well, don’t worry! I’ll cover everything you need to know below. You can follow me step-by-step:

Easy Espresso con Panna

Espresso con Panna, ready to drink.

Make yourself a simple take on your daily espresso by adding some sweetness to your day.

Prep Time 3 minutes
Additional Time 2 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes


  • One espresso shot (1 oz or 30 ml)
  • 1 tbsp (15 grams) of whipped cream


  1. Start by brewing your espresso. You can use an espresso machine, AeroPress, Moka pot, or a Nespresso machine.
  2. Whip your cream until stiff peaks form. You can whip the cream by hand or use a mixer to get you there.
  3. Add the espresso coffee into a cup of choice.
  4. Finish the drink by adding a heaping tablespoon of whipped cream to it.
  5. Serve with a small spoon to combine all the flavors, and enjoy!


I used a double espresso for the Espresso con Panna, as you can see in the images I made.

If you would like to sweeten your Espresso con Panna, feel free to add some sugar to your cream. This will work best if you add your sugar to the cream before you start whipping it. Only then will the sugar fully dissolve.

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Nutrition Information:

Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 35

Espresso con Panna: Extra Information

If you need a bit more information about this espresso, like how many calories are inside or how much caffeine it contains, then don’t worry. I’ve got you covered below:

How many calories does the Espresso con Panna have?

Normally, an espresso con panna with 20% heavy cream from cow’s milk, one espresso shot, and no added sweetener is around 35 calories. The definite number of calories does depend on a few factors:

  • How much whipped cream do you use?
  • Do you use any sweeteners?
  • What kind of heavy cream do you use? Or, in case you don’t use it, what do you use for the whipped cream? Check its label if you use it out of a spray can.

Knowing these factors allows you to easily calculate how many calories your espresso con panna has.

How much caffeine does the Espresso con Panna have?

You now know that it contains either one or two espresso shots. Now you can easily calculate the caffeine inside your espresso con panna.

Doppio espresso.

One ounce (around 30ml) of espresso contains around 63 mg of caffeine per shot. (Source)

So now it depends on how many shots of espresso you use:

  • An espresso con panna with one espresso shot has 63mg of caffeine.
  • An espresso con panna with two espresso shots has 126mg of caffeine.

Tip: If you want to get to know the difference between an espresso and a doppio espresso, you can check out this in-depth guide.

How to drink Espresso con Panna

The best way to drink Espresso con Panna is by stirring the whipped cream through the coffee. By mixing the whipped cream and espresso, you create the best coffee drinking experience.

You can also drink the coffee straight away after making it, letting the whipped cream sit on your espresso. This way, you have a bit of leftover whipped cream to scoop out with a small spoon after you’ve finished drinking your coffee.


Do I see a smile there or not? Coffee and a dessert together; how awesome is that? I hope you see now that you can easily make this espresso at home and that you can drink it anytime you want! (Well, maybe not at night, haha)

It’s usually made without any sweeteners, flavorings, or sugar at all. So I recommend that’s how you try it the first time you drink this special combination of coffee and dessert.

And don’t worry, you can also order this espresso at Starbucks and Peets in case you’re on the go but still want a combination of coffee and dessert.

Also, let me know if you’re going to try the espresso con panna. And if you do, then enjoy! If you’re interested in checking out more coffee recipes, I’ve listed a few below that might be of interest to you.

More coffee recipes


  1. My expresso is hot but the whipped cream stiff peak is cold. So coffee is no longer hot when whipped cream is added. Any suggestion to still have hot coffee for this Expresso con panna?

    • Picture of Jeffrey, Author at Your Dream Coffee

      Hey Kat,

      Preheating your espresso cup will keep your coffee even hotter.

      And this can also help to keep the cold whipped cream from cooling the espresso too quickly.

      I hope this helps!

      – Jeffrey

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