Barefoot Contessa: The ‘Really Easy’ Vanilla Dessert Ina Garten Says ‘Your Friends Will Go Crazy for’

Prepare for oohing and aahing with Ina Garten’s coeur a la creme. It might sound fancy but the Food Network star says it’s actually “really easy to make.” Not only that but Garten’s Coeur a La Creme would also fit right in on her Valentine’s Day menu.

The Barefoot Contessa vanilla dish is a make-ahead dessert

Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten smiles holding a spoon while wearing a blue button-down shirt
Ina Garten | Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

Like so many Barefoot Contessa dishes Garten’s Coeur a La Creme with Raspberries can be made ahead of time. In her 2004 Barefoot Contessa cookbook, Barefoot in Paris, she shared details on the recipe.

“This amazing dessert was inspired by my friend Anna Pump in her Loaves and Fishes Cookbook,” she began. Garten continued, saying it’s a make-ahead dessert guests will love. 

“This is really easy to make and can be prepared days before a party,” she said. “Believe me, your friends will go crazy.”

Simple to prepare, can be made ahead, and a dinner party hit? Check, check, and check. 

How to make Ina Garten’s Coeur a La Creme with Raspberries

Based on Garten’s instructions for making Coeur a La Creme with Raspberries (Food Network has the details), it’s best to make it the night before or, at the latest, the morning of a dinner party. 

Why? Because it has to sit for eight hours in the fridge before serving. 

Now for how to make Garten’s Coeur a La Creme. She combines cream cheese, “good” vanilla extract, heavy cream, confectioners’ sugar, and the seeds from a vanilla bean pod in the bowl of a standing mixer. 

Next, she transfers the mixture, which should resemble thick whipped cream at this point, to a sieve lined with cheesecloth or paper towel. Then she suspends it over a bowl before putting it in the fridge overnight so the liquid can drain. 

For serving, Garten removes the cream from the cheesecloth and puts it on a plate. The finishing touch is fresh raspberries on top or homemade raspberry sauce. 

Lastly, a few notes on Garten’s Coeur a La Creme from the Barefoot Contessa herself. As Garten said in Barefoot in Paris, she uses a perforated heart-shaped dish but a sieve is fine too. She also explained that if doubling the recipe two molds have to be used. Otherwise, it won’t set. 

The ‘Barefoot Contessa’ host’s coeur a la creme is a 5-star Food Network recipe

At the time of writing the Barefoot Contessa dessert averages five stars on Food Network’s website. 80 people have reviewed the recipe and the majority agree with Garten, that it’s easy to make and a hit with guests. 

“This dessert is a show stopper,” one reviewer wrote. Another called it their “go-to dessert to impress” that’s “so simple to make.” 

“I really was surprised this was very easy to make and turned out just perfect,” wrote another. 

One person called it a “big hit” at their Valentine’s Day dinner, describing Garten’s Coeur a La Creme as “incredible, so light, and creamy.” 

“It looks elegant and it is impressive looking, yet so easy to make,” a reviewer said. “Everyone is impressed when it’s served.” 

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