Like berries? You’ll love Rote Grütze — an easy northern German summer dessert!
If you like German food, authentic German recipes, or are looking for tasty no-bake summer dessert recipes featuring berries, you’ve got to try this easy and delicious German recipe.
Rote Grütze is hands down one of my favorite easy German desserts.
You can use fresh or frozen berries, it comes together easily in about 10 minutes, and it’s absolutely delicious served a still little warm with a pour of cold heavy cream over the top (that’s how it was first served to me in Germany) — or, if you prefer, a scoop of homemade ice cream, vanilla sauce or a dollop of fresh whipped cream.
A Little Backstory
A few weeks after I arrived in Germany for a year-long high school exchange program, a friend’s mom served Rote Grütze for dessert.
I’d gone to visit said friend (ok, kinda a boyfriend) after not having seen him in a year. It was so exciting to be in Germany for the first time and to see this cute boy again!
One day we went to visit his summer house in northern Germany and had dinner with his family on the patio outside.
My German was pretty much restricted to about five words at that point, so the entire family was teaching me dinner table words – knife, fork, spoon, plate, beer.
Then came dessert – a big bowl of what looked like a red berry pudding accompanied by a pitcher of cold, fresh cream.
As soon I tasted one spoonful of Rote Grütze I learned how to say oh my god this is the best thing I’ve ever tasted in my 16 years on this planet and can I please have more? in German.
Actually, no…I’m pretty sure the only thing I managed was a vigorous nod and a hearty ja, bitte! when asked if I wanted seconds (and probably thirds).
Rote Grütze is a northern German dessert, but these days you will find jars of it at almost any grocery store in Germany.
When I was at university in southern Germany, I always had a jar of Rote Grütze in my cupboard for those times when I missed northern Germany.
I wish I’d known back then how just how easy it is to make from scratch, not to mention how much better it tastes!
It’s super easy to make Rote Grütze. All you do is mix red berries with sugar and water or juice, simmer, add corn starch to thicken, pour into bowls, add fresh, cold cream, whipped cream, vanilla ice cream or vanilla sauce.
I always reserve a few berries to place on top of the cream just before serving.
My favorite way to eat Rote Grütze is the way my friend’s mom served it all those years ago – still a little warm with fresh, cold heavy cream poured over the top. Ahhhhhh…so delicious.
Lately, though, I’ve been serving it with creme fraiche whipped cream, which takes the dessert to a whole new level and is super easy to whip up (sorry) if you’ve got creme fraiche on hand.
You could also try homemade clotted cream ice cream for something a little different or, if you want a dairy free option, try serving it with whipped coconut cream.
Or go more traditional with vanilla sauce or a scoop of your favorite vanilla ice cream.
One of the best things about Rote Grütze is that it’s so versatile.
Use fresh or frozen berries.
More or less sugar.
Simmer in water or red fruit juice.
Leave it chunky or push it through a sieve to make it smooth. Serve while still a little warm or chill until cold.
I often use a bag of frozen berries from Trader Joe’s if I don’t have fresh. My favorite is the very cherry blend but the simple berry mix works great too.
Currants seem impossible to find in the US (evidently they’re banned!), otherwise I’d add those, too.
Enjoy this taste of northern Germany!
Rote Grütze Recipe
What to Do with Left-over Rote Grütze?
I’ve got two ideas for you: ice cream and paletas!
#1 – Rote Grütze Ice Cream
I’ve been making single-serve ice cream all summer long and this is one of my favorites. It’s easy to make – no ice cream machine needed.
#2 -Rote Grütze Paletas
These ice pops are super easy and the perfect treat for hot summer days.
To make Rote Grütze paletas, all you need to do is mix Greek yogurt (I use full fat so they’re creamy) and Rote Grütze to taste. For 6 paletas, try starting with 1 1/2 cups [429g] Greek yogurt and 1/2 – 3/4 cup [140 – 210g] Rote Grütze.
This recipe is flexbile…sometimes I add more for a stronger Rote Grütze flavor, sometimes less for a lighter flavor.
Spoon into popsicle molds (I use and love these!) and freeze until set.
When you’re ready to enjoy them, run under warm water until you can pull the ice pop out of the mold.
For a while I used a cheap set of plastic ice pop molds that I picked up from Ikea. A few years ago I upgraded to these stainless steel popsicle mold. I love them and use them all summer long. Wish I hadn’t waited to long to upgrade!