German Rote Grütze Recipe (Red Berry Dessert with Fresh Cream)

Rote Grütze is hands down one of my favorite easy German recipes. You can use fresh or frozen berries, it comes together in about 10 minutes, and it’s absolutely delicious served warm with a pour of cold heavy cream, a scoop of homemade ice cream or a dollop of fresh whipped cream.

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! 

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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, it 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 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 – warm with cold, fresh 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 or if you want a dairy free option, try serving it with whipped coconut 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 juice. Leave it chunky or push it through a sieve to make it smooth. Serve warm or cold. And while it’s commonly served as a summer dessert, it’s a beautiful dessert to serve at Christmastime.


You can make Rote Grütze with any red berries you happen to have – raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, cherries, blueberries, currents. I often use a bag of frozen berries from Trader Joe’s. My favorite is the very cherry blend but the simple berry mix works great too.

Enjoy this taste of northern Germany!

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 Rote Grütze Recipe

German Rote Grütze

German Rote Grütze

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

This simple berry dessert from Northern Germany is both refreshing in the height of summer and warming in the dead of winter.

Ingredients

  • 4-5 cups [about 500 g] berries (any combo of fresh or defrosted raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, currants)
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup [50-100g] sugar, I often add less if the berries are sweet
  • 3/4-1 cup cup [6-8 oz / 175-250 ml] water or red fruit juice, Juice adds more flavor but water works fine
  • 1/3 cup [45 g] corn starch (see note below about how much to use)
  • squeeze of lemon, cinnamon stick or vanilla extract, optional
  • 1/2 - 1 cup [6-8 oz / 125-250 ml] fresh cream, cold

Instructions

  1. Wash and cut berries as needed and place in saucepan. Add sugar and stir. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. If using fresh berries, you may need to add a bit of water or juice. If you want to add a cinnamon stick, do so here.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and water or juice until smooth. (Note - I use 1/3 cup corn starch but I recommend starting with half that amount and then adding more if needed after you've simmered it for 2-3 minutes so it doesn't get too thick to quickly.) Pour into the fruit and stir. Reduce heat and let simmer for 3 minutes. If the mixture becomes too thick, add a little water or juice to thin.
  3. Take off heat. If you want to add lemon or vanilla, do so here.
  4. Pour into 4 bowls and let cool for a couple minutes. Serve immediately with a small pitcher of fresh, cold cream to pour over the warm fruit.

Notes

  • Use fresh berries if you have them but do consider keeping a bag of frozen berries in your freezer so you can easily make up a batch of Rote Grütze.
  • Taste your berries before adding the sugar. If the berries are sweet, add less sugar (I often use 1/4 cup of sugar but I prefer it less sweet). If you prefer a sweeter dessert, add more sugar to taste.
  • Adding lemon, vanilla or a cinnamon stick is optional. Try all three and see which is your favorite!
  • I prefer my Rote Grütze warm but some people like it better when it's been chilled in the fridge for a couple hours. It will be thicker if you eat it cold.
  • I've always eaten Rote Grütze with cold, fresh cream but others prefer to top with vanilla sauce, ice cream or whipped cream. All are delicious!
  • Have left-over Rote Grütze? Use as a toping for cheesecake, yogurt, ice cream, scones or oatmeal.

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.

Rote Grütze Ice Cream

Rote Grütze Ice Cream

Yield: 1-2 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Freeze Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes

If you like berry-filled German Rote Grütze you'll love this easy no churn ice cream recipe!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup [120 ml] heavy cream
  • 1 Tbsp golden syrup (see note below)
  • 3 Tbsp Rote Grütze
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • Fresh berries (optional topping)

Instructions

    1. Pour all ingredients into a small jar that has a lid. (I typically use an 8oz jam jar.)
    2. Stir until ingredients are well combined.
    3. Add the lid and then shake the jar several times until the cream has thickened. (I usually shake it 20-25 times.)
    4. Place jar in freezer for 1-2 hours.
    5. When you're ready to eat the ice cream, take the jar out of the freezer and let it warm up for a few minutes.
    6. Top with fresh berries (optional).

Notes

  • You can use store-bought golden syrup or you can make it at home using make it at home using this recipe.
  • If you don't want to use golden syrup, you can use honey instead.

#2 -Rote Grütze Paletas

These ice pops are super easy and the perfect treat for hot summer days. 

I made these after we ate all of the Lemon Curd Paletas and the Strawberry Paletas and wanted something on the healthier side for dessert.

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!

 

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About Author

I love baking, traveling, and sharing delicious recipes for European Christmas Cookies! I used to live in Germany, have worked on 4 continents, and now enjoy baking and blogging from my adopted home in North Carolina, USA.

11 Comments

  • Kathleen Rupp
    September 4, 2017 at 3:46 pm

    Looks so yummy!! Thanks so much! First time I have been to your site. Stopped by from Grandmas house we go party! pinned:)

    Reply
    • Cate
      September 6, 2017 at 5:06 pm

      It’s delicious! Thanks for stopping by and for pinning. 🙂

      Reply
  • Fiona Manonn
    September 13, 2018 at 6:13 am

    This red berry dessert looks tasty. I will try this at home thanks for sharing information. hope this recipe will help

    Reply
  • Elena
    November 9, 2018 at 8:22 pm

    Thank you! I’l try this)

    Reply
  • Karin Martin
    July 12, 2020 at 2:42 pm

    How many grams to a “cup”? Don’t take it wrongly, but “cups” come in so many different sizes (US, UK, Aussie…), its a bit annoying not to get precise amounts in kg, gram and ml. Even Imperial measurements are more helpful, as an ounce translates to roughly 2,5 gram.
    Best regards,
    Karin Martin

    Reply
    • Cate, International Desserts Blog
      July 12, 2020 at 2:50 pm

      Hi Karin, I completely understand! For a long time my audience was almost completely US American, so I wrote recipes using US measurements. The IDB has recently grown WAY beyond the US so I’m now going back to each recipe and adding metric. I haven’t gotten to all of the recipes yet but I’m working on it! 🙂 Update – I just checked to make sure I have all of the ingredients for this recipe and I do, so I’ll measure everything out right now and will update the recipe. Check back in a few minutes for metric equivalents!

      Reply
  • Hannah
    August 9, 2020 at 5:48 am

    This sounds so good. Not to be stupid but what do you mean by cold cream? Cold milk, cold heavy whipping cream?

    Reply
  • Gina
    September 1, 2020 at 4:02 pm

    Looks delicious! I think someone made this for me once in Germany with tapioca….anyone know a recipe for that? It was a lovely consistency.

    Reply

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