Rote Grütze – German Red Fruit Pudding Recipe (Red Grits)

This is a Summer time staple dessert in Germany, and takes advantage of the fresh berries of the season.  Served with a vanilla sauce, this is a wonderful dessert, and lovely change from the usual.

Difficulty: Easy.
Preparation time:  Make 24 hours in advance.
Servings: 4 – 6.


  • 6 cups fresh or frozen, unsweetened berries (raspberries, strawberries, red currants, or a combination of these)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract


  1. For fresh berries: stem, wash and dry in collander.  For frozen berries: thaw before using.
  2. For a smooth pudding, process berries in a blender, 2 cups at a time, until pureed.  For chunkier, process 4 cups, and chop the rest, blending with puree.
  3. Stir cornstarch in cold water until smooth.
  4. Combine berries and sugar in non-stick saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.  Stir cornstarch mixture again, then add into the berry mixture gradually, while still stirring.
  5. Reduce heat and let simmer for 3 minutes, stirring constantly, until mixture starts to thicken.  Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice and vanilla.
  6. Pour into a serving bowl, or individual dessert bowls.  Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 24 hours.  This is traditionally garnished with a Vanilla Custard Sauce , but you may also use whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, or heavy cream.
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17 comments on “Rote Grütze – German Red Fruit Pudding Recipe (Red Grits)

  1. Wow finally found this recipe. My Husbands mother use to make this and she provided me a recipe that didn’t have measurements it would have been a fluke if it turned out right. Can’t wait to make this and surprise my husband. YUMMMMMY

  2. My relative uses what seems to be sago in thinkening the berries and then layering it with thick vanilla sauce rather like an English trifle. delicious. BUT I can’t remember how to do the sago thing?

    • Sago is a starch substance from Sago Palm Trees, and looks similar to tapioca in rough form. Since Sago is not something you would easily find these days, you can use tapioca starch (sometimes referred to as tapioca flour) instead. Some people prefer it to cornstarch.

  3. Cornstarch is an absolute NO NO here, but quite typical for people who have not grown up with this dish. Of course Sago is the only way to do it right, because that is what we traditionally use (I am from Northwest Germany). Sago is indeed a product from the former colonies and became so popular, that traditional kitchen cupboards had pre-named drawers inbuilt for it! My own Grandmother had that until 1979, there were drawers named sugar, flour, salt and sago! (Of course the german names for them)

    I am living in the USA now and I am ordering my sago in bulk from amazon (4 pounds for about 14 $). If you are cooking this dish every week, that amount of sago would last you almost a year. If you make it less often, it will last even longer. It is shelf stable in room temperature in all seasons.

    It is NOT Tapioca, despite its looks! It is also known (in the USA) by its asian name Sabudana. I think some Indians use it under that name, that is why it became available in the US.

  4. Rotegrutze was brought to the Barossa region of Australia in the 1800s with the Silesian migrants. They adapted the recipe to local conditions and made it with shira (syrah) and mataro grape juice instead of berries which were unavailable. Extensive research by local food historians have not found rotegrutze made with grape juice anywhere else in the world – it is unique to the Barossa Valley, a premier wine region in Australia. It is abosultely delicious made with these wine grapes and is undergoing a resurgence in popularity. The Tanunda show has an Annual Rotegrutze championship.

    • My family has always made it with grape juice. Probably because that was easier and cheaper to come by during the depression.

    • I can only go by my North German relations, and this is how they serve and prepare it. I would love to see your version, though! You are welcome to share and I will post it! As for sago, real sago is hard to find here, so that is why tapioca would be the next best thing. Thanks.

  5. Delicious! Exactly like I remember it. I lived in Germany for a year as an exchange student years ago. I ate Rote Grutze several times, although it was always served to me over vanilla ice cream. I didn’t even know about this alternate (original) way of eating it. I’ll have to try it that way some time. But for me, this recipe tasted exactly right. I had a hard time finding fresh currants, but this week I found some and HAD to make Rote Grutze for my family. It turned out perfectly. Thank you!

  6. Great dessert. Made it for a project for school. Teachers loved it. Great new german food I have learned this year

  7. Not exactly how we make it in our family, but a good one all the same. 🙂 We add tapioca pearls to our recipe. Don’t use the corn starch at all.

  8. My Mom, also from Northern Germany, traditionally made her Rote Grutze with a combination of rhubarb, raspberries and red currants. I just made a batch tonight!

  9. Can’t believe I finally have receipt. My mother-in-law made a version in the fourties. She used cream of wheat and blue berries and served it for breakfast. Oh how we loved it with cream.

  10. My mother actually grew currant bushes in our yard just for this (I had to pick and de-stem them when I was a kid!). She also used cream of rice as well as cornstarch in her recipe.

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