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Rote Grütze – Cold Berry Compote

German Red Fruit Jelly

Cold Berry Compote is a beloved German dessert, especially enjoyed in summer. Its consistency is like a soft pudding and we like to pour some vanilla sauce (custard) on top.

Where does Cold Berry Compote come from?

It is a Northern recipe, mostly from North Germany’s region called “Schleswig Holstein” and also known in Denmark. It is a cool and refreshing treat on a warm summer day and everybody loves it. It can be a dessert or lunch and I remember having it as lunch in my childhood during summer break.

Rote Grütze, red fruit jelly dessert

Different options

One can make this dessert with a single fruit or a mix of fruits. The most common is the use of a variety of berries. In this recipe, I used cherries and strawberries – my favorite mix!

red fruit jelly

Vanilla Sauce – a must!

Don’t even think about having this without vanilla sauce! You would miss out on so much: The combination of the slightly sour fruits in a sweet sauce and the soft touch of a real vanilla sauce is what makes it a perfect combination. As a shortcut, I sometimes use a package of vanilla pudding and use it according to the directions but with more milk – it’s an easy way to get the vanilla sauce when you are preparing several things at the same time. However, in this recipe, I will explain how to make vanilla sauce from scratch because it’s not complicated at all.

German Red Fruit Jelly

German Red Fruit Jelly

Rote Grütze - Cold Berry Compote

Red Fruit Jelly with Vanilla Sauce, popular German dessert in summer
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Dessert, Lunch (or Dinner), Party Food, Snack
Cuisine German, Schleswig-Holstein / North
Servings 4 servings


For the Red Fruit Jelly

  • 350 g strawberries & Cherries or other berries or fruits like peaches
  • 35 g starch (I prefer potato starch over corn starch)
  • 300 ml fruit juice, sweetened or unsweetened should match with selected fruits
  • 100 g sugar if needed to sweeten the juice

For the Vanilla sauce

  • 1 vanilla pod or 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Tbsp. corn starch / or potato starch
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 500 ml milk


Red Fruit Jelly

  • Prepare the fruits by removing the stems and the stones.
  • In a small bowl mix the starch with the sugar.
  • Add about 4 tbsp. from the juice and mix.
  • Pour the remaining juice into a cooking pot and bring to a boil.
  • When the juice starts boiling, remove it from the stove and add the starch-sugar mix.
  • Stir!
  • Add the fruits and set aside to cool.
  • Fill in several glasses or a bowl and move it to the fridge.

Vanilla Sauce

  • Slice the vanilla pod in length and - using a knife - scrape the vanilla out of it's center. Use the rest of the vanilla pod for vanilla sugar (see other recipe). Or instead just use the Vanilla Extract Paste that I use in the video.
  • Mix starch and sugar in a small bowl and add about 3 tbsp. of the milk.
  • Mix it all together in the starch bowl.
  • Bring the remaining milk with the vanilla in it to a boil - careful! Don't set heat to high and observe closely, stir milk frequently to avoid setting on the bottom of the pot.
  • When the milk starts boiling, remove it from the stove and stir the starch mix from the bowl into the pot.
  • Bring the sauce back to the stove and bring back to boil for lass than a minute while stirring constantly.
  • Let sauce cool, stir every now and then and use warm or cold.
  • The fruit bowl should be kept in the fridge.
  • It tastes best if it is chilled and with the vanilla sauce on top.
    Rote Grütze
  • Garnish with some peppermint leaves if you like.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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3 thoughts on “Rote Grütze – Cold Berry Compote”

  1. Hi my mother in law used to make this blackberry raspberry boysenberries fresh from her garden. It was heaven in a bowl. My children used to love it when she made it to take home. Have often wondered about the recipe as she has passed away, and there had been a sachet of something I knew she used but didn’t know what. Thankyou for this recipe will give it ago cheers

  2. 5 stars
    My mom made this for me usually as a healthy dessert in summer after lunch or dinner. To make it fancy, she served it in a glass or crystal goblet, so as a child, I thought it was extra special. I think in English it can be called a “cold berry compote.” I love this recipe just as I do all of your others. Thank you!

    1. Hi Lore,
      thank you for suggesting the English name, it makes a lot more sense than what came up with. I will add it to the title! Your mom sounds like a lovely person!

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