Rote Grütze (Red Berry and Cherry Pudding)

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If you’re on the lookout for a fresh and fruity dessert that’s easy to prepare, red berry and cherry pudding is definitely the dish for you!

Vertical image of a metal spoon inserted into a maroon compote topped with whipped cream and mint on a yellow plate.

I recommend this recipe wholeheartedly as a sweet treat to enjoy all summer long. It’s light, juicy, sweet, and features seasonal ingredients –  everything a warm-weather dessert needs.

Also known as rote Grütze, this jelly-like pudding is a popular dessert in northern Germany. It’s also common to see variations of the dish in Denmark, described as rødgrød or rødgrød med fløde.

Vertical image of a metal spoon next to a maroon compote topped with whipped cream and mint on a yellow plate.

It is the perfect treat to enjoy during the summer, because you can use the whole range of fresh berries that the season has to offer as well as other juicy and delicious red and purple fruits. Classic choices include red currants, black currants, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, marionberries, boysenberries, plums, and cherries.

I use quick-cooking tapioca to thicken the dish. Because the tapioca pearls are precooked and cracked or ground, this product is a smart starch choice to make dessert quickly. Other versions might use groats, semolina, sago pearls, regular tapioca, or even potato starch as a thickener.

You can serve it warm and enjoy a comforting bowlful right off the stove with a splash of heavy cream, or you can chill it for a cool and refreshing treat.

Vertical image of a metal spoon holding a scoopful of a thick compote over a yellow plate on a blue napkin.

Do you have an upcoming party or cookout? Offer to make this dessert! After it’s chilled, you can serve it in a large bowl for buffets or at parties.

If you ask me, there is nothing better than a sweet and fruity final course for luncheons, barbecues, or casual get-togethers. And you can easily double or triple the recipe.

If you prefer to not serve this dessert family style, another nice option is to chill individual portions in dessert bowls, small jars, or parfait glasses, and garnish each one.

Vertical image of a metal spoon inserted into a maroon compote topped with whipped cream and mint on a yellow plate.

Fluffy whipped cream or a sultry vanilla sauce are two of my favorite creamy toppings that work well to balance the tart fruit base.

Homemade vanilla ice cream would also be a tasty choice, fitting the summer theme perfectly. Or use it to create vibrant layers in a yogurt parfait.

Garnish with fresh fruit and a sprig or two of mint for a pop of color, and you’ll be ready to dive into this pudding!

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Horizontal image of a bowl filled with compote, whipped cream, and assorted fruit with a mint garnish.

Rote Grütze (Red Berry and Cherry Pudding)

  • Author: Nina-Kristin Isensee
  • Total Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings (about 1 1/2 cups) 1x


In this sweet, jelly-like pudding, cherries, raspberries, and strawberries tango with tapioca to create a delicious dessert.


  • 1 1/2 cups pitted sweet cherries
  • 1 1/2 cups strawberries, hulled and chopped or sliced
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened black or tart 100% cherry juice
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar, plus more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons Minute or instant tapioca
  • Whipped cream, heavy cream or vanilla ice cream, for serving (optional)
  • Fresh red fruit, for garnish (optional)
  • Mint sprigs, for garnish (optional)


  1. In a medium saucepot over medium-high heat, add the cherries, strawberries, raspberries, cherry juice, vanilla, and sugar. Stir to combine.
  2. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and gently simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the fruit is very soft and has begun to break down and release its juice. Remove from heat.
  3. Transfer the contents of the saucepan to a strainer or colander placed over a large bowl and allow it to drain, then set the fruit aside.
  4. Transfer the liquid back to the pot and add additional sugar to taste. Stir to combine.
  5. Whisk in the tapioca and set aside for 5 minutes. Return the pot to the stove. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat while stirring constantly, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 5 minutes while stirring occasionally, until the liquid has gelled (or cook according to package instructions).
  6. Return the reserved fruit to the pot and fold in gently to combine. Transfer to a serving bowl or individual dishes.
  7. This dessert may be served warm or at room temperature. To chill before serving, cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Garnish with your choice of cream, fresh fruit, and a sprig of mint. Store leftover pudding in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Pudding
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Dessert

Keywords: berry, fruit, pudding, compote, strawberry, cherry, raspberry, tapioca, rote grutze

Cooking By the Numbers…

Step 1 – Gather, Prep, and Measure Ingredients

Rinse the berries and any other fruits you are using. Fresh cranberries and juice make a nice addition to this dessert in the fall, and pomegranate arils and juice are perfect picks in the winter.

Horizontal image of prepping cherries and strawberries on a wooden cutting board.

Subbing in red wine for about half of the juice also makes for a tasty treat. Choose something you like to drink that’s a little on the sweeter side.

Remove the stems and pit the cherries. Take a look at our cherry pitter guide to pick the perfect pitter tool for you, or use this straw hack:

I prefer a reusable metal straw for this, but a sturdy plastic straw will also work. Place the tip of your straw around where the stem was, and hold the cherry between your index finger and thumb with your other hand. Push to pop the pit out through the other side.

Horizontal image of assorted fruit and ingredients prepped in bowls next to cooking utensils and a napkin.

Hull and chop or slice the strawberries. Cherries can also be cut in half, if you like. If you’re using larger fruits like plums, it’s up to you whether you want to peel them first before cutting them into slices.

Whatever you use, based on what’s available and in season, aim for 4 cups of prepped fruit in total.

Measure the cherry juice. I like to use juice with no added sugar so I have full control over the sweetness level of the pudding.

Measure the vanilla extract, granulated sugar, and tapioca. I used Kraft Minute tapioca, which is available on Amazon. You should also be able to easily find instant or quick-cooking tapioca at your local grocery store.

Step 2 – Cook the Fruit

Add the cherries, strawberries, raspberries, cherry juice, vanilla extract, and sugar to a medium saucepot and place it on the stovetop over medium-high heat. Stir to combine the ingredients and distribute the sugar throughout.

Horizontal image of cooking assorted fruit with sugar in a pot.

Allow the mixture to come to a gentle boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low.

Keep the fruit cooking at a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. The berries will soften and begin to break down, releasing their juice. Sturdier fruits like cherries will hold their shape longer.

Step 3 – Strain and Sweeten to Taste

Set a colander or strainer inside a large mixing bowl and pour in the contents of the saucepot to separate the fruit juice from the solids.

Horizontal image of a large metal bowl filled with a deep maroon liquid next to stewed fruit.

Since you’ll be returning the cooked fruit to the pudding and you still want it to have some texture, do this gently. There’s no need to mash it down to extract all the liquid. Allow the fruit to drain for a few minutes, then set the fruit aside and return the juice to the pot.

At this point, you’ll want to sweeten the juice to taste with additional granulated sugar. Be careful – the juice will be hot! Stir to combine.

Step 4 – Add the Tapioca and Cook

Tapioca cooking instructions may vary depending on the variety that you opt to use, so be sure to reference the package instructions.

Horizontal image of a thick compote cooking in a pot stirred with a spatula.

Whisk in the tapioca, and allow the mixture to stand for 5 minutes. Return the saucepot to the stovetop.

Stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has gelled. Remove from heat.

Step 5 – Finish and Serve

Add the reserved fruit back into the pot and fold it in gently.

Horizontal image of three glass bowls filled with thick compote on a wooden plank next to silverware.

Serve warm or at room temperature in small dessert bowls with a splash of heavy cream or a dollop of whipped cream, fresh fruit, and a mint garnish.

You can also chill the pudding in a large serving bowl or individual dessert dishes, or use it in a layered dessert like our fruit salad yogurt parfait. Transfer the pudding to your serving bowl or dishes and allow it to cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap or a lid, and chill in the fridge for a minimum of 3 hours or overnight before garnishing and serving.

Leftover pudding can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Fresh or Frozen?

In a pinch, you could use frozen fruit to make this dessert at any time of year.

Horizontal image of a bowl filled with compote, whipped cream, and assorted fruit with a mint garnish.

If you’re using frozen, give the fruit some time to defrost first, reserving the liquid, or just keep in mind that the berries will take a bit longer to warm up and break down in the pot. The final texture of the fruit will also be significantly softer than if you use fresh.

Frozen berries also release more liquid, so plan to use 1 additional tablespoon of instant tapioca to make sure the mixture thickens nicely.

Whatever you do, don’t skip the vanilla. It gives the fruit some added dimension and helps to round out the tart flavors.

How will you delight in this delectable red fruit pudding? Share your favorite ways to top or tinker with this tasty dessert in the comments below! And don’t forget to give this recipe a five-star rating if you loved it.

Crazy about cherries? Try these recipes that feature the juicy summertime fruit next:

Photos by Fanny Slater, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on July 1, 2015. Last updated on July 24, 2022. With additional writing and editing by Fanny Slater, Nikki Cervone, and Allison Sidhu.

Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

About Nina-Kristin Isensee

Nina lives in Iserlohn, Germany and holds an MA in Art History (Medieval and Renaissance Studies). She is currently working as a freelance writer in various fields. She enjoys travel, photography, cooking, and baking. Nina tries to cook from scratch every day when she has the time and enjoys trying out new spices and ingredients, as well as surprising her family with new cake creations.

10 thoughts on “Rote Grütze (Red Berry and Cherry Pudding)”

  1. I love the look of this, and tapioca has always been a favorite of mine. This is the perfect time to make this dessert, since berries are in season, and plentiful. I will probably make it with a mixture of berries, and I already have some tapioca pearls on hand, and I was looking for a recipe to use them in when I found this page.

  2. This berry compote looks absolutely scrumptious! I personally prefer the red berry combination rather than the alternative yellow variation, the flavors seem like they would blend together better. To each his own, however. Thank you for the new recipe! My family loves tapioca especially, so this will definitely be a hit. 🙂

  3. Mmm, this looks incredible. I would love to give this a try with a mix of raspberries from the garden when they’re ready for picking! This mix seems like it would be great to pour over vanilla ice cream as a topping, or to top off the fruit itself with some whipped cream. The individual portions idea for company is great as well; add in a bit of wine or liqueur and it would be the best party dessert. 😀

    You guys have got to stop with so many great recipe articles here, really. I spend too much time on this site nowadays and my list of suggestions to try out is growing too long for me to get through this summer, haha. Keep up the great work; I’m a picky eater, so putting out this many things that appeal to me is an accomplishment. 😉

    • Thank you, that’s what we are here for, to indulge and inspire you 🙂
      I would love to grow my own food in a garden, unfortunately I haven’t got this possibility but I can imagine that this recipe might be a great fit for your raspberries, so enjoy!

  4. What a delicious dessert to make! I would love to serve something like this at a BBQ. Or maybe just whip up a small batch for everyone as an unexpected suprise.

  5. I’ve seen berry compote but never actually had it. It looks so simple to make, and so tasty. Perfect summer dessert, I’ll need to make some soon!

  6. I like this one it looks simple. I’m going to bet this combination of berries is great together.Um, I do think it would be hard to wait until the morning to eat this. I’d probably get up in the middle of the night if I didn’t break when it was done.

  7. This looks absolutely delicious, but pretty simple as well. I’ve used tapioca quite a few times in many different dishes, but I never thought of using it in this way. I also love using berries in the summer, so I’m definitely trying this out!

  8. Well this just looks amazing. I always love to use berries this time of year, and they are usually pretty cheap too which always helps. It just screams summer, and although we are almost done with it, I would think that I can squeeze a couple more summertime dishes in there. I am not too familiar with tapioca pebbles, but there is only one way to solve that. Thanks for sharing.

    • Right now, I notice that the season for fresh berries is slowly passing, unfortunately. So I hope you’ll still have some time and ingredients for this refreshing dessert. When you can’t find any tapioca around, you can go for cornstarch to thicken the compote.


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