This extra creamy semolina pudding, also known as Grießbrei in German, adds instant warmth and comfort to your day. If you love the semolina-based hot cereal Cream of Wheat but are looking for a homemade, from scratch recipe then you’ve come to the right place. Semolina porridge is extremely versatile and a great alternative to your standard oatmeal, offering sustenance and a blank canvas for your topping ideas.
Growing up in Germany homemade Grießbrei or store-bought Grießpudding from Landliebe are fond food memories from my childhood. A classic German dish that adds instant comfort.
Cream of Wheat is another popular semolina-based breakfast that is loved by kids and adults alike. This from scratch recipe is a great homemade version of it.
What is semolina?
Semolina, known as Grieß in German, is a coarse flour made from durum wheat. It comes in two types, hard wheat semolina (Hartweizengrieß) which is used for pasta and bread making, and soft wheat semolina (Weichweizengrieß).
Semolina has a light yellow color and gritty texture which makes it versatile for various sweet dishes made with flour (aka Mehlspeisen in German) including semolina pudding and porridge.
- Semolina/Grieß – This recipe uses fine semolina, aka Weichweizengrieß in German.
- Milk – Full-fat milk works best but you can also use skim milk.
- Cream – Heavy cream gives the pudding its richness.
- Sugar – Granulated sugar gives the semolina pudding its sweetness. You can substitute it with maple sugar, honey, or other sweeteners of your choice.
- Vanilla – Vanilla extract, essence, or fresh vanilla beans work well for this recipe. It adds depth of flavor and richness to this dish.
- Salt – A pinch of salt rounds out the flavors.
How to make semolina pudding
- Heat the milk and cream on the stovetop.
- Slowly add the semolina while stirring. Cook for 5-7 minutes while stirring.
- Add flavorings and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Remove the pudding from the stove.
- Serve it warm or cold with your favorite topping.
- Add it slowly: When adding semolina to the simmering milk and cream, do it gradually while stirring continuously. This helps prevent lumps from forming and ensures a smooth and creamy consistency.
- Keep stirring: Stir the mixture consistently while cooking to avoid sticking and burning at the bottom of the saucepan. This also helps the semolina cook evenly and achieve a creamy texture.
- Taste throughout: Taste the Grießbrei as you cook and adjust the amount of sugar to your preference.
The following variations allow you to adapt the Grießbrei to suit your dietary and taste preferences, making it a versatile option for breakfast or dessert:
Dairy-free / vegan: Substitute the milk with a non-dairy alternative like almond milk, coconut milk, or oat milk to create a vegan Grießbrei.
Whole grain: Use wholegrain semolina for a more wholesome porridge.
Natural sweeteners: Sweeten the semolina pudding with natural alternatives like maple syrup, agave nectar, or stevia, or rely on the natural sweetness of the milk and fruit toppings.
Flavorings: Besides vanilla, you can incorporate ground cinnamon, nutmeg, or cardamom for a warm and comforting spice-infused flavor. You can also add pumpkin spice for a Fall-inspired twist or some Christmas spice to infuse some festive flavors.
Or simply recreate your favorite Cream of Wheat flavors including brown sugar and maple, banana and walnut, cocoa and almonds, mixed berry, or cinnamon and apple.
Semolina for babies
Semolina is a popular choice for baby food due to its nutritional value and versatility. It can be introduced to babies around 6 months of age as part of their solid food journey. Start with a smooth, well-cooked semolina porridge without any flavorings to ensure easy digestion. Check for wheat allergies, maintain portion control, and introduce a variety of foods for a balanced diet. Always consult a pediatrician before introducing new foods to your baby.
Semolina porridge topping ideas
Grießbrei is an extremely versatile dish. Add extra flavor, texture, and visual appeal with the following topping ideas:
- Fruit compote: Top your Grießbrei with a sweet and tangy fruit compote made from apples and pears, berries, rhubarb, peaches, or any seasonal fruits.
- Cinnamon sugar: Sprinkle a mixture of cinnamon and sugar on top for a classic and comforting flavor combination.
- Fresh berries: Garnish the bowl with a handful of fresh berries like strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries for a burst of color and natural sweetness.
- Add pumpkin and maple syrup: Drizzle a generous amount of maple syrup over the pudding alongside a dusting of pumpkin spice to autumnal flavors.
- Jam or fruit sauce: Use your favorite fruit jam or sauce as a topping, adding extra fruitiness and a burst of flavor.
- Toasted nuts: Add a delightful crunch by sprinkling toasted almonds, walnuts, chopped hazelnuts, or your favorite granola.
- Chocolate shavings: For a decadent twist, grate some dark or milk chocolate on top to enhance the sweetness and create a visual contrast.
- Dried fruits: Chopped dried fruits like raisins, apricots, or cranberries can add a chewy and flavorful element to the creamy Grießbrei.
- Whipped cream: Top the Grießbrei with a dollop of German whipped cream (aka Schlagsahne) or mascarpone cream for extra creaminess and indulgence.
- Brûlée crust: Add a caramelized layer of sugar on top by torching or broiling some extra sugar until it turns into a crisp and golden brown crust.
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Yes, you can reheat Grießbrei either in the microwave on medium power or on the stovetop over low heat, adding a splash of milk if needed to restore its creamy consistency.
Yes, you can freeze Grießbrei for up to 2-3 months in a freezer-proof container. To thaw and reheat, place it in the refrigerator overnight or thaw it in the microwave or on the stovetop over low heat. Add extra milk if needed.
Creamy Semolina Pudding (Grießbrei)
- 1 1/2 cups full-fat milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/3 cup fine semolina
- 3 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- In a saucepan, heat 1 1/2 cups full-fat milk and 1/2 cup heavy cream over medium heat until it begins to simmer.1 1/2 cups full-fat milk, 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Slowly add 1/3 cup fine semolina to the simmering milk while continuously stirring to prevent lumps from forming.1/3 cup fine semolina
- Reduce the heat to low and continue stirring the mixture. Cook for about 5-7 minutes or until the semolina thickens to a smooth and creamy consistency.
- Add 3 tbsp granulated sugar, 1 tsp vanilla extract and a 1 pinch salt. Stir well to combine and let it cook for another 2-3 minutes, allowing the flavors to combine.3 tbsp granulated sugar, 1 pinch salt, 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Remove the saucepan from the heat. I recommend letting the Grießbrei cool slightly before serving with your favorite topping.1/2 cup heavy cream