Recipe: Götterspeise, Sweet “Food of the Gods”

A Swiss-German recipe known as Götterspeise (food of the gods) layers three key elements: a fruit-based compote, crumbled Zwieback (crisp twice-baked bread slices) and a vanilla custard. For my recipe, I use a sweet and slightly tart roasted rhubarb purée. It reminds me a bit of an English Trifle with its custard and fruit layers. I am normally not a huge fan of custard desserts or soggy bread, but this is so good!

Roasted Rhubarb Götterspeise

Makes 4 servings


2-3 Zwieback, crumbled

Vanilla Cream
350 ml whole milk (3.5% milk fat)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract or paste
1 egg
1 egg yolk
3 tablespoons (40 g) sugar
1 tablespoon (7 g) cornstarch

Roasted Rhubarb
350 g (about ¾ of a lb) fresh rhubarb
1/3 cup (65 g) sugar

fresh strawberries, mint leaves and/or crushed Zwieback


1. First make the roasted rhubarb. Add the rhubarb, cut into 2-inch long pieces to an oven-safe dish. Use your hands to toss the sugar with the rhubarb until its evenly coated. Then, cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes at 180° C / 350° F.

2. Using an immersion blender, puree the rhubarb into a smooth mixture. Set it aside to cool.

3. While the rhubarb is baking, you can prepare the vanilla cream. First, whisk together the egg, egg yolk, cornstarch and sugar. Set aside.

4. Add the milk to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Then, pour the egg mixture in a thin stream into the milk mixture, whisking constantly so it doesn’t start to curdle. When it is well combined, return the pan to the stove and heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring frequently, until it thickens.

5. Pour the thickened cream through a sieve into a bowl. Let it cool to room temperature.

6. Finally, layer these three ingredients into small glass jars or cups, starting with the roasted rhubarb puree.

7. Then add a layer of crumbled Zwieback pieces and finally the vanilla cream. Place in the refrigerator to cool for at least two hours.

8. When the Götterspeise dessert has fully chilled and the Zwieback has softened, top them with sliced strawberries, mint leaves and/or finely crushed Zwieback.

Have you ever tried Götterspeise? How do you make it at home? Please tell me your experience with this Swiss-German dessert by leaving a comment below.

6 replies »

  1. This looks wonderful and is high on my list of recipes to try now. I’ve had it in restaurants and had no idea how they made it! The rhubarb purée instructions are interesting because most are for stovetop with water added; I’ll try some of this in a rhubarb bellini cocktail with sparkling wine and let you know how it goes 🙂

    • Hi Ellen! I love roasted rhubarb. The flavor is so lovely. You can separate the fruit from the syrup after its baked and boil it down so it thickens. That would be nice in your cocktail! 😉 I am jealous that you’ve tried this dessert in a restaurant. I have never seen it on a menu, but I think it might be more prevalent in German-speaking Switzerland? Thanks for your kind message!

  2. Thank you for broadening my horizon, Heddi. For me , German national, Götterspeise was two different coloured layers of Jello with a layer of whipped cream on top. Little did I know it’s a Trifle! Thank you for your informative and interesting posts 😋

    • Hi Sabine! Yes, I had read that this name essentially meant a Jell-O (gelatin) dessert in Germany, but it seems to be used for a Trifle-esque dessert in Switzerland and primarily in German-speaking Switzerland. Love these regional culinary differences! Thanks for sharing this. 🙂

  3. Beautiful! Rhubarb is my favourite. I love custard too so it’s win-win. I think I would leave some rhubarb un-pureed. Could I use any crisp bread? Did you make the Zwieback or buy it? Truly the food of the gods.

    • Thanks! I love rhubarb too, but the season passes by so quickly! Yes, you could certainly puree a portion of the rhubarb, if you wanted some more texture. The bread has to be very very crisp – not soft at all! 🙂 A little sweetness to the bread certainly helps too. I used a mixed of store-bought and homemade Zwieback. I have a recipe for Zwieback in my 2nd book. Many thanks, and best wishes, -Heddi

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