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Cranberry fluff salad is an amazing dessert salad worthy of your holiday plates this year. You’ll find it hard to not fill your plate with seconds and thirds of this sweet-tart salad! After all, you do have to share, right?

An image of a bowl of fluffy pink dessert salad made with fresh cranberries, pineapple, marshmallows, and whipped cream. 

I’m not ashamed to admit that I have a deep and abiding love for fruity dessert salads served with dinner. And this cranberry fluff salad is one of the best! I’m hard-pressed choosing between this one and my cranberry jello salad, which is always popular on the blog time of year.

I like my cranberry fluff salad with the cranberries a little less chopped up than some other super pink versions that you might see. Mostly because I love the textural and flavor contrast between the tart, crunchy fresh cranberries and the soft sweet marshmallows in this salad.

But if you process your cranberries a little more on the fine salad, this fluffy salad turns a beautiful pink hue that is so pretty and vibrant on a Thanksgiving table.

An image of two white bowls filled with cranberry fluff salad and garnished with fresh cranberries.

What is cranberry fluff salad?

Cranberry fluff salad is an easy to make fluffy salad full of pineapple, cranberries, mini marshmallows and other delicious flavors that meld together to create a unique and flavorful experience with each bite. While the appearance might be reminiscent of an ambrosia salad, the two couldn’t be more different. This salad stands alone in its festive flavors and is exactly what your holiday table is missing this year.

How to make cranberry fluff salad

  1. Pour your washed cranberries into the bowl of a food processor and pulse them several times until they’re finely chopped but not pureed.
  2. Transfer the chopped cranberries into a large bowl, and then add in the sugar and crushed pineapple. Stir to combine. Place the bowl in the fridge for at least an hour, but preferably overnight. Then drain the cranberries and the pineapple through a fine-mesh sieve.
  3. In the large bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl with an electric hand mixer, beat the cream cheese until it’s smooth.
  4. Add in the whipped cream and beat together until the cream is whipped and can hold soft peaks.
  5. Add in the drained cranberries and pineapple to the whipped cream mixture. Stir to combine and then fold in the marshmallows.
  6. Refrigerate for at least a couple of hours or overnight for the salad to set up and the flavors to combine.

A collage of images showing the steps for how to make cranberry fluff salad. An image of mini marshmallows on top of a creamy fruit salad. An image of a large bowl of dessert salad made with fresh cranberries, marshmallows, pineapple, and whipped cream.

Are there any fun ways to change up this recipe?

You can make so many fun variations to this cranberry fluff salad. While it’s great as is, you may decide you want to add something else to make it more unique. Adding in a chopped apple, sliced grapes, or even adding coarsely chopped pecans are fun variations!

An image of two bowls of cranberry fluff salad with fresh cranberries on top.

Can I use Cool Whip instead of heavy whipping cream?

Yes! If you’re running short on time or energy, you can follow the recipe exactly as is and simply exchange the heavy whipping cream for a container of thawed cool whip. You won’t want to beat it for too long with a mixer though. Just beat it enough to combine it with the cream cheese.

An image of bowls of cranberry fluff salad with fresh cranberries and marshmallows.    

More Holiday Salads We Love

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Cranberry Fluff Salad
Yield: 6 servings

Cranberry Fluff Salad

Cranberry fluff salad is an amazing dessert salad worthy of your holiday plates this year. You’ll find it hard to not fill your plate with seconds and thirds of this sweet-tart salad! After all, you do have to share, right?

Prep Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups heavy cream

Instructions

  1. Pour the cranberries into the bowl of a food processor and pulse several time until they are finely chopped, but not turned into a paste.
  2. Transfer the chopped cranberries to a large bowl and add the sugar and crushed pineapple. Stir to combine, then refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight. Then drain the cranberries and pineapple through a fine mesh sieve.
  3. In a large bowl using a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth.
  4. Add the whipping cream and beat together until the cream is whipped and holds soft peaks.
  5. Add the drained cranberries and pineapple to the whipped cream and cream cheese mixture. Stir to combine, then fold in the marshmallows.
  6. Refrigerate for at least a couple of hours or overnight for the salad to set up and the flavors to combine.

Notes

  • Optional add-ins include 1 cup chopped pecans, 1 cup sliced green grapes, or 2 cups diced unpeeled tart apple like a Granny Smith
  • The more you chop the cranberries, the more pink the salad will be. I like to top when there are still chunks of cranberry because you gets more texture and bursts of tart cranberry flavor in the salad.
  • Recipe from Mel's Kitchen Cafe.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 569 Total Fat: 35g Saturated Fat: 22g Trans Fat: 1g Unsaturated Fat: 11g Cholesterol: 109mg Sodium: 96mg Carbohydrates: 63g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 54g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 4g

Other Cranberry recipes you may enjoy: