Whenever I see a fluffy fruit salad like Cherry Fluff, it takes me straight back to my childhood. Walking into my grandparents’ house for Thanksgiving or Christmas or Easter, I remember the smells of turkey or ham and the cornbread dressing, and it always makes me think of the mini marshmallows and whipped cream in the fruit salad. I could not wait to eat it!
When I was about 12 or 13 years old, I remember when my mom started having me help her. I’d get to whip the whipping cream for our long tradition of one of my favorites — Heavenly Hash. This Cherry Fluff is also a favorite and very similar. And, it’s pink — my favorite color!
How to make Cherry Fluff
First you’ll make the “fluff.” I prefer to use heavy whipping cream over whipped topping like Cool Whip. I think it gives it a better flavor, but if you’re in a hurry or don’t have a mixer, then Cool Whip will work just fine. Just substitute an 8 oz container of Cool Whip instead of a cup of heavy whipping cream.
To get that pretty pink color, I like to use the juice from the maraschino cherries. I start with a 1-2 tablespoons and add up to 2 more tablespoons as necessary. Be careful not to add too much as you want the cream cheese whipped cream to not end up runny. If you still want it pinker, use a bit of red food coloring.
Once you’re fluff is made, then it’s time to add the rest of the ingredients. The big secret to making Cherry Fluff or any salad like this is to make it up a day ahead of time, so it can chill overnight. This lets the fruit, juices and whipped cream combine and really bring out the flavors.
In this Cherry Fluff recipe, I included pecans as an optional ingredient. Traditionally they are part of the recipe, but I almost always leave them out as I have kids who love cherry fluff but aren’t big nut fans. Plus, recently I began to suspect I have a tree nut allergy as the last time I had a walnut, my tongue became swollen. I’m actually headed to the allergist in a few weeks to get that confirmed. Fun stuff!Print
This easy fruit salad recipe is just perfect for those holiday get togethers.
- 1 20 oz can crushed pineapple, drained
- 1 20 oz can fruit cocktail salad, drained
- 1 16 oz maraschino cherries without stems, cut in half
- 1–2 tablespoons of juice from the maraschino cherries
- 3 cups mini marshmallows
- 1 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup of heavy whipping cream
- 2 tbsp. powder sugar
- Optional: 1 cup chopped pecans
- Use a mixer to combine cream cheese, whipping cream, powder sugar, and maraschino cherry juice.
- Gradually add more maraschino juice if needed.
- Beat until combined and soft peaks form.
- Fold in all fruit, marshmallows and nuts.
- Chill several hours or ideally, overnight before serving.
- Feel free to leave out the pecans.
- Substitute whipped topping (Cool Whip) in place of heavy whipping cream.
- If your maraschino cherry juice does not get the fluff pink enough to your liking, add a little red food coloring.
Keywords: cherry fluff, cherry fruit salad, fruit salad, fluff salad, ambrosia salad, ambrosia
Looking for other fruit salad ideas? Check these out:
Do you have a favorite fruit salad?