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Vintage Cranberry Fluff Salad

This classic recipe for Cranberry Fluff Salad combines the tangy flavor of cranberries with the creamy sweetness of Cool Whip and cream cheese. And we didn't stop there - we've added juicy mandarin oranges, fluffy marshmallows, and crunchy pecans for an extra burst of flavor. You won't be able to resist this irresistible treat! Try it out and wow your guests this holiday season.
Dessert salad with cranberries.

Indulge in the irresistible Cranberry Fluff Salad – a classic that never fails to satisfy. This delightful holiday side dish combines the tangy taste of cranberries with the sweetness of Cool Whip and cream cheese, resulting in a truly decadent treat. To top it off, we’ve added mandarin oranges, marshmallows, and pecans for an extra burst of flavor.

Cranberry Fluff Salad Pin.

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What do I need to make the Cranberry Fluff Salad?

This vintage cranberry fluff salad is so easy to make with just a handful of ingredients. Here is what you will need to prepare it.

  • 1 Tub Cool Whip (8 ounces) – plus more for optional garnish
  • 4 Ounces Cream Cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 Can Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce (15 ounces)
  • 1 Can Mandarin Oranges, drained (15 ounces)
  • 2 Cups Mini Marshmallows
  • 1 Cup Chopped Pecans
  • Fresh Cranberries (optional garnish)
  • Fresh Rosemary Sprigs (optional garnish)

Overhead view of cranberry fluff salad ingredients.

Looking for more delicious holiday desserts? Give these reader favorites a try:

Gingerbread Cream Pie | Easy to Make Peppermint Brownie Bites | Fruit Pizza Christmas Wreath | Rice Krispie Christmas Treats

How do I make the Fluff Salad with Cranberry

There are just a few simple steps to make this yummy cranberry holiday treat. Here is what you will need to do to create the dessert salad.

Step 1: Prepare the mandarin oranges and cranberry sauce

Briefly pulse the drained mandarin oranges in a food processor until they resemble crushed pineapple. Drain any excess juice and set aside. You can also finely chop them up with a knife if you do not have a food processor. Use a fork to break up the cranberry sauce in a bowl until it reaches a smooth consistency.

Step 2: Combine the ingredients
In a large mixing bowl, combine the cranberry sauce, cool whip, and cream cheese until well combined. Add the remaining ingredients and fold them together until evenly distributed.

Overhead view of the steps to making fluff salad with cranberries.

Step 3: Refrigerate
While you can enjoy the salad immediately, we recommend refrigerating it for at least 8 hours (or overnight) to allow the flavors to meld together. This step is optional, depending on your preference. When ready to serve, garnish with a dollop of cool whip, fresh cranberries, and a sprig of rosemary. Enjoy!

Overhead view of Cranberry Fluff Salad.

Cranberry Fluff Salad FAQ

How do I store the dessert salad?

Store the salad in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Freezing the salad is not recommended.

How do I soften the cream cheese?

If your cream cheese is too cold to stir, soften it in a separate bowl before adding to the other ingredients. You can also put it in the microwave for 15 to 20 seconds to expedite softening it.

Can I add more cranberry sauce?

Absolutely, if you would like a more robust cranberry flavor, add more cranberry sauce.  Another idea to give it more cranberry flavor is to add a box of cranberry jello, just the powder, not prepared.

Do I have to add the pecans?
Feel free to omit the pecans if desired. They will not affect the overall result of the salad.

Can I use homemade cranberry sauce & whipped cream

If using homemade cranberry sauce, be mindful that its consistency may affect the fluffiness of the salad. If using homemade whipped cream, consider adding sugar to achieve the desired level of sweetness.

Two bowls of cranberry fluff salad with cranberries and a sprig or rosemary on top.

Dessert salad with cranberries.

Vintage Cranberry Fluff Salad

This classic recipe for Cranberry Fluff Salad combines the tangy flavor of cranberries with the creamy sweetness of Cool Whip and cream cheese. And we didn't stop there - we've added juicy mandarin oranges, fluffy marshmallows, and crunchy pecans for an extra burst of flavor. You won't be able to resist this irresistible treat! Try it out and wow your guests this holiday season.
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Christmas Desserts
Keyword: Cranberry Fluff Salad
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Refrigeration Time (optional): 8 hours
Servings: 12
Calories: 215kcal

Ingredients

  • 8 ounce Tub Cool Whip more for optional garnish
  • 4 ounces Cream Cheese room temp
  • 15 ounce Can Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce
  • 15 ounce Can Mandarin Oranges drained
  • 2 Cups Mini Marshmallows
  • 1 Cup Pecans chopped
  • Fresh Cranberries optional garnish
  • Fresh Rosemary Sprigs optional garnish

Instructions

  • Place the drained can of mandarin oranges in a food processor and do a couple of short, choppy bursts until it resembles crushed pineapple. Drain the excess juice after chopping and set aside.
  • Place the can of whole cranberry sauce in a bowl and use a fork or other utensil to break it up so that it turns into a smooth cranberry sauce, with no remaining big chunks.
  • Place the cranberry sauce, cool whip, and cream cheese in a large mixing bowl and gently mix until well combined.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and fold them together until they are evenly distributed.
  • Refrigerate for 8 hours to allow the flavors to develop (this step is optional, but it yields a more robust flavor)
  • Garnish with fresh cranberries, whipped cream and rosemary sprigs before serving, if desired.

Nutrition

Calories: 215kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 13mg | Sodium: 53mg | Potassium: 125mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 644IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 0.5mg
Recipe Rating