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.
*This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon affiliate, I earn a commission on qualifying purchases.
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)
Looking for more delicious holiday desserts? Give these reader favorites a try:
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.
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!
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.
Vintage Cranberry Fluff Salad
- 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.