Cranberry Fluff is the stuff Thanksgiving side dish dreams are made of. A sweet and slightly tart fruit salad made of fresh cranberries, miniature marshmallows, crushed pineapple, and whipped cream. This simple, make-ahead festive dessert salad that will bring beauty to any holiday table.
But oddly enough, I still have friends tell me they had never heard of it before. I guess it might be a regional thing, but it is time to change that.
The best cranberry fluff
If you are not familiar with cranberry fluff, it is pretty darn easy to make. Grind up some fresh cranberries in your food processor, and combine them with mini marshmallows and sugar and let them refrigerate overnight. In the morning, add in some crushed pineapple and fresh whipped cream. Store in the fridge until it’s time to eat! So Easy!
Now imagine yourself putting together a big holiday meal like Thanksgiving dinner. Dishes that taste this good and come together this easily and quickly deserve special praise.
What kind of marshmallows work best for cranberry fluff
Save those big giant marshmallows for the fire to make s’mores. But use the mini marshmallows for your cranberry fluff. The juice from the fruits helps soften them up quickly. The marshmallows become just a bit gooey in the whipped cream and slightly sweetened with the sugar. In the end, it all blends together to create a light and fluffy fruit salad.
There is a bit of tang, some sweet, and a lovely texture. I guess it bears a slight similarity to ambrosia, but not too much. Even people that don’t like ambrosia tend to adore cranberry fluff.
Whipped cream or whipped non-dairy topping for cranberry fluff
I use homemade whipped cream in my recipe, but you can use non-dairy topping if you prefer. I feel like it has a lighter and fluffier texture using real whipped cream. But if non-dairy is preferred for dietary or health concerns, then all good.
I know it’s common to use cream cheese in fluff recipes, I know that I do for my Pineapple Pretzel Fluff recipe, but this cranberry fluff doesn’t contain cream cheese.
Some great tips for perfect whipped cream:
- Start with very cold whipping or heavy cream. Don’t let it freeze, but get it as cold as possible
- Make sure your mixing bowl is icy cold too. Pop it in the freezer to chill it up a bit.
- With an electric mixer, go for the highest fastest setting possible. If you are doing it by hand, then whip so quickly you think your about to lift off like a helicopter.
- Keeping everything as cold as possible makes it whip faster. If you can put your chilled bowl inside a bowl with some ice, then even better.
Ingredients in Cranberry Fluff Salad
All you will need are these ingredients: Fresh cranberries, miniature marshmallows, crushed pineapple, salt, sugar and whipped cream.
How to Make Cranberry Fluff Salad
Grind down cranberries in your food processor.
Combine cranberries, marshmallows and sugar.
Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Add in well drained pineapple and salt. Fold in whipped cream.
Chill until ready to serve.
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Fresh cranberries vs canned cranberries
Ok, if you have seen cranberry fluff recipes online, or in old cookbooks, then canned cranberries are often used. But I like fresh cranberries for a few reasons. One, you don’t get any of the tinny taste that canned cranberries often have. Two, even with the added sugar, you still are using less sugar than canned cranberries usually have. Finally, it is just a better taste and texture all around.
Lots of Cranberry Recipes to Love!
Whether you have fresh, frozen, canned, or dried cranberries – I have all sorts of ways to use them!
Uses Fresh Cranberries:
- Cranberry Meatballs
- Mom’s Cranberry Sauce (pictured above)
- Sugared Cranberries
- Pork Loin Roast with Balsamic Cranberry Sauce
- Cranberry Orange Muffins
- How To Make a Fresh Cranberry Centerpiece
- Cranapple Fizz Cocktail
Uses Dried Cranberries:
Turn those holiday leftovers into something fabulous!
I am participating in Holiday Side Dish Week with some other magnificent bloggers! Check out all of the recipes today, right beneath my recipe card below, and make sure to come back and see all of the delicious side dishes Wednesday and Friday of this week, too!
Let’s grab the recipe!
Cranberry Fluff Recipe
Cranberry fluff is the stuff holiday sidedish dreams are made of. A sweet and slightly tart fruit salad made of fresh cranberries, miniature marshmallows, crushed pineapple, and whipped cream. A simple, make-ahead festive dessert salad that will bring beauty to any holiday table.
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- 1 cup crushed pineapple, drained
- ½ cup sugar
- ¾ cup heavy cream, whipped until stiff
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups miniature marshmallows
- Grind down cranberries in your food processor.
- Combine cranberries, marshmallows and sugar. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- Add in well drained pineapple and salt.
- Fold in whipped cream.
- Chill until ready to serve.
I used fresh cranberries in my recipe, but frozen ones will work, too, so you can enjoy this sweet and fluffy salad anytime of the year!
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 179Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 25mgSodium: 46mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 1gSugar: 24gProtein: 1g
Nutrition isn't guaranteed acc;urate.
Monday Holiday Side Dish Recipes:
- Bacon Wrapped Green Bean Bundles by House of Nash Eats
- Balsamic Glazed Baby Onions by Savory Experiments
- Best Thanksgiving Stuffing Recipe by The Fresh Cooky
- Brussels Sprouts and Bacon Stuffing by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Brussels Sprouts and Potatoes with Sausage Crumbles by Food Lust People Love
- Cauliflower Gratin by Lemon Blossoms
- Cheese Herb Potato Gratin by Shockingly Delicious
- Cheesy Broccoli Cauliflower Casserole by Blogghetti
- Cranberry Fluff by An Affair from the Heart
- Easy Chorizo Cornbread Dressing by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Hasselback Sweet Potatoes with Cranberries & Pecans by Sweet Beginnings
- Holiday Side Salad by Our Good Life
- Honey Roasted Carrots by Devour Dinner
- No Knead Cloverleaf Dinner Rolls by Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Roasted Buttercup Squash by Palatable Pastime
- Roasted fingerling potatoes with Parmesan by The Foodie Affair
- Sauteed Spinach with Bacon by Kate’s Recipe Box
- Slow Cooker Cheesy Vegetables by Cheese Curd in Paradise
- Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecans by West Via Midwest
- Sweet Potato Salad by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Traditional Cranberry Sauce by Family Around the Table
- Twiced Baked Sweet Potatoes by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
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