Cranberry fluff is a deliciously vintage dessert that’s been a family favorite in my household for years. It’s a delicious concoction of fresh cranberries, marshmallows, whipped cream, and a few other goodies that are perfect for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Unlike a classic cherry fluff, the tartness of the cranberries mellows out the sweetness a bit. Plus the cranberry flavor just screams holiday season! This sweet treat will whisk you back to your childhood days cause it is just like the ones grandma used to make for family gatherings.
And this recipe is easy and hassle-free. It has just 5 simple ingredients making it easy, quick, and perfect for the holidays. Everyone always loves this dish, and it looks so festive and pretty on the dining room table with the other holiday side dishes.
In this blog post, I’ll be taking you step-by-step through whipping up your very own batch of Cranberry Fluff. And it’s as fun to make as it is to eat!
For exact amounts needed see the recipe card below
- Fresh cranberries: This is one of those times when fresh makes a difference. The tartness of the cranberries pairs perfectly with the sweetness of the other ingredients. If you can’t find fresh cranberries, canned whole cranberries or thawed frozen cranberries can be used in a pinch.
- Crushed pineapple: Make sure to drain it very well. We want the pineapple sweetness, but too much juice can make the fluff soggy.
- Miniature marshmallows
- Whipped topping: Such as Cool Whip. It’s the creamy base that holds our fluff together.
🥣How to Make Cranberry Fluff Salad
- Start by adding your cranberries and sugar to your food processor. Pulse until the cranberries are chopped.
- Once that’s done, add the cranberry mixture, drained crushed pineapple, mini marshmallows, and whipped topping to a large mixing bowl.
- Gently stir to combine.
- Cover your bowl and pop it in the refrigerator for 2 hours before serving. This allows all the flavors to meld together beautifully.
My favorite way to serve this fluffy delight is as a side dish during holiday meals. Add a few sugared cranberries on top and enjoy a pretty pop of color for Thanksgiving or Christmas spread.
It is a great dish to make ahead of time and bring to a holiday celebration. It takes little effort to create and adds the perfect festive touch to a holiday table.
But don’t limit yourself. This Cranberry Fluff is so versatile you can use it as a fun and light dessert. Or try it as a topping on pancakes or waffles. It will make Thanksgiving breakfast a whole lot more exciting!
💭How to Store
Storing this cranberry salad is as easy as pie. Or fluff, in this case. Cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap and pop it in the refrigerator. It should stay fresh for up to 3 days.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Can I freeze it?” I wouldn’t recommend it. The texture changes once it’s thawed, and not for the better. So, stick with the fridge for this one!
Be sure to check out the step by step instructions
- Fresh cranberries are best. Fresh cranberries give this dessert its signature tartness that beautifully contrasts the sweetness of the other ingredients. So, save those canned cranberries for another day.
- Use mini marshmallows. Mini marshmallows work best because they blend more easily with the other ingredients and give the fluff its light, airy texture.
- Patience is a virtue, especially regarding Cranberry Fluff. This dessert must chill in the fridge for at least a couple of hours to set properly. So, resist the temptation to dig in immediately. It’s worth the wait!
- Drained mandarin oranges, sliced grapes, or pecans can all be great additions. Just remember, the goal is to keep this recipe easy and stress-free. So don’t feel obliged to dress it up unless you want to!
Yes, you can, but fresh cranberries are the gold standard for this recipe. If you’re in a pinch, defrost your frozen cranberries before using them.
It’s your side dish, so do whatever you like. But the marshmallows help give the fluff its signature light and airy texture. So, unless you have a dietary restriction, I recommend keeping them in.
Absolutely! In fact, I recommend making this delicious recipe a day in advance so it sets and the flavors can meld together. Cover it with cling wrap and pop it in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.
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Cranberry Fluff Recipe
- 12 ounces fresh cranberries
- ¾ cup sugar
- 20 ounce canned crushed pineapple drained very well
- 2 cups mini marshmallows
- 8 ounce container whipped topping thawed
- Drain the crushed pineapple in a colander to remove extra moisture.20 ounce canned crushed pineapple
- Add your cranberries and sugar to a food processor. If you don’t have a food processor, you can chop the cranberries with a knife.12 ounces fresh cranberries, ¾ cup sugar
- Pulse until cranberries are a chopped consistency.
- Add the ground cranberries, drained crushed pineapple, mini marshmallows, and whipped topping to a large mixing bowl.2 cups mini marshmallows, 8 ounce container whipped topping
- Gently stir with a rubber spatula to combine all the ingredients.
- Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- You can use canned whole cranberries if you like; stir the sugar into it and proceed with the recipe.
- If you are using frozen cranberries thaw them completely and let them drain so they don’t make the fluff soggy.
- This dish is also great with drained mandarin oranges, sliced grapes, or pecans.
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Nutrition facts are estimates.