Cherry fluff salad is a vintage dessert that is beloved by many. My recipe uses six simple ingredients to make a perfect, sweet, fluffy salad that is bursting with cherry flavor!
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This cherry fluff salad recipe is one of those classics that I have been making for years. It was a staple in my home when I was growing up. Just one bite reminds me of summers as a kid, laughing with my friends, playing outside, and stopping for a sweet bowl of cherry salad made by my mom. That is just one reason I continue to make this salad and serve it to my family.
The other reason I make cherry fluff salad is that it is just sooooo good.
Cherry Fluff Salad Recipe
If you like sweet, fruity, retro recipes like Snickers Salad, Strawberry Pretzel Dessert, and Waldorf Salad, then my cherry fluff salad recipe is for you. The whole dessert takes about 5 minutes to put together. There is no baking required and barely any measuring. All you need to do is put the ingredients into a bowl and stir!
Not only is there cherry pie filling in this recipe to give it a ton of flavor, but there are also lots of yummy pineapples, doubling the amount of sweet fruit. Mini marshmallows and pistachios are mixed with the fruit and then the whole mixture is pulled together with sweetened condensed milk and Cool Whip.
It may sound a little crazy, but it is amazing. That is why this recipe is a true classic. Housewives since the early 1950s have been making cherry fluff salad and I plan on continuing the tradition!
Ingredients in Cherry Fluff Salad
See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
- Crushed pineapple – You do not need the juice from the can of pineapple for this recipe, but I like to save it and add it to smoothies.
- Cherry pie filling – Any brand will work!
- Sweetened condensed milk – Make sure you grab sweetened condensed milk, which is very different from evaporated milk (they are often next to each other in the grocery store!)
- Mini marshmallows
- Whipped topping – Cool Whip is always my go-to brand. I think it has a better taste and texture than other store brands.
- Use chopped pecans in place of pistachios.
- Add one cup of shredded sweetened coconut for extra flavor and texture.
- Add ½ teaspoon of almond extract to the mix for a subtle, nutty flavor that will really take this cherry fluff salad to the next level.
How to Make Cherry Fluff Salad
- Measure: Open the cans of pineapple, pie filling, and condensed milk and pour them into a large mixing bowl. Measure the mini marshmallows and pistachios and pour them into the bowl as well. Scoop the whipped topping into the bowl last.
- Mix: Use a rubber spatula to gently mix all of the ingredients together.
- Chill: Let the cherry fluff salad chill in the fridge for about 30-40 minutes. This will help the texture of the salad, making it a little more firm and scoopable.
- Scoop and serve: Scoop the cherry fluff into bowls and enjoy!
Make sure the canned pineapple is well drained. I like to pour the can of pineapple into a sieve and let it sit for at least 10 minutes to really get the juice out. If the pineapple is too wet, it makes the fluff salad soft.
How to Store Cherry Fluff Salad
Keep your old-fashioned cherry fluff in an airtight container in the fridge. It will keep for about 4-5 days. You may need to give it a good stir before serving to mix some of the juices back in. It does tend to separate after a few days.
Yes! In fact, I like to eat cherry fluff salad when it is frozen. It almost tastes like ice cream! Keep your salad in an airtight container for up to three months and enjoy it as a frozen dessert anytime.
I recommend sticking to the pie filling rather than using fresh cherries. The yummy, gooey filling adds a lot of flavor, color, and texture to the dessert salad. Whole, fresh cherries wouldn’t give you the same taste or texture.
You can omit the sweetened condensed milk from this recipe and still have a very tasty, sweet salad. It will just not be as sweet as if you use condensed milk. However, the cherry pie filling and Cool Whip will make the salad plenty sweet.
Cherry Fluff Salad
- 1 20 ounce can crushed pineapple, drained
- 1 21 ounce can cherry pie filling
- 1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- 3 cups mini marshmallows
- 1 8 ounce container Cool Whip
- 1 ½ cups pistachios
- Maraschino cherries
- Coconut, shredded and toasted
- In a large mixing bowl combine all ingredients and stir together until well mixed.
- Transfer to a large serving bowl.
- Sprinkle the top with desired garnishes, then transfer to the refrigerator and allow to chill for at least 40 minutes before serving.