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Cranberry Fluff

This pretty pink marshmallow salad is absolutely drool-worthy!

Fresh cranberries and oranges folded into a cloud of cream cheese and whipped cream combine to create the most delicious Cranberry Fluff.

Not too tart and not too sweet, no Thanksgiving or Christmas table is complete without a bowl of this creamy fluff!

When the holidays get crazy, I know I appreciate recipes that require minimal prep time and deliver big on flavor. All it takes is 20 minutes to whip up a big bowl of this easy cranberry fluff salad.

Make this dish up to a day ahead of time, pop it in the refrigerator, and let it chill out until you’re ready to serve. The best part? Everyone loves it!

Looking for more festive cranberry recipes? You may enjoy my moist and delicious cranberry orange bread or these wholesome orange cranberry muffins — both are made with fresh cranberries!

a bowl of creamy cranberry fluff sitting on a table with cranberries scattered around.

Key ingredients & substitutions for Cranberry Fluff

  • Cranberries — Once harvested, cranberries typically appear in the grocery produce aisle October through December. If you don’t have fresh cranberries available, frozen cranberries will also work, but don’t let them thaw before preparing this recipe.
  • Oranges — Navel oranges are seedless, so they work really well with this recipe. Zest the orange, then slice off the remaining pith before dicing. Crushed pineapple (well drained) or mandarin oranges make a good substitute.
  • Sugar — You won’t need much, just enough to sweeten the cranberries a bit.
  • Cream cheese — Cream cheese gives this fluff a wonderful taste and texture!
  • Heavy whipping cream — If you prefer, you may 8 ounces of Cool Whip.
  • Mini marshmallows — Make sure your marshmallows are fresh!
process steps for making cranberry fluff: zest, peel, and dice oranges; coarsely chop cranberries; add sugar; stir to combine and refrigerate.

How to make Cranberry Fluff Salad?

STEP 1 | Chop the fruit

Rinse and drain the cranberries and discard any that are soft or have blemishes. Toss them into the bowl of your food processor and pulse until they are coarsely chopped.

Zest the oranges, then cut away the pith and dice into small pieces. Place the cranberries and oranges in a large bowl and sprinkle the sugar on top. Let this mixture rest on the counter while you prepare the filling.

cranberry fluff prep collage: whip cream cheese with heavy cream; fold in cranberry mixture and mini marshmallows.

STEP 2 | Make the filling

With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese for 3 – 4 minutes, until it is smooth. Pour in the heavy cream and vanilla extract and beat on low until the cream is incorporated.

Increase the speed and continue beating until the filling is light and creamy and stiff peaks form.

STEP 3 | Fold it all together

Gently fold the cream cheese mixture into the cranberry mixture, then fold in the marshmallows. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, several hours or overnight.

To serve, spoon the fluff into dessert bowls and sprinkle with toasted pecans, if desired.

tips

  • Adding a drop or two of red food coloring to the cranberry fluff gives the salad a more vibrant pink color.
  • Have extra cranberries? These sugared cranberries make a beautiful cranberry fluff garnish!

a serving spoon nestled into a bowl of cranberry fluff sitting on a table.

Frequently asked questions

Can you freeze cranberry fluff?

Technically, yes, but the texture of the marshmallows may be a little strange once the salad is thawed.

Can you make this marshmallow salad with different fruit?

Sure. Any kind of berries — strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries — would be delicious! Or, make pineapple fluff — the possibilities are endless!

Is cranberry fluff a dessert or a salad?

Yes and yes! This dish is sweet enough to be served as dessert — and looks pretty in little dessert dishes — but it’s usually categorized as a fruit salad.

a bowl of cranberry fluff with cranberries garnishing the top.

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Welcome to Cranberry Week! 

This week we are celebrating all things cranberry! We have delicious recipes from across the country to celebrate all things cranberry!

#CranberryWeek is an annual blogging event that is hosted by Ashley from Cheese Curd In Paradise

Yield: 8 servings

Cranberry Fluff

a bowl of creamy cranberry fluff sitting on a table with cranberries scattered around.

This pretty pink marshmallow salad is absolutely drool-worthy! Fold fresh cranberries and oranges into a delicious cloud of cream cheese and whipped cream.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh cranberries (or frozen)
  • 2 medium oranges, zested, peeled and finely diced
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 pkg. (8-oz.) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup miniature marshmallows
  • 1/4 cup toasted chopped pecans, optional

Instructions

Add the cranberries to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until they are coarsely chopped.

Zest the oranges, then cut away the pith and dice into small pieces.

Pour the cranberries and oranges with the zest into a large bowl and stir in the sugar. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes, then drain off all but ½ cup of the juice.

With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the cream and vanilla extract. Continue beating until stiff peaks form.

Gently stir the cream cheese mixture into the cranberry mixture. Fold in the marshmallows, then cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

To serve, spoon into dessert bowls and sprinkle with pecans, if desired.

Notes

Adding a drop or two of red food coloring to the filling gives this salad a more vibrant pink color.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 248Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 37mgSodium: 37mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 2gSugar: 25gProtein: 2g

Did you make this recipe?

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sheila thigpen in her kitchen

Sheila @ Life, Love & Good Food

Recipe Developer, Food Photographer, Food Writer

Sheila Thigpen is the publisher of Life, Love, and Good Food — a Southern food blog — and the author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook. After 20+ years in the publishing industry, she retired in 2018 to focus on her own creative endeavors full time. She and her husband live near the beautiful Smoky Mountains and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. As an influencer, Sheila has collaborated with brands like Creamette, Kroger, HERSHEY’S, Hamilton Beach, Garafalo Pasta, OXO, Smithfield, Valley Fig Growers, and more.

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Radha

Wednesday 1st of December 2021

This is YUM! We would love this always!

Jennifer Sikora

Tuesday 23rd of November 2021

I used to eat tons of this stuff growing up! This recipe brought back so many memories

Terri Steffes

Thursday 18th of November 2021

My grandmother used to make this and I never knew what it was until now! When I saw the ingredients I was like, "Grammy's Fluff!"

The Freshman Cook

Wednesday 17th of November 2021

There are so many times when I find myself in search of something delicious and quick to make. What a perfect recipe to solve my problem! Perfect, fun, and tasty! Definitely serving this during the holidays!

Kathleen Pope

Wednesday 17th of November 2021

This reminds me of growing up, we didn't call it fluff in the west, I think we just called it a salad (ha!). You sold me, I'm going to surprise our family and bring this for a salad on Thanksgiving!

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