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Cranberry Fluff

Cranberry Fluff is a traditional dessert salad to serve for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. A combination of sweetened cranberries, apples, grapes, walnuts and whipped cream makes this the perfect compliment to any holiday meal. 

This recipe comes straight from my mother-in-law’s recipe box. She’s been making this for every Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner since I can remember. It’s a bit different than many cranberry fluff recipes, using crisp, tart apples instead of crushed pineapple. An incredibly delicious addition to any holiday meal.

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Bowl of cranberry fluff dessert salad with text overlay

We almost always make my Aunt Zoe’s Cranberry Salad too, it has a raspberry jello base, crushed pineapples and pomegranates. You can’t have too many dessert salads for the holidays! Right?

Ingredients for Cranberry Fluff:

Ingredients for cranberry fluff with apples, grapes, mini marshmallows, heavy cream, walnuts, salt

  • Fresh Cranberries
  • Sugar
  • Mini Marshmallows
  • Tart Apples
  • Seedless Grapes
  • Toasted Walnuts
  • Kosher Salt
  • Heavy Whipping Cream

How to Make Cranberry Fluff:

overhead view cranberries in a food processor bowl

  • Place cranberries in a food processor.

ground fresh cranberries in a food processor bowl

  • Pulse until finely ground. 

bowl with ground cranberries and sugar

  • Mix cranberries with sugar in a bowl.

mini marshmallows in cranberry mixture for fluff recipe

  • Stir in marshmallows.

Cranberry Fluff marshmallow mixture

  • Cover and refrigerate overnight.

cutting board with diced apples, chopped walnuts and chopped grapes

  • Dice apples and chop grapes and walnuts.

Bowl with cranberries, apples, grapes and walnuts

  • Mix into cranberry mixture with salt. 

Whipped cream in a bowl with the whisk

  • Add heavy whipping cream to a mixer bowl and beat with the whisk attachment until stiff peaks form.

Bowl of cranberries and apples with whipped cream

  • Fold into cranberry mixture. 

large bowl of cranberry fluff dessert salad

  • Cover and chill about an hour or until ready to serve. 

Cranberry Fluff Salad topped with walnuts - fresh cranberries and walnuts to one side, serving spoon on the other

How Long Will Cranberry Fluff Last?

Cranberry Fluff is best if consumed in about 2 days, stir before serving. After that, the texture gets a little chewy and the cranberries can get watery. 

Can you Freeze Cranberry Fluff?

This cranberry fluff will not freeze well. It’s a great dish that you start the night before and finish assembling the next day. It’s so delicious that you are not likely to have many leftovers!

Cranberry Fluff in 2 bowls, cranberries and walnuts to the side

What is a Dessert Salad?

I have no idea why we call these types of dishes dessert salads but we always have and we always will, I suppose. My mother-in-law is the queen of dessert salads and she had me hooked on them right from the start.

They are a must have for just about every holiday and family get together. They just so delicious and easy to make. Rather it is cranberry fluff, strawberry fluff or Watergate Salad, everyone wants to make sure grandma is making them.  

Cranberry Fluff Dessert Salad -overhead view close up of bowl

This No Bake Eggnog Cheesecake is another favorite for the holidays. It’s simple to make ahead and so creamy and delicious.

My Favorite Cranberry Recipes

Spoonful of cranberry fluff salad

If you are looking for something different to add to Thanksgiving Dinner or Christmas brunch, give this Cranberry Fluff a try. It’s always a huge hit and couldn’t be more simple to make!




Cranberry Fluff Salad with walnuts in a snowflake red and white bowl
Print Recipe
4.80 from 5 votes

Cranberry Fluff

Cranberry Fluff is a must have dessert salad to serve for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner.
Prep Time15 minutes
Additional Time12 hours
Total Time12 hours 15 minutes
Course: Side Dishes
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cranberry apple fluff, cranberry fluff, cranberry fluff without pineapple, dessert salads, fresh cranberry recipe, Thanksgiving side dishes
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 248kcal
Author: Milisa


  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 cups mini marshmallows
  • 2 cups diced tart apples peeled and cored
  • 1/2 cup seedless grapes chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream whipped


  • Place cranberries in a food processor and pulse until finely ground. 
  • Mix cranberries with sugar in a bowl.
  • Stir in marshmallows, cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • Combine apples, grapes and walnuts with cranberries.
  • Stir in salt. 
  • Add heavy whipping cream to a mixer bowl and beat with the whisk attachment until stiff peaks form.
  • Fold into cranberry mixture. 
  • Cover and chill about an hour or until ready to serve. 


Cranberry Fluff will keep up to 2 days, covered in the refrigerator. Stir before serving.
Freezing is not recommended.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 248kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 72mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 29g



  1. Hi I have the same recipe, but I didn’t have the full directions – I lost part of it. I am glad you had It. The clipping I have is from the Country Guide; December 1968.

4.80 from 5 votes (5 ratings without comment)

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