Light and billowy Cranberry Fluff is a classic side dish often served as part of our holiday menu. It can be featured as a dessert or as a side dish salad along with savory dishes. Filled with fresh cranberries, toasted walnuts and crushed pineapple it's then combined with mini marshmallows and freshly whipped cream. The texture is light and creamy yet, still tastes indulgent.
Easy Cranberry Fluff Recipe
The origin of these sweet sides sometimes referred to as a salad, is a bit blurry. It probably has its roots in fruit salads which are naturally sweet by nature and can be served alongside savory dishes or as a sweet ending to your meal. Regardless of the origin, fruity fluffs are a nostalgic dish much like Pistachio Fluff a.k.a. Watergate Salad the popular potluck star of the 70's. I love making them and have included several variations here on my website. No matter the flavor, they're truly a delight and each one has their own little flavor twist.
How to Make the Best Cranberry Fluff Recipe
This Cranberry Fluff is a yummy seasonal version that's made with fresh not frozen, cranberries. It's such a treat and always a welcome sight on our Thanksgiving and Christmas table whether I serve it as a dessert or a side dish.
- Ingredients you'll need to make homemade Cranberry Fluff: Four cups of fresh cranberries, crushed pineapple, orange or lemon juice, granulated sugar, mini marshmallows, toasted chopped pecans or walnuts, whipping cream, powdered sugar, cream cheese and vanilla extract.
- Kitchen gadgets you'll need: A food processor, measuring cups and spoons, a sheet pan to toast the nuts, a hand mixer or a stand mixer, large bowl, rubber spatula for stirring.
- I use fresh whipped cream for this fluff adding cream cheese to stabilize it without changing the flavor. It's an important ingredients so don't skip it.
- You can make this fluff one day in advance and give it ample time to chill prior to serving.
- You can use walnuts or pecans in this recipe. It's well worth the small amount of effort it takes to toast the nuts prior to adding them to the mixture.
- Store Cranberry Fluff chilled in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- I love making different flavor combinations of fluff. Two others you may also enjoy is my Chocolate Drizzled Caramel Apple Fluff and Hawaiian Pineapple Coconut Fluff.
Other Cranberry Desserts to Make
Whether you enjoy baking with fresh cranberries or sweet chewy dried cranberries, they're a must have during the holiday season. More recipes using cranberries you may also like to try:
- This Cranberry Orange Yogurt Bread recipe uses yogurt in place of sour cream for the perfect balance of sweet and tart.
- Start your morning with a freshly baked Cranberry Muffin.
- Cranberry Apple Fruit Chutney is a fabulous condiment for your holiday table.
- Cranberry Orange Sweet Rolls are a made from scratch delight.
- Christmas Cranberry Cake dusted with powdered sugar will take you from brunch to dessert.
- Cranberry Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies are an unforgettable Christmas cookie to make.
- Another festive side dish you may like to try is this Cranberry Salsa from Boulder Locavore.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
- 1 cup roughly chopped English walnuts or pecans toasted
- 4 cups fresh cranberries
- 2 Tbsps orange or lemon juice
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 8 oz can crushed pineapple well drained
- 1 10 oz bag mini marshmallows
- 1 pint heavy whipping cream
- 2 oz cream cheese softened
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the walnuts in a single layer and toast for 6-8 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Pulse the cranberries in a food processor until chopped. Place into a mixing bowl and toss with juice. Add sugar stirring until evenly distributed. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours or overnight allowing to macerate.
- To assemble: Using an electric mixer beat the heavy cream, cream cheese and vanilla together. Gradually add the powdered sugar beating until smooth and stiff peaks form.
- To the macerated cranberries add the marshmallows and pineapple. Mix well. Once combined mix in the walnuts.
- Fold the whipped cream in by hand.
- Pour into an airtight container and chill overnight.