Cherry fluff is a delicious fluff salad recipe made with pie filling & creamy whipped topping that can be served as a side dish or a dessert!
This simple cherry fluff salad recipe is one from the vintage church cookbooks that anyone who grew up in the 80’s probably recognizes. Serve it with other potluck favorites like a classic cheeseball recipe, chili cornbread casserole, or our tuna hotdish!
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Why you’ll love this vintage cherry fluff recipe!
📌 Super quick to prepare – comes together in just 5 minutes.
📌 Delicious cherry flavor, makes a great side dish or dessert.
📌 Perfect to bring as a side or dessert to parties and potlucks!
Cherry Fluff Ingredients
- Whipped topping – Like Cool Whip, thawed.
- Cherry pie filling – Canned cherry pie filling. You can also substitute strawberry jello powder if you prefer, but we love the flavor of pie filling!
- Pineapple – Canned crushed pineapple, undrained.
- Sweetened condensed milk – This is NOT the same as evaporated milk! Check the label closely.
- Marshmallows – Mini marshmallows, plain. Alternatively you can use the colorful fruit flavored marshmallows.
- Coconut – Sweetened shredded coconut.
- Optional – Maraschino cherries, for topping.
How do you make cherry fluff salad? (step-by-step directions)
⭐ First, thoroughly mix together the crushed pineapple, cherry filling, marshmallows, and coconut.
⭐ Then, add the sweetened condensed milk.
⭐ Next, mix well to combine.
⭐ Finally, chill until ready to serve.
Scroll down to the printable recipe card toward the bottom of this article for ingredient measurements and detailed cooking instructions.
Can you make fluff salad ahead of time?
This recipe is best when made at least a few hours ahead of time, and can be made as long as a full day in advance.
Any longer than that and you run the risk of it getting watery.
Do you have to use cool whip?
Homemade whipped cream can be used, but it works best with stabilized whipped cream/whipped topping.
If you use homemade whipped cream make sure it’s whipped to stiff peaks before stirring in and then serve immediately after preparing.
Can I add fresh cherries?
Yes, but for best results stir diced fresh cherries in immediately before serving so they don’t release moisture into the dish and make it watery.
Storage and leftovers
How long will cherry fluff keep in the fridge?
Leftovers will last 3 – 4 days. After that you can still eat them (for up to a week) but they may become runny. Make sure to store covered in an air tight container.
Stir leftovers before serving, to reincorporate any separation.
Can you freeze the leftovers?
We do not recommend freezing fluff salad.
Tips, tricks, and frequently asked questions
Is it a side dish or a dessert?
In the south and midwest, this is typically served as a side dish (I guess that’s why it’s called a fluff salad!), but I’ve found in the northeast and on the west coast it’s often served as a dessert.
Can I add sour cream or cottage cheese?
Yes, if you want to add some tartness stir in up to 16 ounces of cottage cheese, sour cream, or plain Greek yogurt. Add it in small increments until you reach your desired consistency and flavor.
You can also whisk in a cup or two of cream cheese.
Nuts or no nuts?
Chopped nuts are a great addition to this kind of dish. They add a great variety of texture. Make sure to sprinkle some on top as garnish so folks know there’s nuts in it!
This recipe is reminiscent of my childhood so I love to serve it with other nostalgic favorites like French bread pizza, our tuna casserole recipe, or frito pie.
More delicious fluff recipes
- Pineapple fluff
- Fruit salad fluff
- Cookie salad fluff
- Orange fluff salad
- Oreo fluff
- Snickers salad with apples and caramel
- Ambrosia salad
- Strawberry fluff salad
Other awesome cherry recipes
Tools we love
- Party bowl – This bowl is pretty, and doesn’t way a billion pounds and won’t shatter if dropped.
- Stainless and copper serving spoons – These are gorgeous!
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How to Make Cherry Fluff
- 1 can cherry pie filling 20 ounces
- 1 can crushed pineapple 20 ounces, undrained
- 8 ounces whipped topping (like Cool Whip) thawed
- 1½ cups mini marshmallows plain or fruit flavored
- 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
- 7 ounces sweetened condensed milk
- optional crushed nuts, fresh or maraschino cherries
- Thoroughly mix together the crushed pineapple, cherry filling, marshmallows, and coconut.
- Add the sweetened condensed milk. Mix well to combine.
- Cover and chill at least one hour or until ready to serve.
- Swap the cherry pie filling for smashed maraschino cherries, a packet of cherry jello mix, or use any combination of the three.
- Stir in cottage cheese, sour cream, plain Greek yogurt, or softened cream cheese, to taste.
- Add crushed or slivered nuts.
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My grandma used to make a version of this dish all the time, I had totally forgotten about it until I saw it and HAD to try to make it myself. Brings back so many childhood memories. Thanks for posting! It turned out delicious!
Andrea Thueson says
This was such a fun, tasty dessert salad, I brought it to a potluck, and there were no leftovers! Total win in my book!
I used fresh whipped cream in place of the Cool Whip. Oh my gosh, this stuff is addicting! Next time I’ll try adding some chopped nuts like you suggested. 🙂