This classic cherry fluff is full of cherry flavor with the addition of pineapple, nuts, and coconut, all enveloped in an airy fluff. This vintage dessert is the perfect addition to a cookout on a hot summer night or just a quick way to indulge your sweet tooth.
The great thing about this recipe is that since it uses cherry pie filling you don’t have to wait for cherry season to make it! It’s also a bonus that you can whip it up in a matter of minutes.
If you love no-bake dessert recipes, you’re going to love this delicious dessert full of sweet cherries mixed with nuts, fruit, and coconut in light and airy fluff!
Why You’ll Love Classic Cherry Fluff
This great dessert is easy to love.
- Incredibly Easy – This easy no-bake recipe is a cinch to make. It takes mere minutes and there’s nearly no cleanup.
- Cost-Effective – Since there are only a few ingredients that are typically relatively affordable, you can make this delicious recipe without dropping a lot of change.
- So Versatile – This classic recipe is a great side dish, especially for outdoor events during the summer months. It’s great for casual family gatherings but it’s also always good for a special occasion like Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, or a baby shower.
- Unique – So many desserts are heavy, and while sometimes that’s welcome, this airy, fluffy dessert is a departure from the norm.
What are Maraschino Cherries?
Maraschino cherries are sweet cherries that have been preserved in a syrup, often with added artificial color and almond flavoring, and are commonly used as garnishes in cocktails and desserts. They have a bright red appearance and a sweet, slightly nutty taste.
They can be used for garnish and play well with the cherry pie filling. Luxardo cherries can also be used, but use a sour cherry and have a thicker and more luxurious syrup. Of course, you can also choose to use neither.
Ingredients for Classic Cherry Fluff Salad
With only a few simple ingredients, this easy cherry fluff recipe couldn’t be easier to make.
- Cool Whip – Feel free to use any brand of whipped topping you like. Thaw before using it. These whipped toppings often work better than real whipped cream because they are more stable and won’t deflate easily.
- Powdered Sugar – Powdered sugar gives the fluff a silky texture and adds to the sweetness without the gritty texture of granulated sugar.
- Vanilla Extract – Vanilla brings out the sweet flavors of the fruit, sugar, and milk. Almond extract can also be used.
- Sweetened Condensed Milk – Adds creaminess, liquid but also sweet from the sugar content.
- Canned Crushed Pineapple – You can also use pineapple chunks if you prefer. Be sure to drain it so that the pineapple juice doesn’t drastically change the consistency of the fluff.
- Shredded Sweetened Coconut – Coconut, along with the pineapple, gives this dessert a tropical feel.
- Chopped Almonds, Pecans, or Walnuts – Any of these nuts will add crunchy texture to this creamy dessert. Nuts can easily be omitted.
- Mini Marshmallows – Mini marshmallows are standard and mandatory for all fluff salads. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be fluff!
- Cherry Pie Filling – Choose your favorite store-bought brand or make homemade cherry pie filling.
- Maraschino Cherries (for topping) – Use the typical type at the store or splurge on Luxardo cherries.
How to Make Classic Cherry Fluff
This cherry fluff is a breeze to make with just a few simple ingredients.
- Cool Whip, powdered sugar and vanilla. Add the Cool Whip, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract to a large bowl.
- Remaining ingredients. Pour in the sweetened condensed milk and fold in the remainder of the ingredients.
- Cover and chill. Use plastic wrap to cover the bowl and place it in the refrigerator.
- Top with cherries. When ready to serve, give it a good stir and top with the maraschino cherries.
What to Serve with Classic Cherry Fluff
Drizzle fudge sauce over the fluff, serve it with vanilla ice cream, or add it on top of any type of pie from a sugar cream pie to coconut cream pie. Consider serving several marshmallow salad recipes together for a fluff bar.
You can also top your cherry fluff with fresh berries or serve it with fruit salad or fruit cocktail. Or, give it some crunch by crushing vanilla wafers or graham crackers into it.
There are plenty of ways you can make this classic cherry fluff your own!
- Pie Filling Flavors – Use any kind of fruity pie fillings instead of the cherry or blend some together.
- Fewer Calories – To reduce the calories, use lite Cool Whip, use unsweetened shredded coconut, or omit powdered sugar.
- Cream Cheese – For tanginess, try mixing in cream cheese. Who could resist a cherry cheesecake fluff?
- Cookies – Instead of fruit pie filling, use Oreos to make an Oreo fluff.
- Plain Cherry Fluff– If you don’t want nuts, coconut or pineapple, then make our straight up cherry fluff.
Storage and Freezing
This sweet, fluffy treat can be stored in the fridge or freezer.
Make Ahead: There couldn’t be an easier or more perfect make-ahead recipe than this one. Make the fluff ahead of time and store until ready to serve.
Refrigerator: Place cherry fluff in an airtight container (or its original serving bowl covered in plastic wrap). Store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Freezer: Store fluff in a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 4 months.
Common Questions About Classic Cherry Fluff
There are a variety of recipes for fruit fluff. Though most of them contain some form of whipped topping, some versions use vanilla pudding mix or jello powder.
You can absolutely make your own! You do not have to use store-bought whipped topping.
Heating cherry fluff will cause it to lose its fluffiness and will melt it. Serve this fluff cold or at room temperature.
More Sweet Cherry-Based Desserts
Classic Cherry Fluff Recipe
- 8 ounces cool whip , thawed
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 7 ounces sweetened condensed milk
- 20 ounces canned crushed pineapple , well drained
- 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
- 1/2 cup chopped almonds , pecans or walnuts
- 8 cups mini marshmallows
- 20 ounces cherry pie filling
- maraschino cherries , for topping
- In a large mixing bowl , stir together the cool whip, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract.
- Fold in the sweetened condensed milk, pineapple, coconut, almonds, marshmallows, and cherry pie filling.
- Covr and chill the cherry fluff for at least 1 hour.
- Stir again and then top with maraschino cherries.
- If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or star ratings.