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Fruit Salad with Cool Whip

Fruit Salad with Cool Whip is an irresistible twist on your classic fruit salad. Imagine combining a medley of fruits with fluffy marshmallows, vanilla pudding, and Cool Whip — it’s to die for!

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cool whip fruit salad in 3 bowls.

Cool Whip fruit salad never fails to impress with its simple yet heavenly combination of ingredients. This easy recipe for a fruit salad with Cool Whip is such an easy way to amp up any occasion.

Fruit salad with Cool Whip and marshmallows is so effortlessly whipped up that it will become a top dessert choice for gatherings or potlucks. 

While fruit salad with whipped cream is good, Cool Whip takes it to a whole new level. Cool Whip fruit salad has a knack for stealing the show. Its airy texture and medley of fruit flavors make it a crowd-pleaser that leaves everyone satisfied.

The magic happens when instant vanilla pudding is added to the fruit fluff salad mix. It imparts a subtle sweetness and a velvety texture that blends seamlessly with the fruit cocktail. The tiny marshmallows sprinkled throughout create pockets of irresistible chewiness!

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Don’t wait another second to whip up this fluff salad — it’s the kind of sweet treat that effortlessly elevates your meal, no matter the occasion.

all of the ingredients needed to make fruit salad with cool whip.

How to Make Fruit Salad with Cool Whip

A full printable version of this recipe with ingredient measurements is available at the bottom of this post.

STEP ONE: Drain the pineapple juice from the can into a bowl, leaving the pineapple tidbits behind. Set the can aside and mix the instant vanilla pudding into the juice.

Pineapple juice and instant vanilla pudding in a glass bowl.

STEP TWO: Combine the drained fruit cocktail, pineapple tidbits, mandarin oranges, and strawberries in the bowl. Stir until everything is coated in the instant vanilla pudding mixture.

Optionally, before draining the jar of cherries, save about 1 tablespoon of cherry juice if you want to add color to your fruit fluff salad. Drain the remaining cherry juice.

Adding chopped fruit to bowl with pineapple vanilla pudding.

STEP FOUR: Halve the cherries on a cutting board and blend them with the pudding mixture.

Slicing maraschino cherries in half for fluff salad.

STEP FIVE: Mix in the marshmallows until they are evenly distributed. 

Mixing in mini marshmallows with fruit fluff salad.

STEP SIX: Once the fruit, pudding, and marshmallows are combined, add the Cool Whip to the mixture. Mix until everything is thoroughly coated.

Adding in Cool Whip to the mixed fruit salad in a bowl.

STEP SEVEN: If you want your mandarin orange salad with Cool Whip to have a pink hue, you can now add in your reserved cherry juice until the fruit salad achieves a light pink shade.

adding in leftover maraschino cherry juice to fluff fruit salad to make it look pink.

STEP EIGHT: Chill the fluff salad in the refrigerator for at least one hour before serving.

homemade fruit salad with cool whip.

Tips for the Best Fruit Salad with Cool Whip and Marshmallows

  • When adding Cool Whip, fold it into the fruit mixture with care. Gentle mixing helps maintain the salad’s light and airy quality.
  • Keep the Cool Whip chilled before mixing it into your fruit salad to keep its creamy and fluffy consistency. 
  • Make sure you drain the fruit completely before adding it to the mixture. Excess liquid can mess with the consistency of the fluff salad. 
serving mandarin orange salad cool whip in a small bowl.

Variations for Cool Whip Fruit Salad

  • To make this recipe dairy-free, substitute coconut milk Cool Whip for traditional Cool Whip and enjoy!
  • Change up the salad’s flavor with a generous sprinkling of coconut flakes, giving it a tropical twist.
  • For a nutty take, add in a handful of chopped nuts like walnuts, pistachios, or slivered almonds for a satisfying crunch.
  • You can use fresh fruit instead of canned fruit if you prefer. Just keep in mind it may be hard to find some fruits in store if they’re not in season. 
fruit salad with cool whip and marshmallows.

More Marshmallow Recipes 

eating a spoonful of fruit salad with cool whip.

Can I Use Whipped Cream Instead of Cool Whip?

I would not recommend making this fruit salad with whipped cream. Cool Whip is much thicker and stabilized, so it mixes in with the fruit beautifully.

Whipped cream loses its fluffiness very quickly and will turn watery after a few minutes. 

How Long Should I Wait Before Serving this Fluff Salad?

This mandarin orange salad Cool Whip dessert tastes best when it’s served a few hours after it’s been made.

You can also refrigerate it overnight in a sealed container before serving. While the marshmallows and some fruit may lose their crispness, the salad will retain its delicious flavor.

Closeup of spoonful of whipped fruit salad.

Is This Fluff Salad the Same as an Ambrosia Salad with Cool Whip?

No, the two are slightly different. For a salad to earn the Ambrosia title, it should feature fruity, flavored mini marshmallows.

Unlike ambrosia salad with Cool Whip, we use plain white mini marshmallows in this recipe for a fruit salad with Cool Whip.

How Long Will This Fruit Salad Keep in the Refrigerator? 

I recommend up to 2 days. After that, the marshmallows and fruit become super soft, and the fruit is not as fresh.

Homemade recipe for a fruit salad with cool whip.

More Amazing Dessert Recipes

cool whip fruit salad in 3 bowls.

Fruit Salad with Cool Whip

Samantha Erb
A fruit salad with Cool Whip is a delightful concoction of sweet pineapple, mandarins, strawberries, and cherries combined with the light and creamy goodness of Cool Whip and chewy mini marshmallows.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Chill Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Desserts
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings
Calories 272 kcal


  • 1 20- ounce can of pineapple tidbits
  • 1 3.4- ounce package of instant vanilla pudding
  • 1 15- ounce can fruit cocktail drained
  • 1 10.5- ounce jar of mandarin oranges drained
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries sliced
  • 1 6- ounce jar of stemless maraschino cherries
  • 2 cups mini white marshmallows
  • 1 8- ounce tub of Cool Whip


  • In a large bowl, drain the pineapple juice leaving the pineapple tidbits in the can, and set the can aside.
  • Add in the instant vanilla pudding.
  • Once combined, add the drained fruit cocktail, pineapple tidbits, mandarin oranges, and strawberries to the bowl. Stir together and mix until everything is well coated with the pudding mixture.
  • Place the cherries on a cutting board and cut them in half. Add these halved cherries to the pudding mixture and blend together.
  • Add the marshmallows to the bowl and blend together. 
  • Once the fruit, pudding, and marshmallows are combined, add the cool whip to the fruit mixture and mix until everything is well coated.
  • If you want the Fruit Salad to have a pink color, add the cherry juice to the mixture and mix until the fruit salad is a light shade of pink., this is what you will add them.
  • Chill for at least one hour prior to serving.


Optional: Before draining the jar of cherries, reserve about 1 tablespoon of the cherry juice in a small dish and set it aside for the end to add color to the fruit salad. Drain the rest of the cherry juice.


Serving: 1gCalories: 272kcalCarbohydrates: 53gProtein: 2gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 28mgFiber: 3gSugar: 44g
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About Samantha

I’ve always had a love of cooking and creating new recipes, so it only made sense to create a food blog so I could share those recipes with you. This site is designed to provide easy and flavorful recipes with as little ingredients as possible. That means you still get great flavor combinations without all that extra time and effort. Read more...

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