Cherry Fluff is a vintage dessert made with cherry pie filling, crushed pineapple, mini marshmallows, shredded coconut, and chopped pecans. It's an easy dump and stir recipe that's easy to customize.
I know how much everyone hates the "junk" before the recipe in blog posts, especially when that "junk" refers to grandmothers and their recipes. Well, give me just a sec, because I need to give credit on this one.
This isn't my grandmother's recipe, but it was in one of her cookbooks. I'm talking about the same grandmother who gave me the Mexican Spaghetti (yes, it's actually Tex-Mex, not true Mexican cuisine), Coconut Custard Pie, and Blueberry Pie.
Before she passed away, she gave me 8 or 10 old cookbooks, and this recipe was in one of them from 1981. It also happens to be one of John's favorite recipes.
Cherry fluff is super simple and made with common ingredients, so it was a no-brainer that we'd add it to our collection.
How to make cherry fluff:
Scroll to the recipe card below for full instructions and ingredient amounts!
- Before you start mixing all the ingredients, make sure to drain the crushed pineapple. For this recipe I use a 20-ounce can of crushed pineapple. Pour it through a mesh sieve that was sits over a bowl large enough to hold all the excess liquid. It may take a couple of minutes for the pineapple juice to drain out.
- While the pineapple drains, measure and prep the remaining ingredients. Go ahead and grab a large mixing bowl, and start adding the whipped topping (similar to Cool Whip), cherry pie filling, chopped pecans, sweetened condensed milk, and mini marshmallows.
- Check the pineapple to make sure it's well drained. It may be necessary to use a spoon to press it against the mesh sieve slightly and ensure all the liquid is gone.
- Add the pineapple to the bowl, and discard the remainder or save it for another use. If there is too much moisture in the pineapple, it will cause the fluff to be watery, soupy, and can cause separation.
- Stir the ingredients until they're well combined. The cherry fluff should be creamy in texture and light pink in color.
- Store the pink fluff in the refrigerator until ready to serve. It will thicken some as it sets. The cherry salad will stay fresh in the refrigerator for about 3 days.
Tips and Variations for Cherry Fluff Salad:
- Cherry fluff goes by several names. If you're looking for a similar recipe in Google, Bing, Duck Duck Go, Safari, etc., try searching for Cherry Fluff Salad, Cherry Pie Filling Salad, Pink Salad, Pink Fluff, Cherry Cheesecake Fluff, or Cherry Whip Fluff.
- Everyone has a slightly different recipe for pink fluff. This Cherry Cheesecake Fluff Recipe uses cream cheese and cheesecake flavored instant pudding. Another option is this Cherry Fluff Salad. It uses maraschino cherries and a touch of powdered sugar.
- Pecans are most commonly used for this recipe, but walnuts would be a great substitute.
- As I mentioned above, make sure to drain the crushed pineapple well, so it doesn't water down the fluff.
- This recipe is best served after it's been refrigerated for a couple of hours.
- If you're worried about the recipe being too sweet, make sure to get unsweetened pineapple. Using unsweetened shredded coconut will also reduce the sweetness a bit.
Recipe Card with Ingredient Amounts and Instructions
- 21 ounces cherry pie filling, 1 can
- 20 ounces crushed pineapple, drained; 1 can
- 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk, 1 can
- 8 ounces whipped topping, thawed; similar to Cool Whip
- 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
- 1 cup pecans, chopped
- 1 cup mini marshmallows
- In a large mixing bowl, combine pie filling, pineapple, whipped topping, sweetened condensed milk, coconut, pecans, and marshmallows until well mixed.21 ounces cherry pie filling20 ounces crushed pineapple14 ounces sweetened condensed milk8 ounces whipped topping1 cup sweetened shredded coconut1 cup pecans1 cup mini marshmallows
- Refrigerate until ready to serve. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.