Cranberry Fluff Made Simple

Cranberry fluff is a quick and simple holiday dessert (kids adore it). It only takes four ingredients and 5 minutes to create this creamy, sweet, and tangy no-bake dessert. Make your own cranberry sauce instead of buying canned! If you’re tired of pumpkin pie, this is a great sharing dessert for Thanksgiving dinner.

Thanksgiving is known for being the holiday in which you overwork your oven, your neighbor’s oven, and solicit the assistance of anybody else’s oven within a ten-mile radius.

With the turkey, squash, bread, pies, and casseroles, you wind up heating up the home to 7982F and stressing yourself out and unpleasant on what should be a joyful and warm (not scorching) occasion with friends and family.

So why not prepare a no-bake dessert to make your life easier? I’ve heard many various names for this one over the years, but I’ve always known it as Cranberry Fluff.

What more could you want? It’s sweet, zesty, and marshmallow-y. It’s also very simple. I’ve outlined the stages, but honestly, you could simply throw everything in a big bowl and shake it like a Polaroid image and it’d probably work out OK.

The hardest part of making this 5-minute cranberry fluff salad is letting it sit in the fridge to properly develop all of its flavors before serving!

Ingredients for cranberry fluff

  • 1-20 oz. crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 can whole berry cranberry sauce (14 oz.) or homemade cranberry sauce
  • 8 oz. thawed Cool Whip
  • 2 cups miniature marshmallows
  • optional cuporange zest
  • Garnish with fresh cranberries

Steps to making the perfect cranberry fluff

Note: We were planning to create cranberry fluff using canned cranberries, but you could easily use homemade cranberry sauce instead.

  1. Take a 20-ounce can of crushed pineapple, making sure it’s crushed rather than pieces or slices, and drain it well.
  2. Combine the drained crushed pineapple and 14 ounces cranberry sauce in a large mixing basin. I suggest creating a double batch of my homemade cranberry sauce and using half of it for this recipe, but a can of whole cranberry sauce may also be used.
  3. Mix well to blend. If there is still a lot of pineapple juice floating about, tilt the bowl and gently pour it off.
  4. Use a spatula to mix the Cool Whip.
  5. Mix in tiny marshmallows If you find it difficult to whisk in everything at once, divide the mixture into two parts. If you wish to add fresh orange zest, do so and mix well.
  6. Stir thoroughly with a spatula, then cover with plastic wrap and set in the fridge for at least 2 hours to chill.

Other tips for delicious cranberry fluff

  • Texture: I love mine creamy, although I know some who prefer it chunkier. If this is the case, add half a jar of whole cranberry sauce and an additional cup of marshmallows. You may also leave out 2 ounces of Cool Whip.
  • Make ahead: This is the kind of meal that you WANT to cook ahead of time, so make it the day before Thanksgiving to save time. Cover the bowl and put it in the fridge; it just becomes better as it sits, in my opinion. But don’t get too far ahead of yourself; it won’t be as appealing after three days or so.
  • Serving suggestions: Serve in a large bowl and let guests serve themselves, or pour into trifle plates and sprinkle with cranberries and small marshmallows for individual servings.
  • Store purchased vs. homemade: Of course, if you want to make everything from scratch, go ahead. I’ll never mock someone for doing that since it’s what I like! But, the entire purpose of this dish is that it is a fast and simple cranberry fluff salad, but you are free to make it less quick and easy.

Cranberry Fluff

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Prep Time: 5mins
Total Time: 2hrs5mins
Servings: 12servings
    ✓ Read the recipe beginning to end
    ✓ Check oven calibration
    ✓ Check expiration dates
    ✓ Properly measure ingredients
    ✓ Check butter temperature


All you need are four ingredients to make this creamy, sweet and tangy no-bake dessert!


  • blending bowls
  • Spatula


  • 1-20 oz. crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 can whole berry cranberry sauce (14 oz.) or homemade cranberry sauce
  • 8 oz. thawed Cool Whip
  • 2 cups miniature marshmallows
  • optional cuporange zest
  • Garnish with fresh cranberries


  • Combine cranberry sauce and crushed pineapple in a large mixing basin. If there is still too much pineapple juice in the dish, flip it over and gently drain it before continuing.
    1-20 oz. crushed pineapple, 1-14 oz. whole berry cranberry sauce, or homemade cranberry sauce
  • Stir in the Cool Whip with a spatula until fully blended.
    8 oz. Cool Whip
  • 4 cup orange rind

    Stir in the small marshmallows until completely blended. At this point, you may also add orange zest (if youve chosen to include it).
    1 cup micro marshmallows, 2 cups small marshmallows

  • Refrigerate for at least a couple of hours (but no more than 24 hours before serving). Serve topped with fresh cranberries and tiny marshmallows. Enjoy!
    Garnish with fresh cranberries


If you prefer it less creamy, add an additional cup of mini marshmallows and/or another half a jar of whole cranberry sauce, or you can omit 2 ounces Cool Whip.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 89kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 21mg | Potassium: 84mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 66IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 1mg


How do you thicken runny cranberry sauce?

Still perplexed? Reduce the sauce even further so that more of the liquid cooks out and the mixture thickens. If it fails, add a thickening such as gelatin, pectin, or a cornstarch slurry (cornstarch whisked into juice or water). Let the sauce to cool fully before refrigerating it.

Why is my homemade cranberry sauce runny?

Your cranberry sauce is too runny, which is mistake number two.

You may have over-liquidized the cranberries. Cranberries contain water in addition to pectin, so you only need a dash of liquid to get the cooking started. If you add too much, you’ll be stirring at the stove for far longer than you planned.

What is the healthiest way to eat cranberries?

The most effective method to eat cranberries

Instead, you may buy frozen cranberries from your local grocery shop. If you’re wondering how to include cranberries into your diet, try adding fresh or frozen cranberries to smoothies, cereal, salsa, or granola.

What to do with cranberries after making juice?

Fresh cranberry juice is often combined with other delectable fruits, and the remaining pulp is as excellent. Use the pulp in this delightful Cranberry Chutney! Spread on crostini with brie cheese or serve with turkey, pig, or chicken.

Why did my cranberry sauce not gel?

Why is my cranberry sauce not gelling? The release of pectin, the major gelling component, from the cranberry requires boiling. For the pectin to react with the sugar and generate the necessary gelled texture, the sauce must be cooked for at least 10 minutes at a full boil.

Does cranberry sauce thicken after being taken off heat?

Take the pan off the heat. Serve at room temperature, heated, or chilled. When it cools, the cranberry sauce will thicken. Let it cool fully before transferring to a resealable container and refrigerating for up to 1 week or freezing for up to 3 months.

What happens if you cook cranberry sauce too long?

Test the sauce with a candy thermometer: the sauce is ready to gel when the syrup reaches 217°F (103°C). If you cook it at a higher temperature, too much water evaporates and the gel becomes rubbery.

What takes the bitterness out of cranberry sauce?

If your cranberry sauce turns out to be too bitter, don’t add sugar. Granulated sugar may aggravate the condition, particularly if you don’t have time to reheat the sauce so the sugar dissolves properly. Instead, go for maple syrup as a sweetener.

What is the trick to getting cranberry sauce out of the can?

To activate the vacuum, just place a flat knife between the can and the jelly while opening the bottom of the cranberry sauce can. This enables air to pass through the bubble and push the contents out.

What illness can cranberries prevent?

Cranberry is most recognized for its ability to prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs), which are usually caused by the bacterium Escherichia coli (E. coli). Initially, physicians believed that cranberry functioned by making urine acidic enough to kill germs.

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