Guilty Pleasures – Cranberry Fluff

  • Tart cranberries temper this salad’s sweetness.
  • Special holiday foods remind us of family comforts.
  • Try something different this year – serve a new, old-time recipe!

If you follow this site at all, you know that I absolutely love cranberries. Since they are only available during the winter, I purchase bags and bags and freeze them to use all year. I use cranberry sauce and cranberry relish like many people use pickles, as a condiment or a palate cleanser with meals.

Growing up in the 1960s-70s we ate lots of dishes that are considered too sweet these days. Especially over the holidays. But adding tart cranberries tempers that sweetness, and makes some of those older dishes a little more agreeable to healthy living. Then again, most old holiday recipes are just guilty pleasures.

This salad recipe is no different. It graced our Thanksgiving and Christmas tables for decades. Then I stopped making it. Why? Because the grandchildren aren’t crazy about cranberries or nuts (blasphemous I know!) and the adults aren’t crazy about marshmallows.

I dug the recipe out again this year though. Both of my sisters did too. And a cousin. All without discussing it with each other. We must all be looking for comfort, or comfort food, this year. Perhaps it is the general discourse in the U.S. Or maybe it’s because this is our first holiday season without Nana, who died earlier this year, a few months shy of her 100th birthday. She lived so long, I still catch myself saying, “I’ll ask Nana about that.” Before remembering that I can’t.

So, those of us who are still here are combining cranberries, marshmallows, and whipped cream for a decadent, but family focused comfort food, holiday side dish. Start a family tradition with Cranberry Fluff at your house too!

Cranberry Fluff

Comforting cranberries, whipped cream, and marshmallows combine for a special holiday guilty pleasure.


  • 2 cups ground cranberries use a food processor or food mill
  • 3 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups diced, unpared apples
  • 1/2 cup green or red grapes
  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces
  • 1 cup heavy cream whipped


  • Combine cranberries, marshmallows, and sugar. Cover and chill overnight.
  • Add apples, grapes, and walnuts.
  • Fold in whipped cream. Chill before serving.

by Renee Pottle

Renee Pottle, a freelance writer and Home Economist, is fanatic about all things food. She blogs about canning and food preservation at Find her professional food writing info at

December 10, 2019

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