Simple Ambrosia Salad

This is unlike any fruit salad you’ve ever tried, thanks to the unique addition of coconut flakes and the signature ingredient, miniature marshmallows. You read that right! And though you might think it sounds summery, it’s actually most popular for winter holidays, a fresh treat in a time when fruit was traditionally hard to come by.

Prep Time
15 minutes
30 minutes maceration time
4 hours (preferably overnight) chilling time
A large bowl of Ambrosia salad shown with a single serving in a glass bowl and a plate of shaved coconut

Scale or dry measuring cups

Liquid measuring cup

Measuring spoons

Large bowl

Plastic wrap


Stand mixer with whisk attachment OR large bowl with a hand mixer

Large rubber spatula

8 to 10 servings (9 cups / 1544 grams)
For the fruit mixture:
  • 1½ cups (165 g) fresh cranberries, halved
  • 2 tbsp (27 g) Redpath® Golden Yellow Sugar, packed
  • 1½ cups (212 g) pears, peeled and cubed
  • 1½ cups (211 g) fresh pineapple, cut into ½ inch chunks
  • ½ cup (49 g) coconut flakes (unsweetened or sweetened)
  • 2 cups (100g) mini marshmallows
  • 1½ cups (220 g) Mandarin orange supremes (see Chef’s Tips)
For the dressing:
  • 1 cup (250 ml) heavy cream, cold (1¾ cups whipped)
  • ¼ cup (54 g) Redpath® Golden Yellow Sugar, packed
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp (3 g) salt
  • 1 cup (250 ml) sour cream, cold
Garnish (optional):
  • 1 cup (250 ml) sour cream, cold
  • Sugared or fresh cranberries
  • Mandarin orange supremes
  • Coconut flakes
  • Pistachio, finely chopped
For the fruit mixture:

Step 1

Add halved cranberries into a large bowl. Sprinkle the two tablespoons of the Redpath® Golden Yellow Sugar over the fruit and stir to cover. Cover and refrigerate, stirring halfway through; 30 minutes.

Step 2

Using a sieve, drain cranberries of any juices to prevent the mixture from turning pink. Place macerated cranberries back into the bowl. Add in the cubed pears, pineapple chunks, and coconut flakes. Stir until fruit is evenly distributed. Add the mini marshmallows and Mandarin orange segments (see Chef’s Tips). 

For the dressing:

Step 1

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip heavy cream on medium speed until cream begins to thicken.

Step 2

Sprinkle in the Redpath® Golden Yellow Sugar, vanilla extract, and salt. Whip on medium-high speed just until stiff peaks form; do not overbeat. Fold in the sour cream.

To assemble:

Step 1

Transfer the cream into the fruit mixture. With a large rubber spatula, gently fold into the fruit mixture. Cover and place into the fridge to chill and allow the flavours to meld; at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight.

Step 2

When ready to serve, gently fold to ensure any juices are redistributed throughout the salad. Garnish bowl and/or individual servings with sugared or fresh cranberries, additional mandarin supremes, coconut flakes, or finely chopped pistachio for colour and added crunch.

A single serving of Ambrosia salad in a glass bowl with a plate of shaved coconut shown with gold spoons