Frozen Fruit Salad recipe is a creamy ambrosia-style salad mixed together with bananas, pineapple, mandarin oranges, marshmallows, and Cool Whip. Old fashioned fruit salad with frozen, canned, or fresh fruit can be served in cups or sliced for an easy make ahead dish!
maraschino cherries or extra mandarin oranges,for garnishing
First drain pineapple and oranges in a sieve or colander for at least 15 minutes, up to a few hours, to make sure excess juice has drained away.
In a large bowl beat together cream cheese, powdered sugar, and coconut extract. Stir in coconut, marshmallows, chopped bananas, and drained fruit. Gently fold in Cool Whip until well combined.
Spread fruit salad in a 9X13 casserole dish or portion out into 24 muffin tins lined with paper liners. If using a muffin tin, a trigger ice cream scoop helps portion out the salad cleanly and evenly. Top each cup or slice with a garnish, if using. Freeze until solid, 6 hours to overnight.
Set out frozen fruit salad cups 5 minutes before serving or baking dish slices 10-15 minutes before serving.
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Best Tips and Tricks
Start off by draining the canned fruit first. Making sure all the juice has drained away keeps the texture creamy rather than icy when frozen.
If garnishing with maraschino cherries, blot them on a paper towel first so the juice doesn't color the fruit salad red.
In place of Cool Whip beat together 2 cups well-chilled heavy cream with 1/4 cup powdered sugar until stiff peaks form. Fold into cream cheese, fruit mixture.
For a truly old fashioned recipe, add up to 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts.
If freezing in a 9X13 glass baking dish, slightly score slices with a knife first and garnish each slice. After freezing, set out 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving.
In place of coconut extract, replace with vanilla, almond, or lemon extract.
Types of Fruit to Add
Put your own spin on this recipe depending on the occasion or time of year.
Canned cranberry sauce or whole berries
Berries - Raspberries, Blueberries, or Blackberries
Cherry pie filling
Can I halve this recipe?
For a smaller size, halve the ingredients and use smaller cans of crushed pineapple and mandarin oranges. Divide into 12 muffin cups or pour into an 8X8 glass baking dish.
How to Store Leftovers
Store any leftovers in the freezer. For the cups, wrap individually in plastic wrap and transfer to a gallon ziplock freezer bag. The slices may also be individually wrapped and frozen similarly to easily grab and serve.