Caramel apple fluff salad is the easiest dessert alternative to all things pumpkin spice. Tart apples are tossed with a creamy but light caramel topping and lots of treat for a fall favorite you are sure to love!
Are you team pumpkin or team apple?
Personally, I can’t choose between the two delicious flavors so I am team all things fall.
However, I feel like pumpkin spice gets way more attention and love than oft overlooked apple.
It’s a tragedy really.
Especially when there are desserts out there like this caramel apple fluff salad.
It’s full of tons of apple flavor and lots of caramel goodness and lots of textures from chopped pecans and mini marshmallows.
What is fluff salad?
Don’t let the name salad fool you! There is nary a piece of lettuce to be found.
Fluff salad is pieces of fruit (in this case apples and pineapple) tossed in a sweet cloudlike concoction featuring whipped topping mixed with pudding, or Jello, and lots of yummy mix ins.
These types of dessert mixtures were extremely popular in the 60s and 70s so sometimes you’ll hear them called Watergate Salad or even Ambrosia.
Whatever you call them, they deserve to make a comeback since they are so dang good!
To make this sweet Fall treat, you’ll need:
- Pineapple– A can of crushed pineapple works best. Avoid chunks or rings.
- Pudding mix– I use instant butterscotch pudding for this to maximize the caramel flavor. But you could use instant vanilla or even instant cheesecake as well. Just make sure you use the kind that doesn’t need to be cooked.
- Sour cream– Full fat works best.
- Whipped topping– The kind you find in the freezer section not the kind in the can. Make sure it’s thawed.
- Cinnamon– Is it even a fall dessert without cinnamon?
- Apples– Go for a combination of gala apples and granny smith apples, all washed, cored and chopped.
- Mix ins– Mini marshmallows and chopped pecans.
- Caramel sauce– This is optional for garnish.
How to Make
Part of the beauty of this fluff salad and others is just how easy it is to make a delicious dessert.
To do it, add the dry instant pudding mix and crushed pineapple WITH JUICE to a large mixing bowl.
Use a sturdy wooden spoon to evenly combine the two.
Then stir in the sour cream and cinnamon until combined.
Fold in the thawed whipped topping just until smooth.
Next, stir in the apples, pecans, and marshmallows until evenly incorporated.
Cover the bowl tightly with cling wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 4.
Serve this chilled fluff salad with a caramel sauce drizzle.
Can I make this ahead of time?
I would suggest making it earlier the day you intend to serve it and not too much before that.
The longer it sits, the more the components of the salad kind of blend together, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but may result in a less appealing looking salad.
Tips and Tricks
- Don’t over fold in the whipped topping. You want it to stay fluffy!
- Not a fan of pecans? No problem, omit them or substitute chopped walnuts.
- Make sure you are using instant pudding and not the quick cook pudding.
Other Dessert Salad Recipes You’ll Love
This caramel apple fluff salad is one of our favorite fall treats. Make some and enjoy the flavors of the season.
Looking for other dessert salad recipes? Try these:
- Cranberry Fluff Salad
- Caramel Apple Snickers Salad
- Banana Fluff Pudding Salad
- Orange Cream Fruit Salad
- Pineapple Pretzel Fluff Salad
If you’ve tried this CARAMEL APPLE FLUFF SALAD or any other recipe on the site, let me know in the comment section how it turned out, we love hearing from our readers! You can also follow along with me on PINTEREST, FACEBOOK, and INSTAGRAM to see more amazing recipes and whatever else we’ve got going on!
Caramel Apple Fluff Salad
- 1 8 oz can crushed pineapple
- 1 3.4 oz pkg butterscotch pudding mix
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 gala apples washed, cored & chopped
- 1 granny smith apple washed, cored & chopped
- 3/4 cup chopped pecans
- 1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
- 1 8 oz tub whipped topping thawed
- caramel sauce for garnish
- Add the dry instant pudding mix & crushed pineapple WITH JUICE to a large mixing bowl. Using a sturdy wooden spoon, stir to evenly combine the two.
- Add the sour cream & cinnamon, stirring again until evenly combined.
- Add the thawed whipped topping to the bowl, folding in just until smooth.
- Add the apples, pecans, and marshmallows- stirring just until evenly incorporated.
- Cover the bowl tightly with cling wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 4.
- Serve this chilled fluff salad with a caramel sauce drizzle.