Pineapple Fluff is an easy, tropical dessert made with Cool Whip, instant pudding mix, pineapple, marshmallows and coconut. It’s always a hit at potlucks and summer cookouts.
I love an easy no-bake dessert, and this Pineapple Fluff salad is such a good one.
In fact, we may like it even more than my Jell-O Mandarin Orange Salad!
Made with crushed pineapple, marshmallows, cream cheese, instant pudding mix, whipped topping and sweetened coconut flakes, Pineapple Fluff is a classic tropical dessert that has been popular for decades.
Pineapple Fluff takes only about 10 minutes to make. It’s a great dessert to take to a potluck or cookout or a backyard luau. Because of the tropical flavors and light, airy texture, it’s particularly popular in the summer months. But I’ve found that it’s welcome on the dessert table year round.Jump to Recipe
You can scroll to the end of this post for the full recipe and ingredient list. But you may want to keep reading for more tips on how to make the perfect Pineapple Fluff dessert.This post contains affiliate links for your shopping convenience. If you make a purchase based on my referral, I earn a small commission, at no additional cost to you. AttaGirlSays.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Read my full disclosure policy here.
To Make pineapple fluff, You Will Need:
- Cream cheese – You can use full-fat or reduced fat cream cheese for the recipe. If you substitute non-fat cream cheese, the finished recipe may not be as creamy or as fluffy.
- Pineapple – I like to use canned, crushed pineapple when I’m making a Jell-O fluff salad, but you can use pineapple tidbits if that’s all you can find. I don’t recommend using pineapple chunks, as the pieces are too large. I recommend pineapple in its own juice, not in heavy syrup.
- Instant pudding – My recipe calls for vanilla instant pudding, but you could substitute other flavors, such as coconut cream, cheesecake or even banana cream. Make sure you’re using instant pudding mix and not cook-and-serve. You can use sugar-free pudding, if you like.
- Mini marshmallows – Make sure the marshmallows are soft and fresh. They give additional sweetness to the Pineapple Fluff, but you can omit them if you don’t like the texture or flavor.
- Coconut – Sweetened, shredded coconut adds flavor, sweetness and texture to the recipe. You can omit it if you like or use unsweetened coconut.
- Cool Whip – Use a cup of thawed, frozen whipped topping to give this dessert an extra fluffy, airy texture. Do not substitute canned whipped cream for this recipe.
- Milk – We always have nonfat milk in the fridge, so that’s what I normally use in this recipe, but whole milk, 1 percent or 2 percent milk would also work. I have not tried this recipe using non-dairy milk.
How to Make The Hawaiian-Inspired Dessert
- Make sure to set out the cream cheese to soften and the Cool Whip to thaw before beginning this recipe.
- Drain the crushed pineapple in a colander or mesh sieve to remove excess liquid.
- Using an electric mixer, combine the cream cheese with 1/2 cup of milk until smooth.
- Add the instant pudding mix and the remaining milk and beat slowly until combined.
- Add the Cool Whip and blend until fluffy.
- Fold in the drained, crushed pineapple, marshmallows and coconut.
- For best results, refrigerate for several hours before serving.
Pineapple Dessert Recipe Video
In addition to being quick and easy to make, a fluff recipe can be easily customized and changed to fit your taste preferences.
As I mentioned previously, you can use coconut cream or cheesecake pudding mix instead of vanilla.
You can make pineapple fluff without marshmallows and coconut if you don’t like the texture.
You can also add in 1/2 cup of chopped pecans or macadamia nuts to give the dessert some crunch.
Add a teaspooon of rum extract to give Pineapple Fluff a pina colada flavor.
Pineapple Fluff with Pretzels
Some people like to make pineapple fluff with pretzels mixed in for a sweet-salty crunch. To try this variation, mix together 1 cup of crushed pretzels, 1/2 cup melted butter and 1/2 cup of granulated sugar. Bake in a glass baking dish or lined sheet pan at 400 degrees for 7 minutes, then cool completely. Just before serving, mix the sweetened pretzel pieces into the pineapple fluff, reserving some to sprinkle over the top.
Frequently Asked QUESTIONS
There are lots of different versions and recipes for fluff salad. Some use cottage cheese and Cool Whip as a base, while others are made using cream cheese and milk. Most recipes do include some frozen whipped topping or a stabilized whipped cream, like Dream Whip.
Most fluff salads also include flavored JELL-O or instant pudding mix to add sweetness and flavor.
Other ingredients include crushed pineapple, other fruit, such as mandarin oranges, strawberries, bananas and fruit cocktail. Some recipes include marshmallows, nuts and coconut.
You can really experiment with different fruits and mix-ins to create a variety of different fluff salad recipes.
I like to use canned, crushed pineapple in its own juice (instead of in heavy syrup) for pineapple fluff salad. Pineapple tidbits also work.
For best results, make sure you drain the pineapple well before adding it to the other fluff ingredients.
I haven’t tried this recipe using fresh pineapple. I’m sure it would be delicious, but I also don’t think it’s necessary or cost effective to use fresh pineapple. The other ingredients will cover up a lot of the fresh pineapple flavor.
There are so many different things you can add to pineapple fluff salad.
My recipe calls for marshmallows and sweetened shredded coconut, in addition to the fruit. You could also add 1/2 cup of chopped pecans, walnuts or macadamia nuts.
Chopped pretzel pieces, combined with sugar and butter and baked, are another popular mix-in.
I love to serve pineapple fluff in a pretty dessert compote, garnished with pineapple chunks or a pineapple ring. You can also add a maraschino cherry for some color.
We like to have pineapple fluff as a light dessert after a meal. But some poeple serve fluff as part of the meal as a salad or side dish.
Yes! I think this recipe is best made ahead of time and refrigerated for a few hours. This allows the flavors to blend together and the marshmallows to soften.
If you’re adding sweetened pretzel pieces to pineapple, don’t add those ahead of time. Mix them in just before serving or let people sprinkle them on as a topping.
Pineapple Fluff will keep for 4 or 5 days in the fridge in an air-tight container. After that, it may start to separate or become watery and lose some of its fluff.
More Easy Dessert Recipes
If you enjoyed this recipe for Pineapple Fluff, try one of these other yummy, quick and easy desserts.
- Mandarin Orange Salad
- Cherry Yum Yum
- Peach Trifle Icebox Cake
- Chocolate Turtles Pecan Cookie Dip
- Blueberry JELL-O Pretzel Salad
If you try Pineapple Fluff or any recipe on Atta Girl Says, please come back and share your 5-star rating in the comments below! I appreciate it, and my readers do, too!
A sweet, tropical dessert made with pineapple, cream cheese, whipped topping, coconut, pudding and marshmallows. The light and airy texture makes it perfect for summer cookouts and potlucks.
- 2 cups milk
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- 1 3.4-ounce package of JELL-O vanilla instant pudding mix
- 1 cup Cool Whip thawed
- 1 20-ounce can crushed pineapple drained
- 1 cup mini marshmallows
- ¾ cup shredded coconut
Add ½ cup of milk to cream cheese. Using an electric mixer, mix until smooth.
Add the instant pudding mix and remaining milk. Beat slowly for about 1 minute until combined.
Add 1 cup Cool Whip and mix until fluffy.
Fold in the pineapple, marshmallows and coconut.
Refrigerate in an airtight container for several hours before serving.
- You can substitute coconut cream or cheesecake pudding mix for the vanilla pudding mix.
- Feel free to omit the marshmallows and coconut if you don’t like the flavor or texture.
- Add in 1/2 cup of chopped pecans or macadamia nuts to give the dessert some crunch.
- Add a teaspooon of rum extract to give Pineapple Fluff a pina colada flavor.
- Some people like to make pineapple fluff with pretzels mixed in for a sweet-salty crunch. To try this variation, mix together 1 cup of crushed pretzels, 1/2 cup melted butter and 1/2 cup of sugar. Bake at 400 degrees for 7 minutes, then cool completely. Just before serving, mix the sweetened pretzel pieces into the pineapple fluff, reserving some to sprinkle over the top.