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Great-Grandma’s Frozen Fruit Salad

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Frozen fruit salad is a blast from the past.  This vintage recipe is a cool and delicious way to eat your fruit. It is at home at all of our holiday meals, but would also be a fun summer side dish!

Close slice of frozen fruit salad showing fruit and marshmallows in peach frozen mixture.

This vintage recipe comes straight from my great-grandma’s recipe box. It is a fun twist on marshmallow fruit salad, but even more fun because it is frozen!

It is perfect for holidays or as a refreshing summer side dish. Frozen fruit salad could even be a light dessert.

This recipe is still a staple at my family holidays.  My Aunt Jenny usually makes it now and it is present at every Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

looking across a glass pan of frozen fruit salad with bits of fruit cocktail and marshmallows showing.

I have a handful of recipes from my Great-Grandma, so I was going through them trying to decide which one I should make first.  

When I got to this one, I knew I had to make it.  I am familiar with a few of the others, but this one is still a tradition!

Though the combination might seem a little odd these days, it really isn’t that much different than fluff salads or creamy fruit salads.  It just has the added bonus of being frozen!

square of pink frozen fruit salad being lifted out of pan.

I love trying vintage recipes like this, don’t you?  It’s like taking a little step back in time, right into the kitchen of a loved one.

I think my great-grandma must have come to age in a time of fruity dishes like this, because another favorite from her recipe box was the green Jello salad that is loaded with pineapple and cream cheese.  There is definitely a nostalgia to both recipes.

square piece of frozen fruit salad on small plate.

My great grandma wasn’t only known for her fruity side dishes though.  She also made delicious cookies.

I have shared her peanut butter cookies as well as her oatmeal raisin step-on cookies. Both should be on your list of recipes to make soon.

Great-grandma wasn’t the only good cook, her mom is the one that brought us dutch apple cake. I put a spin on that recipe to make our favorite peach breakfast cake.

square piece of frozen fruit salad on small plate.

All of my great-grandma’s made great food.  You can search “great-grandma” in the search bar (in the side bar on desktop or down below the comments on mobile.)  You will find loads of great classic recipes.

Here are some suggestions:

Great-grandma’s scalloped corn is a classic side dish. It is made from super simple ingredients but it really is delicious!

Great-grandma’s apple crisp is actually a quite healthy treat. It is a great way to turn apples into something extra fun. 

Great-grandma’s egg noodles are a Thanksgiving must have for our family. However we also use them to make chicken and noodles a couple of times throughout the year. 

Or try making an old fashioned frog eye salad. It is another fun twist on a fruit salad with a creamy custard base and teeny balls of pasta.

When and how do you serve frozen fruit salad?

My family always serves frozen fruit salad as a side dish at holiday dinners.  It is a small way to have great grandma there with us and part of the tradition.

Frozen fruit salad would be perfect side dish for a summer BBQ as well.  It would be such a refreshing addition to the menu.

Great grandma's hand written recipe card for frozen fruit salad.

Serve frozen fruit salad as a light fruity dessert. It’s a great make ahead and you can grab a piece whenever you want it.

For an extra fun twist on frozen fruit salad, freeze it in a cupcake tin.  Then it’s single serve and the perfect way to have a piece whenever you want!

Can I use something besides fruit cocktail?

You can use any mix of fruit you would like, but fruit cocktail adds great flavor. The extra cherries add color and flavor.

Did you make this great recipe? Please leave a review in the recipe card below!

Close slice of frozen fruit salad showing fruit and marshmallows in peach frozen mixture.

Frozen Fruit Salad

Servings: 24 Servings
Author: Carlee
Frozen fruit salad is a blast from the past. This vintage recipe is a cool and delicious way to eat your fruit. It is at home at all of our holiday meals, but would also be a fun summer treat!
4.82 from 148 ratings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Additional Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes


  • 6 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup heavy cream whipped
  • cups fruit cocktail well drained
  • ½ cup drained Maraschino cherries
  • cups mini marshmallows


  • Quarter cherries
    ½ cup drained Maraschino cherries
  • Cream together the room temperature cream cheese and mayonnaise.
    6 ounces cream cheese, 1 cup mayonnaise
  • Add cherries, fruit cocktail and marshmallows, mixing it together.
    3½ cups fruit cocktail, 2½ cups mini marshmallows
  • Fold in whipped cream.
    1 cup heavy cream
  • Put into a glass 9×13 pan or similarly sized freezer safe serving dish. Freeze until solid.
  • Remove from freezer 10-15 minutes before time to serve.
  • Cut into squares and enjoy.



Serving: 1servingCalories: 169kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 1gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 22mgSodium: 90mgSugar: 11g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Cooking With Carlee” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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4.82 from 148 votes (137 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating


Monday 24th of June 2024

My grandmother made this all the time… especially for showers in the family. She would now be almost 130❤️. I do not recall her putting mayo in hers. What about sour cream? Curious if you have tried. Thanks for the memory.


Wednesday 26th of June 2024

How fun! I haven't tried sour cream, but I am sure that would work too. I think the mayo plays two roles, it helps to temper the sweet and helps it to set not quite as firm so you can get a fork through it while it is still frozen. Sour cream should do both jobs relatively well.


Tuesday 11th of June 2024

We used to make this salad year's ago. I was thinking about it earlier today, but lost our old recipe. Thanks so much for posting. I'm going to make this again!


Wednesday 12th of June 2024

I am so glad I could help you make it again.

Alli Winter

Monday 15th of April 2024

Hi Carlee - I made this salad for Easter dinner and we loved it! I had to add some sugar to sweeten the whipping cream up a bit for my guys but that’s what I love about cooking - you can always make adjustments as needed! I think this salad will be nice to keep in the freezer this summer when I need a nice, cold treat, too. Thank you, Alli


Monday 15th of April 2024

That's my favorite part about cooking too, it is fun to take an idea and make it something you'd love.

Kristina Van Tighem

Saturday 13th of April 2024

Is this a salad you can eat without freezing? Its been years but my Grandma used to make a fruit salad that looks like this but with mandarin oranges instead of adding cherries "cause the fruit cocktail comes with them already" she used to say. But she called it Freezable Marshmallow Salad and it was never served frozen. It's been so long since I had it I am not sure if this is the one...


Saturday 13th of April 2024

I don't see why you couldn't eat it not frozen. It would be kind of like a fluff salad, but not quite as sweet as most of them. I love her reasoning for not putting in more cherries. We love mandarin oranges, so adding them sounds good!


Friday 5th of April 2024

Wow, what a great memory! I know this is the exact recipe my Nana used to make every holiday with a sit-down meal. I was always shocked it contained mayonnaise. It was prepared it a little differently visually. She would take the empty cans from the fruit cocktail and freeze the finished product in the freezer inside the cans. The frozen salad was always served as the first course. She would take a salad plate, put lettuce on the plate and then open the frozen salad by using a can opener to take off the end of the can that was intact so the "cylinder" of the frozen salad would slide out. She then would cut them in about 1 1/2 to 2" thick pieces, so we had a perfectly round little salads on our plate and top it with a dollop of whipped cream! That was a lot of work for a family of 25 but so worth it to her!! Thanks for the memory! I miss those days!


Saturday 6th of April 2024

What a fun way to serve it! That sounds extra special. ❤️