Indulge in this whimsical Circus Cookie Salad! It’s a no-bake dessert that combines frosted circus cookies with a fluffy, creamy base and vibrant sprinkles. Perfect for any celebration, this kid-approved treat is easy to make and customize! Garnish with extra circus cookies for an added festive flair. Ideal for parties and potlucks, (or Tuesdays!) this dessert is sure to be a hit! I also have a Cookie Salad made with fudge-striped cookies you will love!

Bowl of Circus Cookie Salad Fluff on a white counter with rainbow non perils and mini marshmallows all around.
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  • Cream Cheese: Ensure the block of cream cheese is softened to room temperature before making this dessert salad. This takes 30 minutes to an hour, so keep that in mind. Once softened, blend the cream cheese with confectioners’ sugar and vanilla.

How To Soften Cream Cheese Quickly

If you forgot to take out the cream cheese for this recipe, here are a couple of options to get it to room temperature quickly:

Warm Water Method: Place the wrapped block of cream cheese in a bowl of warm water for about 10-15 minutes. Flip it over every few minutes or so.

Microwave Method: Remove the cream cheese from its packaging and place it on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave it on low power in 15-20-second intervals until it reaches the desired softness. Be careful not to overheat it, as cream cheese can quickly become too runny or even melt.

  • Whipped Topping: If using store-bought, frozen whipped topping, let it thaw before folding it into the cream cheese mixture. Or, use homemade whipped cream in this recipe.
  • Cookies: Look for frosted circus animal cookies (I used Mother’s Circus Animal Cookies) to chop and add to the salad. Have a few extra to use for garnish!
  • Marshmallows: You will use 1 cup of mini marshmallows to add a little extra sweetness and chewy texture to the salad. If using regular-sized marshmallows, cut them into smaller pieces before adding them to the salad. You could also use the mini rainbow marshmallows.
  • Nonpareils: I love the color added from the rainbow nonpareils! Plus, they add a little extra crunch. Choose a color that matches your theme or celebration.
Bowls of Circus Cookie Salad Fluff on a white counter with rainbow non perils and mini marshmallows all around.

Feel free to customize this salad to suit your tastes and preferences. We adore this as is – it tastes exactly like a fluffy circus cookie – but here are some options you may want to try:

  • Try using other types of cookies such as chocolate chip cookies, sugar cookies, or shortbread cookies.
  • Add chopped fresh fruit such as strawberries, bananas, or pineapple to the salad for a refreshing twist. Fruits like mandarin oranges or canned pineapple can also work well.
  • For added crunch and flavor, consider adding chopped nuts such as pecans, almonds, or walnuts to the salad.
  • Mix in some chocolate chips or mini chocolate candies for an extra dose of chocolatey goodness!
  • Experiment with different toppings such as shredded coconut, caramel sauce, chocolate syrup, or crushed graham crackers for added flavor and texture.
Bowl of Circus Cookie Salad Fluff on a white counter with rainbow non perils and mini marshmallows and all around and spoons.

I recommend serving this salad immediately after mixing it together. This will prevent the cookies from getting soggy. If you do need to store it for a short amount of time, keep it in the refrigerator, covered, for up to a day or two. Or, wait until serving to fold in the cookies.

Bowl of Circus Cookie Salad Fluff on a white counter with rainbow non perils and mini marshmallows all around.

Circus Cookie Salad

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
This Circus Cookie Salad is a no-bake dessert salad that combines frosted circus cookies with a creamy, fluffy base and colorful sprinkles. Garnish the salad with more cookies to make the dessert even more festive! It is a simple, bright, kid-friendly dessert perfect for parties and potlucks!


  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup (62.5 g) confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 2 cups frosted circus animal cookies, coarsely chopped (plus more for garnish)
  • 1 cup (50 g) mini marshmallows
  • 2 tablespoons rainbow nonpareils


  • In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, and vanilla with a hand mixer until smooth and creamy.
  • Fold in the whipped topping.
  • Fold in 2 cups chopped cookies and marshmallows. Gently fold in the nonpareils.
  • Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
  • Serve garnished with extra cookies.


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What the Test Kitchen had to say about this recipe:


The circus cookie salad is delightful! The creamy cream cheese, crunchy cookies, and sweet marshmallows create a perfect blend. The rainbow sprinkles add a fun touch!


I love this circus cookie salad, especially with the colorful sprinkles!


This circus cookie salad is whimsical! It's a heavenly mix, perfect for any occasion!


This dessert is great! Rainbow sprinkles add a playful touch!


Fun and tasty! This dessert will be a hit with kids and adults!

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Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

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