Cookie Salad… a classic recipe that shocks some but delights all! The ingredients don’t seem like they should work together, but they definitely do. Folks from the midwest have been eating it since forever. If you like this recipe you will also like my Piggy Pie Dessert and Blueberry Lemon Heaven Dessert!

Cookie Salad

So what exactly is this ‘cookie salad’? It’s more of a fluff recipe with a little cookie sprinkled throughout. The note in my MIL’s church cookbook said, “Can be served as a salad or dessert.” I definitely want to go to the dinner party where this is considered a side salad! 😂Another great reason to make this dessert… it’s NO-BAKE! Perfect for hot summer nights.

The ingredients are simple enough:

  • vanilla pudding
  • buttermilk
  • whipped topping
  • pineapple
  • mandarin oranges
  • fudge stripe cookies

Ok, so I lied. Those are not your average ingredients at all! If you are anything like me, your brain can’t quite comprehend how those ingredients can be combined and taste good. But rest assured, it does. As a matter of fact, I brought this to a neighborhood night out and every mom there either asked me for the recipe or talked about how she had it when she was growing up and missed it!

Cookie Salad Ingredients- Mandarin Oranges, Pudding, Pineapple, Whipped Topping

How to Make Cookie Salad

The hardest part is opening the cans. Not even kidding!

Start by mixing the dry pudding with buttermilk. It will appear thick and not like pudding at all, and that is exactly how it should look. (The first time I made this I just had to sneak a try of this less-than-average combo and it’s surprisingly good.)

Next fold in the whipped topping. Now, if you have ever read my blog you know I always give the option for homemade whipped topping… but not for this recipe. You need the stability of store-bought whipped topping and it just isn’t worth the time or money to make it from scratch.

Mix in the crushed pineapple and mandarin oranges and then chill for about 30 minutes.

Cookie Salad Mixed with Fudge Striped Cookie on Top

Fudge Stripe Cookies in an Orange-Pineapple Salad?

Don’t let this throw you off. I considered leaving them out at first but decided against it. It just wouldn’t be a classic Cookie Salad without those fudge stripe cookies! BUT! Be sure to add the right before serving. The longer they sit in the fluff mixture the softer they get, and I like the cookies to have a little crunch.

I added the cookies to a plastic bag that zips shut and then bashed them on the counter a few times. You could also do a rough cut with a knife.

Cookie Salad Mixed and Topped with Fudge Stripe Cookies

How to Serve Cookie Salad

To chill or not to chill? Every recipe I came across did not mention chilling, but we prefer it cold. It also has buttermilk in it which could affect the flavor if it is at room temperature for too long. (spoil)

This can be served in a large bowl sprinkled with more crushed fudge strip cookies. This lets folks choose as much or as little as they would like.

You can also serve it in individual portions. Be sure to add a whole cookie on top… not only is it fun to see but you can use that cookie to dip into the salad and get a big bite!

Want Even More Variations?

Try making it a trifle! This involves another container of whipped topping and more fudge stripe cookies. Make the cookie salad according to the directions and then spread a 1/3 in a trifle dish. Add a layer of whipped topping and then a flat layer of the cookies. (You could also cut the cookies in half and press them against the inside edge of the trifle dish. Repeat two more times and chill until ready to serve.

Cookie Salad Pie… it’s a thing! Make the cookie salad according to directions then pour it on top of a prepared graham cracker, shortbread, or chocolate crust. Top with some whipped topping, more crushed cookies, and chill until ready to serve.

Looking for More Fluff Recipes?

Pistachio Fluff

Banana Split Fluff

Oreo Fluff

Pineapple Fluff

Cookie Salad
5 from 5 votes

Cookie Salad

Prep Time 5 mins
cooling time 30 mins
A delicious "salad" with unique ingredients that come together perfectly! The best at potlucks or BBQ's!

Ingredients

  • 1 package (3.4 ounce) instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 8 ounces frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 1 can (20 ounce) crushed pineapple, drained well
  • 1 can (11 ounces) mandarin oranges, drained well
  • 10 fudge stripe cookies, crushed

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, mix together the pudding mix and the buttermilk. It will be thick. (You can use a whisk or a hand-held mixer.)
  • Fold in the whipped topping.
  • Add in the pineapple and mandarin oranges and stir well.
  • Chill until ready to serve.
  • Crush cookies and mix in just before serving. Reserve a few for garnish.

Did you make this recipe?

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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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