This delicious fruit salad recipe with homemade whipped cream is the best side dish! It's often served alongside a holiday dinner and is a popular addition to any summer cookout or barbeque. Simple, fresh and fun, it's guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser and family favorite.
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This dish feels a little bit fancy (which makes it perfect for a special occasion) but it's incredibly easy to make and takes just 20 minutes to prepare. Plus it's just so dang GOOD.
I typically use fresh berries, grapes and diced apple in my salad, but you can use your favorite fruits! Make sure to add a bit of lemon zest and fresh basil to reach the next level of deliciousness.
This fruit salad recipe is also the perfect side dish for Thanksgiving or Christmas. And if you need a little more holiday side dish inspo, I've got you covered. Try these amazing Scalloped Sweet Potatoes, Homemade Cranberry Sauce, Mashed Cauliflower, Mashed Sweet Potatoes or Roasted Maple Balsamic Brussels Sprouts!
Why you'll love this recipe:
Healthy: this recipe is very similar to ambrosia salad, but it's made with fresh fruits rather than canned! It's sweet and creamy but still fairly healthy with only 1 & ½ tablespoons of added sugar. For even less calories and sugar, you can substitute a monkfruit/erythritol blend. I love using this substitution and personally haven't noticed any difference in taste.
Low carb: when it comes to fruit salads, this one isn't toooo high in carbs. I chose to include a lot of berries, and opted not to use banana for this reason. Of course, if you're not worried about keeping carb count low and you love bananas, slice one up and mix it in!
Gluten free: perfect for those who may have some food allergies or sensitivities (also nut free).
Easy holiday side: cream fruit salad is a popular addition at holiday celebration. It's often served at Easter, Fourth of July, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Of course, you can absolutely eat it any time you want!
Customizable: got a few picky eaters on your hands? No need to worry, you can customize this salad in any way you please.
Colorful: I'm a firm believer that colorful food always tastes better.
Antioxidants: this recipe is a great way to eat a lot of berries which are nutrient dense and high in antioxidants. There are great health benefits connected to consuming antioxidants! Read more at healthline.com.
Ingredients and substitutions:
- Fruits: fresh strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, grapes, diced green apple, lemon zest and fresh chopped basil. Substitute or add any fruits of your choice.
- Cream dressing: heavy whipping cream, pure vanilla extract and sugar (or sugar free, granulated sweetener of choice). I often use this monkfruit/erythritol blend instead of refined sugar.
- Toppings: additional fresh chopped basil and lemon zest are both delicious atop this salad. You can also add nuts, marshmallows or toasted coconut flakes if desired. Mini marshmallows are especially fun!
How to make fruit salad with whipped cream:
Keep scrolling to find the full recipe card with measurements included. We'll start here with a quick overview:
- Start by preparing your fruits. Wash and pat dry, dice apple/strawberries and halve grapes.
- Transfer prepared fruit to a large bowl. Add lemon zest and chopped basil.
- Measure heavy cream, pure vanilla extract and sugar into a separate, small mixing bowl. Use an electric hand mixer and beat on high until stiff peaks begin to form, this will take 3-5 minutes.
- Transfer whipped cream to bowl containing fruits.
- Gently fold all ingredients together until well incorporated. Place salad in a serving bowl and chill or enjoy immediately!
Step by step photos:
Expert tips for this recipe:
Get creative: feel free to try different fruit combinations! You don't have to limit yourself to the ones I've included. Other popular options include banana, mandarin oranges, maraschino cherries, pineapple tidbits or pears (if you use any canned fruit be sure to drain extra liquid before adding). You can also experiment with all kinds of yummy toppings or fold in extra whipped cream!
Seasonal fruits: fruit is cheapest and most ripe when in season. This easy salad is the perfect way to incorporate seasonal produce and get the most bang for your buck! Here is an awesome guide on produce seasonality: usda.gov.
Cool whip: I recommend making your own whipped cream because it tastes better and has less preservatives. But, if you're running behind and trying to save a little time, you can definitely use cool whip as a substitute!
What to serve with cream fruit salad:
We've talked a lot about how this side is great for holidays. But the best time for this salad, is ANYTIME! It goes really well with a lot of weeknight family dinners like:
How to prep in advance:
The most time consuming part of this recipe is the fruit prep. You can do this 2-3 days in advance if you want to work ahead. I would then make, and fold in whipped cream the evening before you serve your salad (or even better, the morning before)!
- Wash and dry all fruit. Cut up your strawberries, grapes and apple.
- Place diced apple pieces in a bowl of cold water with some lemon juice to help prevent browning. Let them soak for 5-10 minutes, drain and pat dry.
- Transfer all fruit to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, or place in a food storage container with an airtight lid. Store in the refrigerator.
- Before serving salad, add lemon zest and fresh basil. Make whipped cream and fold into fruits.
Add your whipped cream as late as possible, up to a day in advance is okay but the longer you can wait, the better. You can also use cool whip if you don't to make your own whipped cream.
How to use up leftovers:
Dessert salad leftovers are a great standalone treat or snack to satisfy sugar cravings. Eat it solo, add more whipped topping, some nuts or a scoop of vanilla ice cream! Extras are also great for smoothies. Toss fruit salad in the blender with some milk, ice, cocoa powder and peanut butter for an easy breakfast or snack.
Place salad in an airtight food storage container and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. You can also store leftovers in the freezer for up to 3 months (using a freezer safe container, of course). I find frozen leftovers to be useful in making smoothies!
Frequently asked questions:
It's a dessert salad made by mixing various ripe fruit with sweetened whipped cream or cool whip. This particular recipe also contains lemon zest and fresh basil for some extra flavor. Many also like to top their salad with chopped nuts and mini marshmallows!
It will depend on what you add to your salad, but this particular recipe has approximately 117 calories for 4 ounces (which is about ⅛th of the recipe).
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Fruit Salad With Whipped Cream
- Large Mixing Bowl
- Small Mixing Bowl
- Electric Mixer
- 1 cup (about 6 ounces) strawberries *diced *see note below
- 1 cup (about 6 ounces) blackberries
- 1 cup (about 6 ounces) blueberries
- 1 cup (about 6 ounces) grapes *see note below
- 1 medium green apple
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract *Pure is best, but imitation will work.
- 1 & ½ tablespoons sugar *See note below for sugar free option.
- Zest from one lemon
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil *minced
- Additional lemon zest or fresh basil
- Chopped walnuts, pecans or almonds
- Mini marshmallows
- Shredded coconut flakes
Recipe notes:Strawberries: generally, the smallest package of strawberries you can buy weighs 16 ounces. Since we're only using 6 ounces here, I recommend freezing the rest to use in smoothies later. Here's a fun recipe to try: Strawberry Banana & Chocolate Protein Smoothie. Blackberries and blueberries are sold in smaller, 6oz quantities. Grapes: seedless black, red or green grapes will work! I recommend splitting a small quantity of grapes off of a bunch so you don't have to get through a whole giant bag. Sugar: or substitute a monkfruit/erythritol blend. I love using this substitution and personally haven't noticed any difference in taste.
- Rinse and dry all fruits. Dice apple and strawberries. Halve grapes.1 cup (about 6 ounces) strawberries, 1 cup (about 6 ounces) blackberries, 1 cup (about 6 ounces) blueberries, 1 cup (about 6 ounces) grapes, 1 medium green apple
- Transfer all fruits to a large mixing bowl, add lemon zest and fresh minced basil.Zest from one lemon, 1 tablespoon fresh basil
- Measure heavy cream, pure vanilla extract and sugar into a separate, small mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer, on high, until stiff peaks begin to form. This will take 3-5 minutes. (*Tip - keep heavy cream nice and cold before whipping)½ cup heavy cream, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, 1 & ½ tablespoons sugar
- Transfer whipped cream to bowl containing fruits and gently fold all ingredients together until well incorporated.
- Place fruit salad in a serving bowl and add toppings if desired. Chill or enjoy immediately!Additional lemon zest or fresh basil, Chopped walnuts, pecans or almonds, Mini marshmallows, Shredded coconut flakes
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