Total Time:
2 hr 30 min
30 min
2 hr

6 servings

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 4 ounces sour cream
  • 6 ounces homemade mini marshmallows, approximately 3 cups
  • 1 cup clementine orange segments, approximately 6 clementines
  • 1 cup chopped fresh pineapple
  • 1 cup freshly grated coconut
  • 1 cup toasted, chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup drained maraschino cherries

Place the cream and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment and whip until stiff peaks are formed. Add the sour cream and whisk to combine. Add the marshmallows, orange, pineapple, coconut, pecans and cherries and stir to combine. Transfer to a glass serving bowl, cover and place in the refrigerator for 2 hours before serving.

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    41 Reviews
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    My sister made this for Easter and it was outstanding! ....all according to the recipe except for the homemade marshmallows and she omitted the pecans. Great recipe, Alton!
    I used nothing but fresh fruit except for the cherries, of course. Bought the fresh coconut from Whole Foods so I wouldn't have to deal with that whole process. Only thing I didn't make from scratch was the homemade marshmallows. This was fantastic! NO leftovers. I was transported back to the 1960s!
    I have to admit Ambrosia is one of my favorite things to eat. It's delightfully retro and such a burst of all kinds of flavors in every single bite. But don't fool yourself -- this is a very labor intensive dessert to make if you go scratch. It will take you at least 1 1/2 to 2 hours to prepare everything (the coconut was a real pain) and you have to make the marshmellows the night before. It is however better than the "prepared" version with store bought coconut etc...but everything here requires a lot of preparation -- even the sugar syrup for the marshmellows...mine boiled over and made a total mess out of my stovetop and floor! But for really special occasions, I would go with the scratch version. Other times, go with the store bought -- in my opinion, it's justifiably almost as good.
    I add a granny smith apple to mine , about a cup, makes it much better I think
    Some kinda delicious. I admit I *was* planning to use the coconut in the bag, not to mention store-bought marshmallows and canned mandarin oranges and pineapples. But the video made me feel guilty, and I did the entire thing fresh, cracking my own coconut and everything. Now I am thinking the pre-shredded coconut is the reason I've never liked ambrosia. This stuff is fantastic. The marshmallows really make it -- they melt in your mouth. I actually was not crazy about the pecans in there.  
    The whole thing is a big, time-consuming production, for sure. I made it for my son's Percy Jackson-themed birthday party and was glad I put in the effort. It's finally ambrosia worth eating. 
    Can you point me to the recipe for the homemade marshmallows? I can't seem to find it.
    Just above the picture of the recipe it lists the episode that this was featured. Click your mouse on "Puff the Magic Mallow" and it will take you to the link.
    This is the best ambrosia I've ever had. If you, like me, thought that making marshmallows was "overboard"- let me leave you with these thoughts. 1 The marshmallows are easy to make. They take time to boil and whip and dry. But none of that is hard. 2 The homemade marshmallows, besides just being a superior flavor, "melt" into the salad in a way that no store bought version can do. THAT makes all the difference in the flavor of this salad. Whereas most ambrosia salads taste like fruit with very cloyingly sweet pops of marshmallows, this version tastes like fruit with this lovely frothy dressing- which is really the dressing mixing with the marshmallows. 3 Alton's marshmallow recipe makes more than you need for this salad, so either plan to make this salad multiple times or use the extra marshmallows for snacking and impressing your friends. Overall, this is one of Alton's best recipes
    The recipe was pretty simple--I doubled it for Easter dinner, and everyone loved it. The only draw back was it took me over 40 minutes to get the cream to get thick enough. I almost gave up on it.
    I made this today to go with Easter dinner and it came out wonderful! I am usually not a fan of ambrosia but this salad was so much better than the ones I've had before. I was in a hurry, so I used store bought marshmallows and coconut and canned mandarin oranges and pineapple. I made sure to drain the oranges and pineapple well and I also added fresh strawberries and seedless red grapes, quartered. I think you can add whatever fruit you like to this recipe. I used candied pecans which I already had on hand. Perfect recipe! Thank you, Alton!
    I made this recipe today and it turned out great thanks Alton, you're the best.
    Easy and amazing - it turned out perfect and was a huge hit at my party.
    Awesome! So much better thsn cool whip recipes..
    I added chopped walnuts to this recipe and there was nothing left for seconds.
    This is, by far, the best fruit salad I have ever made. The dressing is the key to this outstanding recipe; it's not overly sweet and allows whatever fruit you use to be the hightlight of the dish. I used canned mandarin oranges & pineapple, fresh red grapes & apples, marachino cherries, and sweetened flake coconut as my fruit. This will be my go-to recipe for fruit salad from now on!
    I loved the salad, my family felt the same way. We liked the flavor that the toasted pecan gave it. I did double the dressing I liked a little more and I used used mandarin oranges.
    Used as much of Organic fresh fruit as I could.............had to share the recipe with all the girls and the kid's couldn't get enough!
    It was very good!!! I didn't use Fresh Fruit...I used everything canned and it turn out wonderful. Everyone loved it at the together.
    Delicious. You can substitute other fruit if you don't like the ones listed. Personally, I like apples instead of canned cherries. The dressing is delicious and not too sweet.
    Loved this! Made it for Easter Sunday. I subbed mandarin oranges for the clementines. This was the only thing I really wanted to have leftovers of....but it was all gone! Can't wait to make it again. Simple and delicious!
    So incredibly goooood!And easy to make.
    My family enjoyed the sour cream mixed with whipped cream, which toned down the sweetness. This was part of our Easter lunch, and the recipe is a keeper. Everyone really enjoyed it. Thank you, Alton.
    This salad is awesome !! It reminds me of a version my mom/grandmother made and they called it a "5 cup salad." Alton, this recipe is for sure a keeper !! This is fast becoming a family favorite! I will serve this at Thanksgiving again this year and for Christmas, Easter, you name it.
    We leave out the marshmallows and then it is very good. We add fresh pineapple and mango's and papaya. Very good and we prepare our own fresh coconut.
     We cant stand the taste of those white puffy things in a salad that should be filled with good and healthy fruit.
    I loved this salad from the first time my mother-in-law served it. I do need to tell all of you though, that I did get some surprised reactions from the people who were expecting it to be whipped cream instead of sour
     cream. They seemed to get a little green around the gills. Now I'm hesistant to serve it. So happy to read all the good reviews. It truly is the ambrosia of the gods.
    I have been looking for this receipe for a long time. My mother use to make this all the time when I was little. My mother died when I was 22 and her receipes were lost. I am now 65 and so excited that I can now share this receipes with my three daughter-in-laws and grandchildren.
    There are always way to add "just that little extra"...if you add maraschino cherry juice to the heavy cream affter it has been beaten, it adds color and if you get the chance to buy colored/flavored marshmallows, it adds flavor and additional color to the dish...drain all your fruit very well because it will make your dish runny if you don't.
    I have to admit that I used store-bought marshmallows, canned mandarin oranges and shredded coconut, but it turned out fantastic! An amazing thing happens after a few hours of refrigeration - the marshmallows take on an amazingly fluffy texture and the Ambrosia is totally amazing! Thanks, Alton, for another wonderful recipe!
    I tried this recipe for Christmas day dessert, and I can honestly say it was the most unsuccessful dessert I have ever made. That said, it might have been partly my fault. First, I doubled the recipe to accommodate a larger group. Second, I used clementines and a few blood oranges. Third, I struggled with the coconut, so instead of it being grated, it was finely chopped. Fourth, I combined the clementine segments and pineapple pieces about three hours before making the rest of the dish. In the end, there were far too many nuts and not enough of the cream mixture to bind the whole dish. By the next day it was completely watered down.
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    This recipe is featured in:

    The Best Kwanzaa Recipes