Ambrosia Salad Squares

5 from 12 votes
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Ambrosia Salad Squares Topped with Mandarin Slices, Pineapple Chunks and Maraschino Cherries

Raise your hand if you love Ambrosia Salad. (I’ll be over here, waving my hands wildly).

How about Ambrosia Salad SQUARES?

Fine, while not the usual fare, I’m pretty sure that I have given up traditional ambrosia salad and will always make it in a square form from now on. This graced our table over Easter and this is what happens when my sister and I get together. You all know that the crazy starts. Yes, just “the crazy”. That’s what happens at family gatherings.

The Crazy.

Close up of Ambrosia Salad Squares Topped with Mandarin Slices, Pineapple Chunks and Maraschino Cherries

These are pretty much the perfect way to eat ambrosia salad if you think it’s too rich for you. Let’s face it, ambrosia salad is really sweet and rich and you’re supposed to eat it from a bowl. Putting it into a squares with a graham cracker crust cuts through that crazy sweetness and adding huge amounts of fruit on top really makes it amazing.

I actually should have kept this recipe for cookbook #2. I’m terribly impatient, however, and want to share everything with you all as soon as I can.

Close up Slice of Ambrosia Salad Squares Topped with Mandarin Slices, Pineapple Chunks and Maraschino Cherries in White Plate

The secret to this being an ambrosia salad square that actually holds it shape and cuts so gorgeously is that you remove the crushed pineapple from being mixed in with the marshmallows and whipped cream. When you mix those two and the coconut together, they will form a cohesive layer when refrigerated overnight that slices perfectly.

You can then put the drained crushed pineapple on top, but I went crazy and added huge pineapple chunks, which everyone raved about ( and also help to cut the sweetness). You can choose to “build your own” adventure on top and add what you want. The point is, if you drain the fruit very well so that there isn’t, the options are almost endless. You can add more than I have shown, put a layer of crushed pineapple on top with the mandarin oranges.

If you are looking for more retro recipes, did you see my Strawberry Pretzel Salad / Dessert? Oh my word. SO GOOD!

Slice of Strawberry Pretzel Salad in a Pyrex plate

Now, I am sure that you coloured marshmallow haters ( I know you are out there!) noticed that I used the coloured marshmallows, but you can use the traditional white instead! That is actually more “real” ambrosia salad, but I love the fruity flavour that the coloured gave the dessert.

Happy baking babes!




If you love Ambrosia Salad, then you will love these Ambrosia Salad Squares! They slice like a dream and I love them so better than the salad! #ambrosia #pineapple #mandarin #dessert #picnic
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Ambrosia Salad Squares

If you love Ambrosia Salad, then you will love these Ambrosia Salad Squares! They slice like a dream and I love them so better than the salad!
5 from 12 votes
Close up of Ambrosia Salad Squares Topped with Mandarin Slices, Pineapple Chunks and Maraschino Cherries
Prep Time
20 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Karlynn Johnston



  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 salted butter melted
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar


  • 4 cups whipped cream
  • 4 cups mini marshmallows I love the coloured, but white is traditional
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut if you use whipped topping in a container, then make this unsweetened or it’s too sweet!


  • 2 cans of mandarin orange slices drained well
  • 1 can of crushed pineapple OR pineapple chunks well drained
  • maraschino cherries – 15-20 drained and sliced in half


  • Preheat the oven to 350 °F.
  • For the base, combine the ingredients in a bowl and mix completely. Press into the bottom of a 9×13 baking pan. Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes until browned, then remove and cool.
  • For the filling, combine all ingredients together then spread over the top of the cooled graham crust.
  • Take the fruit and place on top of the whipping cream layer as desired.
  • Cover and refrigerate for several hours before serving. I make this the day before and it’s perfect. You can do it the morning of if you wish, but no later than that!

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

This is best made a day ahead of time.
Make sure the fruit is really well drained! You can add more fruit if you wish.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 180kcal, Carbohydrates: 29g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 12mg, Sodium: 101mg, Potassium: 83mg, Sugar: 18g, Vitamin A: 190IU, Vitamin C: 3.1mg, Calcium: 30mg, Iron: 0.6mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

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Reader Interactions

Comments & Recipe Tips Share a tip or comment!

  1. Debbie says

    Made it for Xmas and with the graham crust it was a hit. It’s in my favourite dessert list. Very easy to make of I’m happy.


    I made this today and it was fabulous! I used the colored mini marshmallows from Walmart & since they are fruit flavored, it gave it an even more fruity taste & used the ‘extra creamy cool whip’. My Mom loved it too and even my husband who isn’t a dessert fan. It’s light and refreshing. Thank you!5 stars

  3. Laura says

    The version of the recipe in your cookbook advises adding the pineapple to the whipped cream, marshmallow and coconut mixture, which is different than this recipe which only adds the pineapple on top. Which version should I follow when making this recipe?

  4. Kate says

    First time reviewer here and I’m sure glad I found this recipe just in time for Easter dinner. My Mom always made ambrosia (we call it five cup dessert on the East Coast) and we all loved it so much. I made this for our dessert and it was delicious, we all really enjoyed it and it was also just so pretty with the coloured marshmallows and the fruit pieces on top. I whipped 2 cups of cream which gave 4 cups when whipped – I think next time I’ll use more as my marshmallows were a bit dry and I think they absorbed a lot of the cream while it sat in the fridge. Can’t wait to make it again and to try some of your other recipes!5 stars

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