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Cheesecake Apple Salad is an easy no bake dessert salad recipe combining apple salad and cheesecake fluff! Apples are mixed with marshmallows, nuts, and a no-bake cheesecake for the perfect party side dish.

We love to make this easy dessert all summer long – and for holidays too!

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Bowl of Cheesecake Apple Salad with walnuts and mini marshmallows

This Cheesecake Apple Salad is one of the BEST side dish recipes you can make. Everyone loves it – kids and adults. And it’s a salad that I will go to town on for sure!

When I first spotted a salad like this on the internet shortly after I’d started blogging I was so confused. I don’t know if it’s because I’m from California or just my family never ate it, but fluff salads like this are the norm for so many people. (Smart people, just saying.)

I am pretty sure those two dessert salad recipes started back in the 70s when our moms cooked in microwaves from canned food and we lived on cake mix, pudding mix, and whipped topping.

This is perfect for summer because it’s light and refreshing but it’s also great for holidays too!

overhead shot of ingredients in a large bowl: apples, walnuts and marshmallows

What is an apple fluff salad?

A fluff salad is a dessert that’s made usually with pudding mix, fruit, nuts, and marshmallows. You may have seen Watergate Salad at some point – or even ambrosia.

An apple fluff salad like this just means it has apples for the fruit. I’m calling this a Cheesecake Salad as well because the mixture it’s tossed with is a no-bake cheesecake instead of pudding.

Cheesecake Apple Salad Fluff closeup shot

Ingredients for dessert salad

You just need a few easy ingredients:

  • Cream Cheese
  • Sugar
  • Whipped Topping
  • Apples
  • Nuts
  • Marshmallows

First, you have to make a no-bake cheesecake “dressing” for the salad.

The no-bake cheesecake portion of this cheesecake apple salad recipe is made with my favorite cream cheese: Challenge Cream Cheese. I’ve been working with Challenge Dairy for years now and it’s a natural fit for me; I grew up on Challenge Butter. It’s the only brand of butter I use, and the cream cheese is my favorite. It’s smooth and silky and almost spreadable straight out of the refrigerator.

To make the cheesecake, simply mix sugar and whipped topping with the cream cheese.

You can use whatever kind of apples you like in your cheesecake apple salad. I used a mixture of Fuji and Granny Smith for a combination of sweet and tart.

As for nuts, I used walnuts but pecans would be fabulous as well. Just don’t forget the mini marshmallows!

Apple Salad with challenge box behind

FAQ for making dessert salad

Can I use fresh whipped cream

It’s not recommended to use whipped cream. If you’re serving it immediately, then you can, but otherwise the cool whip is much more stable.

How do you store it?

I keep this in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It’ll last up to 2 days.

Don’t the apples brown?

Within a couple days, as long as they are coated with the cheesecake mixture, they won’t brown.

I absolutely LOVE the flavor of a no-bake cheesecake. It was all I could do not to eat the entire carton of this. With 5 apples and an entire block of cream cheese, it definitely makes enough for your next potluck or party.

This dessert salad is a kids delight…and an adult one too!

Other favorite fluff recipes:

Cheesecake Apple Salad in a bowl

Cheesecake Apple Salad Fluff Recipe

3.94 from 30 votes
Cheesecake Apple Salad – this easy no bake dessert salad recipe combines apple salad and cheesecake fluff! Apples are mixed with marshmallows, nuts, and a no-bake cheesecake for the perfect party side dish.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Yield 10 servings
Serving Size 1 serving


  • 8 ounces Challenge Cream Cheese room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 8 ounces whipped topping
  • 5 apples diced (use any you like; I used a combination Fuji and Granny Smith)
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts walnuts or pecans
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows


  • Place cream cheese in a large bowl. Beat with a hand mixer until smooth, then mix in sugar. Mix or stir in whipped topping until the mixture is smooth and lump-free.
  • Add the apples, nuts, and marshmallows. Stir to coat.
  • Serve immediately, or store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 24 hours.

Recipe Video

Recipe Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 269kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 94mg | Potassium: 177mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 371IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 1mg
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Collage of photos for the cheesecake apple salad

This post was sponsored by Challenge Dairy in 2017. All opinions are 100% my own. Thanks for supporting me by supporting the brands that make Crazy for Crust possible.

Cheesecake Apple Salad is the perfect summer potluck recipe or fruit side dish for a get together. It’s a dessert salad made with cream cheese and marshmallows. It couldn’t be easier to make!

Last Updated on May 27, 2020

Dorothy Kern

Welcome to Crazy for Crust, where I share recipes that are sometimes crazy, often with a crust, and always served with a slice of life.

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Recipe Rating


  1. The salad was too heavy and too sweet. Next time I will cut out the sugar and add less marshmallows. I was thinking that a pudding would lighten it up.

  2. This dish is incredible. I, personally, love it to pieces! However, my family members are not fans. They think it tastes, and I quote, “Too sweet, and a little too crunchy”. But now, I’ve replaced the nuts with mini chocolate chips, and my family loves it! Thank you for the recipe 🙏🏻

  3. My youngest daughter wanted an apple salad and I found this recipe. We have made it several times. It is simple and delicious!

  4. We don’t have “whipped topping” (what even is it?!) in Australia…. What can I use instead?

  5. I made this today to take to a diner tonight to a friends house. First of all let me say how easy this is to put together. Love that part !!

    Of course I had to taste it, OK , I had to have a small dish to test it out before I took it diner tonight. It is a big hit! What a beautiful array of flavors and it’s light, cold, refreshing and very tasty. A great one for the summer months !

    It’s a keeper !!