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This recipe for Old Fashioned Cranberry Salad Ice Box Cake won’t win the best looking dessert award, but it will win “The best throwback to Grandma’s Recipe Award”.
Cranberry Salad Ice Box Cake
For today’s post, I’m thinking back to both my Grandmothers. One was “famous” for her Ice Box Cake. The other, my maternal grandmother, used to make Cranberry Salad at Thanksgiving. From the time I was born, until my junior year of college, I spent every single Thanksgiving at her house. I have so many memories of holiday meals around her table. When I was perusing my cookbooks for inspiration for recipes for Cranberry Week, I came across several for cranberry salad. I had totally forgotten about this side dish.
As kids, we loved it because it tasted like a dessert rather than a “salad”. I decided to combine old fashioned cranberry salad with icebox cake and the result was well received. As in, none of it was left 2 hours later. So if you remember Grandma making a cranberry salad with pineapple, marshmallows and cream cheese, you might just love this trip down memory lane!
Yes, it’s true. Y’all love my Make Ahead Cranberry Sauce (my most popular post EVER), that I’ve devoted a whole week to cranberries!
The cranberry salad top to this dessert is chocked full of marshmallows, whipping cream, cranberry sauce, crushed pineapple and cream cheese. A lot of the older recipes I found for cranberry salad called for mayo and celery. I went ahead and ditched these, opting to make sure it was a true dessert! The best part though-- you can always use just this part of the recipe to make an awesome homemade cranberry salad for a side dish!
Sprinkled on top are crushed vanilla wafer cookies. It’s a little nod to the vanilla wafer crust that the cranberry salad rests on.
The crust is delicious. It gives a nice solid cookie like shortcrust flavor and texture, but it doesn’t overpower the delicate whipped cranberry mixture.
My kiddos seemed to enjoy the mini marshmallows, and I remember loving them as a kid too.
So what do you think? Are you excited to give this throwback recipe a try? Are you a fan of cranberries? If so, please continue to follow my blog this week as we celebrate all things cranberry!
From savory dishes, appetizers, breakfast and dessert, we will have something for everyone!
See All The Cranberry Recipes Here. Check back daily as we continue to add more in!
Cranberry Salad Dessert Cake Recipe:
Old Fashioned Cranberry Salad Ice Box Cake
For The Crust
- 1 box vanilla wafer cookies 11 oz, crushed
- ¼ cup brown sugar loosely packed
- ½ cup butter melted
Cranberry Salad Topping
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup drained crushed pineapple
- 1 cup cranberry sauce canned or use my popular recipe!
- 2 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 8oz bar cream cheese, softened
- 3 cups mini marshmallows
For the Crust:
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- Crush the vanilla wafers in a bag with a rolling pin or place in a food processor and crush until they are crumbs.
- In a large bowl, combine all the wafers, sugar and butter.
- Remove ⅛th of a cup for later - to sprinkle on the top
- Press the wafer mixture firmly into a 9 x 13 baking sheet. Bake for 6-8 mins, allowing it to cook. Remove before edges turn brown.
- Rest on a cooling rack and allow to cool.
For the Cranberry Salad
- In a large mixer, beat the whipping cream until it turns into whipped cream. Add in 2 TBSP's sugar very slowly, allowing it to incorporate but not become over whipped. Fold in the drained pineapple and the cranberry sauce. Add in the cream cheese and whip until combined. Fold in the mini marshmallows by hand.
To assemble the dessert:
- After the crust is cooled, spread the cranberry salad onto the crust. Cover with cling wrap and allow to chill in a freezer for at least 2 hrs. Serve with in a few hours. The crust can get soft after a day or two.