Layers of fresh fruit topped with homemade vanilla pudding and whipped cream. A beautiful and crowd-pleasing side dish or dessert. Video below!
With Easter, Mother’s Day, and summer BBQs and parties on the horizon, I thought it would be the perfect time to share this Fruit Salad. Layers of fruit, vanilla pudding and whipped cream make this the tastiest fruit salad EVER. If you’re looking for a way to switch things up from a traditional fruit salad or fruit platter, THIS. IS. IT.
How To Make Fruit Salad
- Vanilla Pudding: Start by making the pudding (so it has time to chill). This super easy homemade vanilla pudding cooks on the stovetop for a few minutes and then goes in the fridge to chill completely. I used my popular vanilla pudding recipe with a few small tweaks to make the pudding less thick, so it’s a pourable consistency for topping the fruit.
- Whipped Cream: Cream, vanilla and powdered sugar combine to make this fluffy, sweet and flavorful whipped cream topping. Adding whipped cream to the fruit makes it extra decadent – and it makes it similar in taste to an ambrosia salad.
- Fruit: Choose your favorite combination of fruits for this salad. You can use a wide variety or as little as two or three different fruits. Make sure that all the fruit is cut into bite-sized pieces before layering it.
- Assembling Fruit Salad: I like to assemble this salad in a glass trifle dish so you can see the layers of fruit, pudding and whipped cream. If you don’t have a trifle dish, you can assemble it in a deep bowl. Start by layering the fruit, alternating colors if possible. After all the fruit is layered add the pudding, then the whipped cream. You can finish by garnishing with additional fruit, if desired.
What Fruit Goes Together?
This salad can be made with any combination of fruit that you enjoy. Here are some suggestions, but feel free to play around with it. Note: If you’re displaying your fruit salad in a trifle dish, try to pick fruit in a variety of colors.
- Berries: Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. This is my favorite combo.
- Mixed fruit: Grapes (green and red), pineapple, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries.
- Tropical: Mango, pineapple, mandarin oranges, banana, shredded coconut.
How Long is Fruit Salad Good?
Once fully assembled, this salad is best within 1-2 hours. If you’re using fruit that can turn brown (apples, pears, bananas, peaches, etc.), I highly recommend waiting to add them until right before serving. I don’t suggest treating them with lemon juice, as that might interfere with the flavors in the pudding and whipped cream.
Make ahead tips:
- The pudding and whipped cream can be made up to 1 day in advance and stored in the fridge. If the whipped cream thins out, whip it with a whisk or mixer right before assembling.
- The fruit can be layered in the dish up to 1 day in advance (without the toppings). Keep it tightly covered and refrigerated, and do not include any fruits that turn brown.
- Right before serving, add the pudding and whipped cream.
Fruit Salad Recipe
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/4 cups milk
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream chilled
- 2-3 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 12 cups fruit (in bite sized pieces)
- In a medium saucepan whisk together sugar, cornstarch, salt, milk, and egg yolks. Cook over medium-low heat, whisking frequently, until the mixture is bubbling and thickened, about 8-10 minutes. Note: It will thicken a little more as it cools, but we want it on the thinner side so that it can be poured over the fruit.
- Remove from heat and whisk in butter and vanilla extract. Optional: Place a fine mesh strainer over a large heatproof bowl. Pour the mixture through the strainer and into the bowl (Optional step to remove lumps. If you have no lumps, you can skip this step and just pour the pudding directly into a bowl). Place the bowl of pudding in the fridge (I like to place plastic wrap directly on it to prevent a skin from forming). Chill completely.
- Place all ingredients in a large bowl. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat on medium-high speed for several minutes until soft peaks form. Cover and chill until assembly.
- Layer fruit in a trifle dish or large bowl. Remove the pudding from fridge and whisk it vigorously until smooth. Pour the pudding evenly over the fruit, then spread the whipped cream on top. If desired, top with additional fruit. Best if served immediately, or within an hour or two.