Dreamsicle Mandarin Orange Salad (Cheesecake Salad)
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This Mandarin Orange Salad tastes just like a creamsicle or Orange Julius. Enjoy it for dessert tonight – it comes together in just 15 minutes!
Creamy cheesecake dressing and fluffy marshmallows are combined with canned mandarin oranges to create a heavenly orange dreamsicle salad.
It’s refreshing enough for a hot summer day and is a great addition to any potluck or barbecue.
Transform your favorite desserts into cheesecake salads with my banana split or caramel apple candy versions. Both are rich and luxurious enough to satisfy any sweet tooth!
If you’re craving more citrus, I have one featuring lemon and summer berries or another made with tropical fruits and nuts for a little extra crunch.
How To Make Mandarin Orange Salad
While there are several steps to this recipe, it’s really quite simple to put together!
Using an electric mixer, beat together the ingredients for the cheesecake mixture in stages. Be sure that everything is well incorporated before adding the next one.
In a separate bowl, make a batch of homemade whipped cream and fold it into the other bowl.
Then, gently stir in the fruit and mini marshmallows until they are evenly distributed throughout. It’s important to go slowly since the mandarins break apart easily.
Spoon the orange dreamsicle salad into your favorite serving bowl and top with more marshmallows and fruit. Even a sprig of fresh mint would look lovely!
Helpful Tips and Tricks
- Soften the cream cheese. Either let it sit on the counter for about 30 minutes, or place the unwrapped block on a plate and microwave for 10-15 seconds.
- Adjust the sweetness. There’s only a small amount to sweeten the heavy cream, but you can add more after folding in the whipped cream if it tastes like it needs it.
- Want a silkier texture? When making the cheesecake mixture, replace the heavy cream with regular milk instead.
- Use Cool Whip. Instead of whipping the heavy cream to fold into the mandarin salad, substitute a thawed container of the popular whipped topping.
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FAQ – Common Recipe Questions
Can I make this mandarin orange salad ahead of time?
Yes, simply prepare the cream cheese mixture, fold in the whipped cream, and store covered in the refrigerator.
It’s best to stir in the marshmallows and mandarins just before serving since both will soften and break apart the longer they sit.
How long will orange dreamsicle salad last in the refrigerator?
Cover the bowl tightly with plastic or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
It’s probably safe to eat for another day or two after that, but the texture will become soft and watery.
Can I use regular pudding mix instead?
Unfortunately, no. Anything other than instant won’t set up properly, so you may need to find it online if your local store doesn’t carry that variety. You could also substitute vanilla or french vanilla instant pudding.
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Mandarin Orange Cheesecake Salad
- 8 ounce cream cheese, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3.4 ounce package of instant cheesecake pudding mix, unprepared
- 1/2 cup about 1/3 can frozen orange juice concentrate
- 3 cups heavy whipping cream, divided
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 3 15 ounce cans mandarin oranges, drained
- 2 cups miniature marshmallows
- In a large mixing bowl, beat softened cream cheese and vanilla extract until fluffy.
- Add the orange juice concentrate and beat until fully combined.
- Add the cheesecake pudding mixture and beat until evenly incorporated (mixture will be slightly chunky).
- With the mixer (or hand beater) running on low speed, slowly drizzle 1 ½ cups of the heavy whipping cream into the cream cheese mixture. Beat well between the addition of small amounts (add only a couple tablespoons at a time).
- Add powdered sugar to the cheesecake mixture and continue beating until fully combined.
- In a separate mixing bowl, beat remaining 1 ½ cups of heavy cream until stiff peaks form.
- Use a spatula to gently fold the whipped cream into the cheesecake mixture until fully incorporated.
- Add miniature marshmallows and drained mandarin oranges to the cheesecake mixture and fold in gently to combine. (The mandarins break apart easily, so be slow and gentle.)
- Transfer mixture to a serving bowl, garnish with reserved mandarins and miniature marshmallows and serve immediately.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.
Originally published June 2021
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what can be used instead of the cheesecake pudding, can't find it in stores here in Ontario
They mention instant vanilla or french vanilla can work good also.
Love your site !
Is it 1 or 2 cans of mandarin oranges?
Your cheesecake salads are so sweet and creamy, and the freshness of the fruit is a perfect contrast.
This really was similar to an orange dreamsicle, very sweet and delicious.
Meh. This was okay, but didn’t taste like a dreamsicle at all, in my opinion. The combination of cheesecake pudding and cream cheese makes it taste more like a cheesecake. If I make it again, I believe I would switch to vanilla pudding.