Give me anything in a cute parfait and I’m totally in.

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With a name like AMBROSIA, it just sounds like something I would love to eat. Something beautiful and pretty and super sweet and delicious.

Hello. I need a thesaurus! Half of those words mean the same thing. Book writing has fried my brain.

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This isn’t, like, the REAL ambrosia fruit salad, I know. I haven’t had that in years and truthfully, it used to totally turn me off for some reason. I have no idea why! I love all of the ingredients.

So I know this isn’t exactly it, but in my weird brain, I was inspired by a lip gloss (this has happened before… what, am I 12? Don’t answer.) and decided I just HAD to make this little parfait in time for the Kentucky Derby.

Obviously, I made some swaps. I know there are versions out there that use sour cream and some used yogurt and heck, some just use cool whip. I used a mix of flaked unsweetened coconut and shredded sweetened coconut. And I used my favorite LEGIT maraschino cherries. (You can find them here on amazon if they aren’t in your store!)

Oh my word. I could eat these by the jar. They aren’t bleached and dyed, no worries. They are the real thing and taste like pure heaven.

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I did a whipped yogurt cream, which you might recognize from this French toast recipe I shared ages ago. I first had a whipped yogurt cream on waffles in Park City at a retreat a few years ago and I still think about it. Fresh whipped cream with Chobani yogurt and some vanilla extract… heck yes. The consistency is just fantastic!

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It would work perfectly as my parfait base, I just knew it. I did throw a touch of coconut into it. And I tossed my pineapples, mandarin oranges and cherries with some coconut too. And I did NOT leave out the marshmallows! They are obviously key to this recipe and super fun to bite into with your own personal parfait.

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One of the ridiculous reasons that the real ambrosia salad never did it for me was because it reminded me of cream based summer salads that I didn’t enjoy – like potato salad and macaroni salad. Yes, of course I know this sounds idiotic, because the ambrosia salad is mostly sweet and not mayo-based. But the appearance would instantly turn me off.

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With the parfait, it’s layered sweetly and barely mixes together. I find it so much more appealing! See also: I’m a crazy person.

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Now isn’t this just the cutest dessert? I know it’s not real ambrosia, but I sort of want to add some pound cake in there. I mean, we probably should. Yes. Definitely. For sure.

ambrosia whipped yogurt fruit parfaits I

Ambrosia Whipped Yogurt Fruit Parfaits

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  • 1 cup chopped pineapple
  • 1 cup mandarin oranges drained from any juice or syrup
  • 1/2 cup maraschino cherries plus a few with stems on for topping
  • 1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • 1/4 cup flaked unsweetened coconut
  • 1/3 cup mini marshmallows
  • whipped yogurt cream
  • 1 1/4 cups cold heavy cream
  • 3/4 cups vanilla or plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • In a bowl, stir together the pineapple, oranges and cherries. Toss in half of the sweetened coconut and stir.
  • To make the yogurt whipped cream, add the cold heavy cream to the bowl of your electric mixer. Using the whisk attachment, beat it on high speed until stiff peaks form and you have whipped cream. Add in the yogurt and vanilla extract, and beat on medium speed, scraping down the sides if needed, until combined. Stir in the rest of the shredded coconut and the flaked coconut.
  • Layer the yogurt cream, the marshmallows and fruit mixture into four small jars or glasses. I like to do two or three alternating layers. Top it off with a cherry and an extra sprinkle of coconut if desired.

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ambrosia whipped yogurt fruit parfaits I

Maraschino cherries for life!