Orange fluff comes together in a matter of minutes to create a dreamy dessert that is perfect for just about any occasion.
In our house, fluff desserts were always one of those sneaky mom desserts that packed in a little extra nutrition without you ever being the wiser. My mom’s recipe always included cottage cheese, meaning our sweet treats were actually packed full of protein.
She’d whip up fluff-style desserts to keep in the fridge for quick weeknight desserts. Since they’re super simple to make and require only a handful of ingredients, they were the perfect dessert recipe for a working mama with a busy schedule.
Although she made a variety of flavors from lemon to strawberry-banana to pineapple fluff, orange fluff has always been my favorite.
COTTAGE CHEESE…IN A DESSERT??
If you’re a fan of cottage cheese, you’re already on board here. If you aren’t sure yet, lemme convince you.
This orange fluff does not taste like cottage cheese – I promise! The key to this recipe is to make sure you puree the cottage cheese so it’s super smooth.
It adds some tanginess and a creamy texture to the dessert. All you’ll taste is creamy orange goodness.
There’s just something so perfect to me about a dessert that mimics my favorite ice cream – creamsicle – without a lot of effort. Total win, if you ask me. (It’s why I also love orange fruit dip.)
When I went away to college, I worked as a server at a local restaurant my sophomore year and actually saved up my tip money for a week to purchase an inexpensive food processor from Meijer. That way, I could have fluff anytime I wanted it.
That’s some serious fluff dedication, and tells you just how much I adore my mom’s sneaky orange fluff.
HOW TO MAKE MY MOM’S ORANGE FLUFF
Orange fluff is one of the easiest desserts you can make. It’s why Mom used to make it on a regular basis, but it’s delicious enough to add to any holiday dessert menu.
Ingredients you’ll need
This recipe uses 4 simple ingredients, plus 1 optional ingredient. To make this orange fluff, you’ll need:
- Cottage cheese: As I mentioned above, this adds some great protein, a bit of tanginess, and a creamy texture.
- Orange jell-o mix: Adds some sweetness and orange flavor throughout the fluff.
- Thawed whipped topping: Adds a fluffy texture. You can use Cool Whip or TruWhip, whichever you prefer. You could also use stabilized whipped cream frosting instead.
- Canned mandarin oranges: For pieces of sweet oranges in every bite!
If you want some additional texture and flavor, you can optionally add some miniature marshmallows as well. I think it’s delicious either way.
Making this recipe
Grab your food processor and puree the cottage cheese until it’s very smooth.
Place the pureed cottage cheese in a bowl and whisk in the dry jell-o mix. When that is thoroughly incorporated, use a rubber spatula to fold in the thawed whipped topping.
Fold in the mandarin oranges and the miniature marshmallows, if you are using them.
Cover the orange fluff and refrigerate it for at least 2 hours to thoroughly chill and allow the flavors to combine.
I like to serve mine with a dollop of whipped cream and some fresh orange slices for a pretty garnish.
Can I use fresh oranges instead of canned mandarin oranges?
Canned mandarin oranges are super convenient to use in this orange fluff because you don’t have to peel them, remove the membrane, etc.
If you want to use fresh oranges, you will need to supreme the oranges to remove the pith and the membrane – you don’t want any of that in your fluff!
Fresh oranges will also be slightly less sweet than mandarin oranges since mandarin oranges are packed in light syrup, so keep in mind that the final fluff may not be as sweet as the original recipe.
Can I make orange fluff ahead of time?
Yes! Since it needs to chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours, you can absolutely make it ahead of time.
It will stay good in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, so feel free to whip it up a day or two before you plan to serve it.
Can I freeze this orange fluff?
I don’t recommend freezing this fluff. The freezing and thawing process can affect the texture of cottage cheese, so you may find that the fluff ends up watery and not as fluffy and smooth after thawing.
Can I use other flavors of jello?
One of the best things about my mom’s fluff recipes is that you can swap out almost any flavor of jello and fruit for your own favorite flavor combinations.
For example, my pineapple fluff uses pineapple jello and canned pineapple.
If you love orange fluff but want to spice things up with a second flavor, mango or apricot jello would both pair well with the mandarin oranges.
- 16 ounces cottage cheese
- 2 boxes orange Jell-o mix 3 ounces each
- 16 ounces frozen whipped topping thawed
- 2 cans mandarin oranges 11 ounces each, drained and roughly chopped
- 2 cups miniature marshmallows optional
- Puree cottage cheese in a food processor until smooth.
- Transfer the pureed cottage cheese to a large bowl and whisk in the dry Jell-o mix until thoroughly incorporated.
- Use a rubber spatula to fold in the whipped topping until no streaks remain.
- Fold in mandarin oranges.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- If desired, serve topped with a dollop of whipped cream or whipped topping and fresh orange slices.