My friend Brenda's Ambrosia

This is a very easy recipe for Ambrosia, a dessert which frequented my Grandmother’s table after Sunday dinner for years when I was growing up. Every Sunday, my 6 Aunts and Uncles, their spouses and children (I was the oldest cousin of 19) would gather at my Grandmother’s in Philadelphia. My Grandmother was overall not a very good cook but many people contributed to our weekly meal (and she was better at desserts than main dishes. I can’t blame her for not loving cooking—she had 7 children including my mother)! I later obtained this recipe from my friend Brenda, and it takes me on a trip down memory lane each time I prepare and enjoy it. A little serving goes a long way.


  • 20 oz. fruit cocktail, or canned pineapples
  • 11 oz. mandarin oranges
  • 6 oz. vanilla pudding
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1 cup cool whip
  • 1 cup sour cream


  • bowl
  • spatula


  1. Whip pudding with all fruit syrups and blend together
  2. Add fruit, coconut, and marshmallows
  3. Fold in sour cream and cool whip
  4. Chill for at least 2 hours, or overnight

What you should know

Serves 8-10 people

Re: My friend Brenda's Ambrosia

Jessica, thank you for this trip down memory lane. Just reading your recipe makes me feel like a kid again. I’m going to take your ambrosia to my next dinner party.

Re: My friend Brenda's Ambrosia