What in the world is a dessert salad, you may ask?

Have you ever had a dessert salad? If you’re from the midwest, chances are you’ve come across some variation of a dessert-like salad that mixes a combination of savory, sweet, salty, and/or creamy elements that you wouldn’t normally expect to see in a “salad.” If you have yet to experience a midwestern dessert salad (or have yet to have a good experience with one) you are in for a treat with my Cousin Lynn’s Famous Taffy Apple Salad recipe. 


This taffy apple salad is easy to make and a family favorite!

Whenever my cousin Lynn comes out to the farm, everyone gets excited to eat her famous taffy apple salad that she will undoubtedly be bringing! This family favorite is really more of a dessert salad, and those of you who know me know that I love sweets and fully subscribe to the dessert-first, everything-else-second approach! Cousin Lynn’s Famous Taffy Apple Salad recipe is downright delicious and easy to make. The combinations of textures and flavors all come together with the gooey, custardy, and creamy dressing in a way that is just irresistible!

What types of apples are best for a taffy apple salad?

You can basically use any kind of apple that you have handy (except Red Delicious, which are a bit too bitter, in my opinion!) It’s a great dish to make for any holiday meal or family potluck. You can substitute apple cider vinegar for the white vinegar that the recipe calls for if you prefer, and can choose to use either salted or unsalted peanuts depending on if you like the combination of salty and sweet flavors or not. The key is preparing the pineapple/marshmallow mixture and dressing sauce the day before. Refrigerating them overnight gives them the time they need to set up and will give them the right consistency. 

I know the ingredients may sound like a strange combination, but don’t knock it until you try it! If you have kids, they love helping make this recipe as much as they love eating it. It’s crisp, sweet, crunchy, and refreshing. 

Yield: 8
Cousin Lynn’s Famous Taffy Apple Salad Recipe

Cousin Lynn’s Famous Taffy Apple Salad Recipe

My cousin Lynn’s taffy apple salad is a favorite in my family. With crisp, fresh apples, crunchy peanuts, and a sweet, gooey taffy-like dressing made of pineapple and marshmallows, both kids and adults love this recipe. It may even make you want to eat your dessert first!


  • 1 can (20-ounce) pineapple pieces with juice
  • 2 cups miniature marshmallows
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg, well beaten
  • ½ tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 container (16-ounce) Cool Whip ™
  • 1½ cups roasted Spanish peanuts, skins removed
  • 2 cups red apples, cored and diced (keep peels on)


  1. 1. Drain the pineapple, saving the juice. In a large bowl, combine the pineapple pieces and marshmallows. Cover the mixture with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  2. 2. To make the taffy dressing, whisk together the flour, reserved pineapple juice, sugar, vinegar, and the beaten egg in a saucepot. Cook the mixture on medium heat, whisking constantly until it thickens. Transfer the sauce to a mixing bowl and allow it to cool to room temperature. Cover the cooled mixture with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight.
  3. 3. Two hours before serving, add the cooked and chilled dressing to the pineapple marshmallow mixture. Add the Cool Whip, peanuts, and diced red apples, mix everything together well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 more hours before serving.
Did you make this recipe?
Tag @blameitonbiscotti on instagram and hashtag it # desserttime
September 28, 2022 — Mary DiSomma