Well, it’s that time of year again, with cookouts, parties and other outside gatherings of some kind or another to attend…. This original recipe is perfect – and perfectly easy – to make and take along for such occasions (although, after you taste it, you won’t want to share, so make extra to keep at home).

I developed this recipe after analyzing the tried and true, ever-popular take-along…Waldorf salad. Don’t get me wrong, I still like Waldorf salad, but I wanted to think of a way to make it that’s different and yet still very tasty. The only thing I knew for certain was that I wanted it to contain desiccated coconut (because coconut is so phenomenally, spectacularly, incredibly good for you – not to mention yummy), but I still had a lot of blanks to fill-in. Since coconut was being incorporated into the recipe, I thought it should have an “island” theme (hence, the name), so banana cream pudding was perfect! Then, I thought of the available canned fruits that would be considered tropical, and the recipe that follows is ultimately what I came up with. I hope you like it as much as I do!


13.5-ounce can of coconut milk
½ to 1 cup of desiccated coconut (the rubbery, sweetened stuff won’t work with this recipe)
3.4-ounce box of banana cream pudding
20-ounce can of crushed pineapple, with most of the liquid drained
24.5-ounce jar of mandarin oranges, drained
8-ounce container of Extra Creamy Cool Whip
~ Optional Ingredients ~
Finely chopped macadamia nuts or pecans
Miniature marshmallows


1. Pour about ½ can of coconut milk into a medium-sized mixing bowl.
2. Add the desiccated coconut and mix well with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon.
3. Add the dry pudding and again, mix well.
4. Add the crushed pineapple and mix well. Note: If you’re going to add the optional ingredients, now would be the time to do it.
5. Add mandarin oranges and gently mix.
6. Fold-in the Extra Creamy Cool Whip, and chill for at least two hours.


Note: If you deviate from the ingredients (i.e., use pineapple tidbits instead of crushed or use regular instead of extra creamy Cool Whip), I can’t guarantee the finished product – it may not set as well or taste as good.

For a printer-friendly copy of this recipe, CLICK HERE.

2 Responses to “Island Ambrosia”

  1. raquel.erecipe Says:

    wow this look so creamy I love it…I love creamy and sweet but as of now I am cutting eating sweets for 2 tablespoon taste only =)

  2. CEB Says:

    This isn’t actually that sweet. In fact, I wanted something “light” for hot weather, so I purposely omitted the mini-marshmallows. The desiccated coconut is unsweetened, as is the coconut milk. The pineapple is packed in juice, as is the mandarin oranges. I think adding the coconut milk cuts a lot of sugar from the pudding mix and the Cool Whip, so what you’re left with is a lightly sweetened dessert that won’t leave you feeling bloated in the heat. I think you’d be safe doubling your two tablespoons ;-)

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