Friends and family are sure to enjoy this easy Filipino fruit salad recipe with cream cheese and condensed milk. It’s a Pinoy style dessert from the Philippines that whips up in minutes using canned fruits.
According to my mom, my grandmother didn’t do much cooking. However, there was a dessert that she liked to whip up often.
It should come as no surprise that the recipe is a breeze to make. That’s because she was super busy with six kids.
My mom shared the recipe with me and it’s super delicious. It’s a Filipino fruit salad with cream cheese and condensed milk that uses canned fruit.
It’s a little different than the standard young coconut buko salad with fruit because my grandmother added extra cream cheese. She loved the flavor and texture it adds to the treat.
It’s really a thick and rich dessert that takes almost no effort at all to make. It’s one of the most popular Filipino recipes because it’s so quick and easy to make.
If that’s you, may may want to check out some useful cooking tips for easy meal preparation. I like to make things as simple as possible.
This simple Asian dessert is made with only six ingredients! They are common foods so you may already have them in your kitchen.
The recipe uses two 8-ounce blocks of cream cheese. Although you can use reduced-fat, I recommend using the full-fat cheese for the best taste.
Sweetened Condensed Milk
To offset the tang in the cream cheese and make it creamier, sweetened condensed milk is mixed in. It also adds in a milky flavor.
The fruit salad comes together quickly by using canned fruits. I like to use fruit cocktail, mandarin oranges, and pineapples. However, you can use any types of fruits you like.
Adding coconut boosts the tropical flavor. Since there’s already sweetness from the fruit and canned milk, use unsweetened shredded dried coconut.
- Soften the cream cheese. The cheese needs to be soften so it blends in but you can do that quickly by microwaving it for about 25 seconds. Or just let it sit out at room temperature for one to two hours.
- Use popular Filipino fruits. Canned mangoes, lychee, rambutan, and palm fruit will give the salad a more tropical taste. You can even use young coconut meat strips or macapuno strings instead of the dried coconut for a more traditional style.
- Add some fresh fruit like sliced bananas or diced pineapple.
- Try it with table cream. Some recipes for buko salad from the Philippines use canned table cream with or without the cream cheese. You can replace 8-ounces of cream cheese with one 8-ounce can of table cream. Or replace all of the cream cheese with two 8-ounce cans of the cream.
- Freeze it. The fruit salad is super refreshing on a hot summer day when it’s served frozen! It will freeze hard so you’ll want to let it thaw about 15 minutes before scooping out into dishes unless you freeze it in single servings.
The process for making the Filipino fruit salad with cream cheese is super simple. It’s one of those dump and stir one bowl recipes. Just follow these simple steps!
- Add two blocks of cream cheese and a can of sweetened condensed milk into a large bowl. Combine with an electric mixer until smooth.
- Stir in the drained canned fruit and dried coconut with a spoon until the ingredients are well combined in the bowl.
That’s all there is to it!
Buko Salad Variations
You can serve the dessert immediately if you’d like. However, it tastes best when chilled so we like to put it in the refrigerator for a couple hours first.
However, you’ll often find us eating a few samples right after it’s done along with licking the mixing bowl clean.
It’s so delicious that you won’t be able to stop yourself. A lot of people think this Filipino fruit salad tastes a little like yogurt.
My grandmother never added coconut. But, my mother wanted it to be more like an ambrosia salad and the traditional young coconut salad.
Since my mom has gone low-carb, she no longer makes this tasty Pinoy dessert from the Philippines. Instead, she came up with a low-carb cheesecake salad made with berries as an alternative.
You can find that recipe on the Low Carb Yum website where my mother shares her keto friendly creations.
In my mother’s low-carb version, she uses heavy whipping cream and zero carb sweeteners to replace the sweetened condensed milk.
My mom’s favorite sweeteners to use are stevia powder and monk fruit powder. I’m still into consuming regular sugar, though.
Frequently Asked Questions About Fruit Salad Pinoy Style
If you have a question about this Filipino fruit salad with cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk recipe, check here first. I’ve answered many of the common questions below.
Can you freeze Filipino fruit salad?
Because it’s unbearably hot in the Philippines, many Filipinos like to store the salad in the freezer for a cool refreshing treat. If it’s too hard to scoop frozen, just let it sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes to soften.
What type of mixture is buko salad?
The traditional fruit salad served in the Philippines is buko salad. It’s usually a mixture of coconut (buko), mixed fruit, sugar palm, coconut gel (nata de coco), table cream, and condensed milk. The recipe I’ve shared is a modified version that my grandmother created.
How long does the fruit salad last?
The salad will keep for at least 5 days in the refrigerator and up to 3 months when frozen. But it’s so delicious that it likely won’t last that long!
Although I really love the Filipino buko salad, I’ve moved to a diet without gluten or dairy. So the following desserts have become my new favorites:
- My Dairy-Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe makes soft and chewy cookies just like the Tollhouse ones I used to eat as a kid.
- Dairy-Free Peanut Butter Cups have everything I love about Reese’s but without any questionable ingredients.
If you’ve moved to a low-carb eating plan, I recommend trying one of these low-carb treats instead:
- 3-Ingredient Keto Peanut Butter Cookies are one of the easiest cookies to make as you only need a few simple ingredients.
- Keto Carrot Cake is super easy to make and comes complete with a sugar-free cream cheese frosting.
- Keto Chocolate Avocado Mousse is rich and creamy without the need to add a lot of cream. In fact, you can use all coconut cream to make it without dairy!
Filipino Fruit Salad with Cream Cheese
- 16 ounces cream cheese softened
- 14 ounces canned sweetened condensed milk
- 60 ounces canned fruit cocktail drained
- 15 ounces canned mandarin orange drained
- 8 ounces canned pineapple drained
- 1 cup unsweetened dried coconut
- In large bowl, combine cream cheese and condensed milk with electric mixer until smooth.
- Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Refrigerate. Serve chilled.
First published on July 18, 2018. Post updated on April 14, 2021, with new photos and additional recipe information.