Take your ambrosia salad to the next level with the Supperland recipe

Dec. 12 is National Ambrosia Day. The dish actually has North Carolina roots.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QC Life) - Supperland executive chef Chris Rogienski is joining QC@3 in the kitchen to make ambrosia salad.

Dec. 12 is National Ambrosia Day. The dish actually has North Carolina roots. The earliest written reference of the Southern Christmas traditional dish, ambrosia, first appeared in a cookbook from chef Maria Massey Barringer, who was living in Concord at the time.

Here’s everything you need to know to make your own ambrosia salad.


  • 16 oz. frozen dark, sweet cherries
  • 1 oz. Luxardo Maraschino liqueur
  • 2 cups brown sugar simple syrup (1 part water heated until combined with 1 part brown sugar)
  • 2 oz. brandy
  • 2 oz. coconut flakes
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 tbsp. maple syrup
  • ¼ tsp. flake or kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 4 oz. pecans, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp. flake or kosher salt
  • 6 oz. chopped pineapple
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 100 grams powdered sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 oz. mini marshmallows


  1. For the brandied cherries, place cherries in a quart container with maraschino liqueur and brandy. Pour brown sugar simple syrup over the top. Seal and let marinate overnight or two days.
  2. For the toasted coconut, lay out coconut flakes on a sheet tray with parchment paper. Sprinkle with olive oil, maple syrup, and salt. Cook in oven at 325°F, flipping after first 4 minutes and flipping every 2 minutes until toasted, up to about 10 mins. Don’t take your eyes off them after 8 minutes—these things can burn fast. The coconut should be slightly toasted and not dark brown. Allow it to cool and it will get a delightful crunchy texture (when you first pull them from the oven, they’ll be slightly chewy, so wait a bit.)
  3. For the brown sugar toasted pecans, place butter and pecan pieces in a pan. Slightly toast them for 8 minutes on medium heat. Add brown sugar. Cook down until all melted together. Add a touch of water (about ½ tbsp.). Cook down for another 2–3 minutes. Move to parchment-covered sheet tray and place in oven at 350°F for 3–5 minutes until toasted. Salt to taste.
  4. For the pineapple, grill over fire or on a high-heat grill pan 5–7 minutes and then dice. Set aside.
  5. For the cream base, combine cream cheese and powdered sugar in mixer with whisk attachment. Whisk until peaks form, about 1 minute. Remove from mixer bowl and place in large metal bowl.
  6. Add heavy cream to the clean mixer bowl. Mix until stiff peaks form. Add whipped cream cheese and powdered sugar mixture back into the bowl, and whip everything together for a few seconds to get it all incorporated. Move mixture to a large metal bowl.
  7. Stir in toasted coconut, roasted pecans, grilled pineapple, and marshmallows. Serve in bowls, and top each serving with brandied cherries.

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