Snickers Salad is packed with cream cheese mousse, tart apples, and snickers that combine to make the ultimate side dish recipe perfect for summer potlucks, BBQs, holidays, or any family gathering.
This dessert-style salad recipe also known as Caramel Apple Salad is in the same family as Ambrosia salad, or my Orange Cream Salad recipe. It’s a sweet, unexpected side dish that is a midwest-style classic. It’s the kind of recipe that you find in your Grandma’s recipe box that was served at a 4th of July picnic, or a church potluck, back when dessert salads were very popular. When you bring this to your next event, be prepared to share the recipe with everyone who tries it!
What Is Snickers Salad?
Like I said, it’s both a dessert and side dish. Chopped Snickers candy bars are combined with a light and airy cream cheese mousse made with cream cheese and whipped topping. Add to that you have tart apples and miniature marshmallows, making it a true texture delight. You keep it chilled until you’re ready to serve it, making it a great make ahead recipe! Some even top it with more caramel sauce, and call it Caramel Apple Salad!
But…Are Snickers Healthy?
The easy answer is no, not really. This isn’t a “healthy” salad recipe. This is absolutely a dessert salad. I mean don’t get me wrong, Snickers are delicious, but I would never even allude to the fact that there are health benefits to this salad.
How To Make Snickers Salad:
There are only a few ingredients needed needed, with minimal prep work. The full ingredient list and printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this article.
Prep Your Ingredients: Peel and chop 2 Granny Smith apples and chop a bag of fun sized Snickers bars into bite size pieces.
Make the Cream Cheese Mousse: Using an electric hand mixer or in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment mix cream cheese and powdered sugar until it’s smooth. With the mixer on low or with a rubber spatula fold in the Cool Whip until just combined.
Assemble: Stir in the chopped apples, chopped Snickers, and mini marshmallows until evenly combined. Chill the salad for at least an hour before serving.
Snickers Caramel Apple Salad Recipe Tips:
This is fairly foolproof recipe, but there are a few little tips I have learned over the years making it:
Don’t over-mix the cream cheese/powdered sugar mixture with the Cool Whip when adding it in. Just fold it in gently or even using the paddle attachment a few times will work. If you whip the Cool Whip too much into the cream cheese it will lose its airy texture.
Don’t leave the apples out too long after they have been peeled and chopped. Apples oxidize the longer they sit, and you don’t want to add brown apples into the salad.
I use an 11- ounce bag of the fun sized Snickers, but you can absolutely use full sized bars, you just need about 11 ounces!
Chop up the apples and the Snickers the same size. It’s great if they are about the same size as the mini marshmallows, or as close as you can get them, making everything in the salad the same size bite!
What Are the Best Apples For This Recipe?
Honestly you can use just about any kind of apple in this recipe, but I prefer using Granny Smith as I have noted a few times. Granny Smith are firm and tart, and the tartness breaks through the sweetness of this recipe with a nice contrast. But Pink Lady apples, Fuji, Galas, Honeycrisp, or Braeburn apples are also good choices. I would avoid Golden Delicious though, as they just aren’t as crisp!
Can You Make Snickers Salad the Night Before?
The answer is yes and you SHOULD make this salad recipe ahead. It is best when it has had time to chill and firm up! You don’t have to make it the night before, but it will need at least an hour in the fridge before serving.
How To Serve Snickers Apple Salad:
There are so many ways to serve this. Here are a few of my favorite:
As a side dish at a BBQ. With ribs, a burger, or grilled chicken, this is a great family-style side dish that everyone will enjoy.
On your holiday table. I know this may sound crazy, but serve this on Thanksgiving and see how your guests react! It’s a nice break from the expected sides on a holiday buffet that everyone will appreciate.
On its own. The times I have made this recipe and had leftovers, I have been know to enjoy a small bowl for dessert…I’ve even been known to drizzle a little caramel sauce on top!
I have seen lots of version of this easy salad recipe over the years and it really is open to adaptations. Here are some that I think would be great:
Another kind of candy bar: Milky Way or even Twix could be really good!
Skip the cream cheese and prepare a package of Instant pudding mix instead. Chill it and then fold the Cool Whip in, making it a pudding mousse. Then follow the rest of the recipe by mixing the candy, apples, and marshmallows into the pudding mixture and chilling. This is great because you can use an instant vanilla pudding mix or butterscotch pudding which would both be delicious!
Skip the Cool Whip and make homemade whipped cream instead! Pour 8 ounces of heavy whipping cream and 1/4 cup of powdered sugar into the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat on high until stiff peaks form.
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