Holiday Apple Waldorf Salad With Gelatin – A Mid-Century Christmas Recipe Test

Posted on Dec 11 2013 - 5:00am by RetroRuth

Remember a few years ago when someone packaged little chocolate covered things and marketed them as reindeer poop? Remember how hilarious everyone thought it was? Well, I think might have made the next best thing.

It’s snowman poop.


No wait. That’s not it.

Oh yes, that’s right.  This is Holiday Waldorf Salad!  With Gelatin!


4.5 from 2 reviews
Holiday Apple Waldorf Salad With Gelatin
  • 1 pkg red gelatin
  • 1 pkg green gelatin
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 pkg cream cheese
  • 1 cup diced apples, unpared
  • 1 T salad dressing
  • 1 cup chopped nuts
  • 1 cup diced pineapple
  • 1 cup diced marshmallows
  1. Prepare each gelatin separately and chill until set.
  2. Whip together cream, cream cheese and salad dressing until very thick.
  3. Cut gelatin into cubes and fold all remaining ingredients into whipped mixture.
  4. Serve immediately!


Much better, right? That makes it a lot less disgusting.

Seriously, though, this started out so promising. Tom even walked by and was happy while I was doing the prep. He was happy!


“I love pineapple and marshmallows together.”

And, like a fool, I said, “I know, right? This one is going to be awesome.”

Which is pretty much the stupidest thing you can say when you are making a mid-century dish. That and “Pfft. Who cares about food poisoning?” I pretty much jinxed us right there.


See? Isn’t it lovely? If I just would have stopped there, everything would have been great. But then I added the gelatin cubes, which I SWEAR were set.

Then the whole thing started…melting.

And melting.


This was taken only a few minutes after stirring in the gelatin. You can see things already starting to break down.


This was taken about two minutes after the first photo. I had to step away for a moment to see what a crying baby wanted, and when I came back, this was what greeted me.  A disgusting, melty mess.

Hence, snowman poop.

“What in God’s name happened to this?”

“I have no idea. You tell me, you’re the chemist.”

“Whatever. Just give it to me.”

Tom TastesIMG_4418

“Texture’s strange.”

“Oh, you think?”

“Other than that, it tastes okay.”

The Verdict: Okay, But Looks Gross

From the Tasting Notes:

This had the savory/sweet flavor of a gelatin salad, not a dessert. It tasted like apple, pineapple, marshmallow and Miracle Whip. The Miracle Whip flavor was actually surprisingly strong. Not horrible, but NOT a dessert. Also, very strange texture on this one. Not sure exactly what the problem was, since the basis for this is the classic stained glass gelatin. Maybe it was the Miracle Whip, maybe it was the apples, or the pineapple, but in any case this thing was a goopy mess about 10 minutes after folding it together. Maybe the base mixture should have had some gelatin in it too, and been partially set before the gelatin cubes were folded in. If you are going to serve this one, make sure you stir it together at the last possible second and then encourage everyone to eat it quickly, before it melts away.

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I love everything retro, vintage, mid-century, kitsch and all things atomic! A 21st century housewife just trying to fit the 50's. I have a passion for vintage recipes and an enormous vintage cookbook collection that I keep testing, even though by now I should know better. Creator of Mid-Century Menu (, No Pattern Required (, and I Ate The 80's (

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23 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Ae December 11, 2013 at 8:20 am - Reply

    Oh! Make this for Christmas, but not for my house!

    • RetroRuth December 11, 2013 at 9:36 pm - Reply

      Ha! I wonder if anyone would eat it??

  2. Yinzerella December 11, 2013 at 8:51 am - Reply

    The baby looks so hopeful in the 2nd photo!

    • RetroRuth December 11, 2013 at 9:36 pm - Reply

      She is an optimist. I think she was hoping that Tom was going to spoon it into her mouth!

  3. Lassie December 11, 2013 at 9:25 am - Reply

    Oh, dear. This looks simply unfortunate. (but I don’t know where they get ‘waldorf salad’ in the title, the only thing this mess has in common with waldorf salad is the apples and nuts.)

  4. Erica December 11, 2013 at 12:38 pm - Reply

    Not snowman poop, snowman sneezes! That is a hilarious mess…

    I blame the pineapple for this, it’s got chemicals that cause gelatin to not set properly. (It’s why we kept telling Grandma to stop putting pineapple in her Jello salads so they’d stop running all over the place. She didn’t listen. They kept being mushy.)

    • RetroRuth December 11, 2013 at 9:38 pm - Reply

      I think canned pineapple is okay with gelatin, but I don’t think pineapple and Miracle Whip get along, canned or not!! Every time I make a salad with pineapple and Miracle Whip in it everything gets all crazy.

    • Tipsykit December 12, 2013 at 11:09 pm - Reply

      Raw pineapple will cause your jello to be runny, but cooked/canned is usually ok, heating destroys the enzyme that causes the jello destruction.

      • celia December 17, 2013 at 9:43 pm - Reply

        Yes, canned pineapple would not do this. Something else went…awry. AHAHAHA oh girl. Once I made a red white and blue jello mold for July 4th and I was SUPER STOKED about it’s adorableness. Til that stinker melted all the way down the counter. Sad. Still so much trauma.

  5. Beth December 11, 2013 at 12:40 pm - Reply

    I’m not a Cool-Whip person, but maybe that instead of whipping cream/cream cheese? And based on your experience, I’d top the concoction with the gelatin cubes instead of mixing them in. The baby is so adorable!!

    • RetroRuth December 11, 2013 at 9:43 pm - Reply

      Actually, I think that might work! Didn’t the original recipe for stained glass gelatin call for Dream Whip?

      And thanks! She is pretty cute, isn’t she?

  6. Meem December 11, 2013 at 1:11 pm - Reply

    I agree, the pineapple must have done something funny. Maybe no Miracle whip next time?? Will there be a next time???

  7. Dan December 11, 2013 at 1:43 pm - Reply

    Let’s be honest, we’re all thinking it . . . looks more like Walbarf Salad.

    • RetroRuth December 11, 2013 at 9:44 pm - Reply

      Yeah, pretty much.

  8. SnoKat December 11, 2013 at 2:15 pm - Reply

    If that is indeed snowman poop, he needs to see a gastroenterologist, STAT.

    How about swapping out the Miracle Whip (which I think is vile in just about everything) for sour cream or just leaving it out??

    • RetroRuth December 11, 2013 at 9:45 pm - Reply

      That is a good idea!

  9. Libby December 11, 2013 at 4:47 pm - Reply

    Okay, this is almost EXACTLY the same recipe I used for Waldorf Salad at Thanksgiving. Except no salad dressing, orange jello, and carrot instead of apples. Left out the nuts cause I don’t like nuts in my jello 🙂 And I didn’t mix mine up, but molded it all pretty like. I thought it was delicious, just like Nana’s, but Hubby hated it LOL Will be blogging about it within the next week, will send you the link….isn’t it funny how many THOUSANDS of variations of “Waldorf” there are? We so fancy! LOLOL

    • RetroRuth December 11, 2013 at 9:45 pm - Reply

      Awesome! Did you take a picture of it? Would love to see!

  10. Cindy December 11, 2013 at 6:29 pm - Reply

    Miracle Whip ingredients have changed a bit over the years. I’ve heard complaints of it getting watery in various salad recipes when it didn’t used to.

    • RetroRuth December 11, 2013 at 9:46 pm - Reply

      That’s kinda what I am thinking, too!

  11. Ruth December 15, 2013 at 4:20 pm - Reply

    My MIL used to make something similar that the family called “Calf Slobbers”, for obvious reasons! It had walnuts or pecans, and stirred all together with red and green jello squares and cool whip. Really very, very good!

  12. vanessa January 11, 2014 at 11:05 pm - Reply

    it sounds like ambrosia salad!

  13. Rachel February 3, 2015 at 4:20 pm - Reply

    Pineapple make gelatin unmold. That could have been the problem.

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