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Christmas Fruit Salad

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A vibrant and wonderfully aromatic Christmas fruit salad with exotic fruit like persimmons, pineapple, and mandarins.

Winter fruit salad

An aromatic winter or Christmas fruit salad full of flavorful fruit like persimmons, papaya or apples, clementines, grapes or kiwis, lychees, or whatever other fruit you choose to have.

An easy Christmas dessert, light and delicious, perfect after a heavier Christmas lunch or dinner.

Winter Fruit Salad with Cinnamon Star Anise Dressing

What fruit to use?

  • Ideally, any kind of exotic, winter fruit.
  • What I always use are persimmons – I actually never make this salad if I cannot find any persimmons, I adore them.
  • I also use clementines or mandarins, one or two kiwis, and some lychees (either fresh or canned is fine).
  • The rest changes according to what I find or what I feel like eating. If I can get papaya, then I buy papaya, if I cannot find I take apples instead.
  • Physalis is always great, but not always available. I add them when I have them. If not, I make this Christmas fruit salad using more grapes or more clementines.
  • Or pineapple, if you can get a nice and sweet one, then pineapple is always a great choice!
Winter Fruit Salad with Cinnamon Star Anise Dressing

Fruit salad dressing

The dressing I used was some leftover from the Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pomelo and Cinnamon that I had made the day before, one of Yotam Ottolenghi’s wonderful recipes from Plenty More. (Amazon affiliate link)

He suggested to use the leftover marinade for a fruit salad and, obediently, I did. And it was absolutely fantastic.

Making dressing for a fruit salad might sound like too much work. After all, the fruit is always sweet and aromatic and a simple fruit salad doesn’t necessarily require any kind of dressing. Most of the time, I can get away with just sprinkling a little sugar on top or adding a little elderflower or mint syrup to the salad.

But do take the extra 3 or 4 minutes to make this special dressing, you will love it! It is so spicy and aromatic and fits everything so perfectly.

And it really takes only minutes to make: just bring a tiny amount of sugar, water, cinnamon stick, and star anise to a boil (1-2 minutes), dissolve the sugar for 1 minute, and add the lemon juice. That’s it! And it is perfect! (Amazon affiliate links)

Winter Fruit Salad with Cinnamon Star Anise Dressing

More winter desserts

HOMEMADE RAFFAELLO COCONUT BALLS – These Raffaello truffles or 3 ingredient coconut balls would make an excellent addition to any Christmas present.

CHOCOLATE CRISPIES WITH CORNFLAKES AND CARAMEL – Amazing chocolate crispies made with caramel, cornflakes, and hazelnuts, these chocolate squares would make a wonderful homemade Christmas gift. 

APPLE TIRAMISU – Creamy and delicious apple tiramisu. A wonderful applesauce dessert with ladyfingers, mascarpone, cinnamon, and cream.

MOIST APPLE AND CINNAMON CAKE – Probably your new favorite easy apple cake recipe.

YOGURT BOMB WITH BERRIES – Creamy strained yogurt and cream, topped with mixed berries, it cannot get any better or easier.


winter fruit salad with sugar syrup dressing in a glass
christmas fruit salad in a glass bowl

Christmas Fruit Salad

A vibrant and aromatic winter fruit salad perfect for Christmas. Full of exotic fruit like persimmons, lychees, and clementines and dressed in spicy sugar syrup and cinnamon dressing.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Desserts
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 13 minutes
Servings: 4 -6
Calories: 98kcal
Author: Adina


  • 50 g/ 1.8 oz/ ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 50 ml/ 1.7 fl.oz/ 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 star anise pods
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 medium papaya or 1-2 apples
  • 1 persimmon
  • 1 bunch of small seedless grapes or 2 kiwis
  • about 10 lychees
  • about 10 physalis
  • 2-3 small clementines


  • Bring the sugar, water, cinnamon, and star anise to a simmer and cook for 1 minute, until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and add 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Let cool down while preparing the fruit. When cool, remove the cinnamon stick and the star anise.
  • Peel, when necessary, and chop the fruit into bite-size pieces. Cut the clementine segments into 2 or 3 smaller pieces, depending on size. Everything should have roughly the same size.
  • Place everything into a nice glass bowl and mix gently with the cold dressing. Let the salad sit for about half an hour before serving.
  • Mix again and adjust the taste with some more lemon juice if necessary.


Serving: 1/6 of the salad | Calories: 98kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 1g | Sodium: 4mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 21g
Tried this Recipe? Pin it for Later!Mention @adinabeck or tag #WhereIsMySpoon!

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Recipe Rating


Monday 7th of May 2018

ahhh! I love all the fruits in this salad! Especially lychees and persimmon.

Angie@Angie's Recipes

Thursday 15th of February 2018

Fresh and good for you!