Dornbusch Special

dornbusch_special Ever since I can remember, we’ve had a whipped cream and fruit dish at every holiday meal. The dish goes by many names and has many variations, but in our extended family, it’s Dornbusch Special.

Grandpa Dornbusch taught my mom how to make it, and it was one of the first things I learned how to make. It’s pretty easy. All you need is some kind of fruit and some kind of whipped topping. That’s it.

Every branch of the family makes it slightly different. You can make it as plain or as fancy as you like. Many versions have bananas in them, but my spouse hates bananas, so we leave them out. You can add fresh fresh fruit or nuts. You can add coconut or marshmallows. If you’re vegan, feel free to use a non-dairy topping instead of the whipped cream. You can add as much fruit cocktail or as little as you like. It all depends on you.

I prefer a simple version, so I thought I would record the recipe I use for my own holiday meals. When we were kids, we fought over the cherries in the fruit cocktail. These days, we include maraschino cherries to eliminate the mushy cherry fight.


  • Sweetened whipped cream
  • 2 30 oz. cans fruit cocktail
  • 1 small jar stemless maraschino cherries


  1. Drain the fruit cocktail and the cherries.
  2. Add the drained fruit cocktail to a bowl.
  3. Fold in the whipped cream.
  4. Serve fresh. Leftovers keep in the refrigerator, at most, about two days.

NOTE: This post is a part of an effort to document as many family recipes as I can remember.

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