What Is a Ritz Torte? The Appalachian Dessert You’ll Be Obsessed With

Updated: Apr. 27, 2024

This Appalachian Ritz Torte is a delicious and easy-to-bake dessert recipe calling for Ritz crackers, pecans and Cool Whip.

One of the trendiest desserts of the moment is a humble creation of Ritz crackers, pecans, and Cool Whip. A regional favorite dish in Appalachia called the Ritz Torte, this recipe was shared on TikTok by Justin McElroy (@hoopsmcelroy) and has more than 2 million views.

It’s unclear whether this dessert gets spelled torte or tort, but it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that this old classic is getting a new life. “I’m preserving Appalachian history!” exclaims McElroy in his video.

What is a Ritz Torte?

Appalachian Ritz Torte made by Jason Wilson For Taste of HomeJason Wilson for Taste of Home

Sounds fancy, right? Well, the Ritz in the name isn’t referring to a luxury hotel, but rather Ritz crackers. Bakers already know that Ritz crackers are fantastic for pie crusts and more. Here, the crackers get smashed into crumbs, combined with pecans, baking powder, and vanilla, then baked.

The coup de grace comes after the torte cools after baking when you spread on a heaping amount of Cool Whip (or other whipped topping). Add grated or shaved chocolate to the top for a quick, easy, crowd-pleasing dessert.

How to Make a Ritz Torte


  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 26 Ritz crackers (two small sleeves)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tub of Cool Whip or similar whipped topping
  • Chocolate for grating (optional)


Step 1: Mix egg whites and sugar

In a mixer, combine the egg whites and beat. You’re just mixing, so don’t whip it into a meringue. Add the sugar and continue to beat until thick and creamy, but no peaks.

Step 2:  Make the crackers-and-nuts mixture and add it

Add Ritz crackers to a plastic storage bag and smash them into crumbs. Add the chopped pecans, baking powder and vanilla. Close the bag and shake until combined. Fold the cracker-and-pecan mixture into the beaten egg-whites-and-sugar mixture, until blended evenly.

Step 3: Put in a pan and bake it

Heat oven to 350° F. Spray oil into an 8×8 baking pan. Add the mixture to the baking pan, using a spatula to spread it out evenly and smoothly. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the edges have browned. Allow to fully cool.

Step 4: Spread on the whipped topping

With a spatula, add the whipped topping, spreading it evenly to cover the entire top of the torte. Grate chocolate on top for garnish if liked. Ready to serve immediately, or store in the fridge for later.

Don’t forget to check out our favorite Appalachian apple stack cake recipe.

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