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

This torte is a delicious and easy-to-bake dessert 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, it’s called the Ritz Torte, and the recent recipe shared on TikTok by Justin McElroy (@hoopsmcelroy) has been viewed more than 2 million times. It’s unclear, whether this dessert is actually meant to be 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, doesn’t it? 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 to use for pie crusts and more. Here, the crackers are smashed into crumbs and then 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 and you’ve got 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)
  • Directions

Step 1: Mix egg whites and sugar

In a mixer, combine the egg whites and beat. You’re just mixing, don’t whip into a meringue. Add in 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 all into crumbs. Add the chopped pecans, baking powder, and vanilla. Close 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 8×8 baking pan. Add the mixture to the baking pan, using a spatula to spread it in out evenly and smoothly. Bake for 25-30 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 you’d like. 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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