How to Make a Ritz Torte: The Easy and Delicious Appalachian Dessert

Hello, Good News! If you’re looking for a simple and tasty dessert that will impress your guests, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll show you how to make a Ritz Torte, an Appalachian classic that uses Ritz crackers, pecans, and whipped topping to create a heavenly treat.

A Ritz Torte is a type of cake that has a crunchy and nutty base, topped with a creamy and fluffy layer of whipped cream. It’s also known as Ritz Tort or Ritz Cracker Torte, depending on the spelling preference. This dessert is popular in the Appalachian region of the United States, where it originated as a way to use up leftover crackers and nuts. It’s easy to make, requires no special equipment, and can be customized with different toppings and flavors.

What You Need to Make a Ritz Torte

To make a Ritz Torte, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 26 Ritz crackers (two small sleeves)
  • 1 cup of chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 tub of whipped topping (such as Cool Whip)
  • Chocolate shavings or sprinkles (optional)

You’ll also need an 8×8 inch baking pan, a mixer, a plastic bag, a rolling pin, a spatula, and a grater.

How to Make a Ritz Torte Step by Step

Step 1: Preheat the oven and prepare the pan

Preheat your oven to 350°F (177°C) and spray some oil on your baking pan. You can also line the pan with parchment paper for easier removal.

Step 2: Beat the egg whites and sugar

In a large bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until they form soft peaks. Gradually add the sugar and continue beating until the mixture is thick and glossy.

Step 3: Crush the crackers and mix with the nuts

Put the Ritz crackers in a plastic bag and use a rolling pin to crush them into fine crumbs. Add the chopped pecans, baking powder, and vanilla extract to the bag and shake well to combine.

Step 4: Fold the cracker mixture into the egg mixture

Gently fold the cracker mixture into the egg mixture with a spatula until well incorporated. Be careful not to overmix or deflate the batter.

Step 5: Bake the torte for 25 to 30 minutes

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly with a spatula. Bake the torte for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden and firm on the edges. Let it cool completely on a wire rack before adding the topping.

Step 6: Spread the whipped topping and garnish with chocolate

Once the torte is cooled, spread the whipped topping over it with a spatula. You can use as much or as little as you like. Sprinkle some chocolate shavings or sprinkles on top for extra flavor and decoration. Cut into squares and enjoy!

Variations and Tips for Making a Ritz Torte

A Ritz Torte is a versatile dessert that can be adapted to your preferences and occasions. Here are some ideas and tips for making it even more delicious:

  • You can use different types of nuts instead of pecans, such as walnuts, almonds, or pistachios.
  • You can add some cinnamon, nutmeg, or lemon zest to the cracker mixture for extra flavor.
  • You can use different types of whipped topping instead of Cool Whip, such as whipped cream, cream cheese frosting, or mascarpone cheese.
  • You can use different types of chocolate instead of shavings or sprinkles, such as chocolate chips, chunks, or drizzles.
  • You can add some fresh fruits, such as strawberries, blueberries, or bananas, on top of the whipped topping for a refreshing touch.
  • You can make mini Ritz Tortes by using muffin tins instead of an 8×8 inch pan. Just adjust the baking time accordingly.
  • You can store the Ritz Torte in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw it in the fridge before serving.

A Comparison Table of Ritz Torte and Other Similar Desserts

FAQs About Ritz Torte Recipe

What is the difference between a torte and a cake?

A torte is a type of cake that usually has multiple layers and is made with little or no flour. Instead of flour, tortes use other ingredients to provide structure and texture, such as ground nuts, breadcrumbs, or crackers. Tortes are often denser and richer than cakes.

Why is it called Ritz Torte?

It is called Ritz Torte because it uses Ritz crackers as one of the main ingredients. Ritz crackers are round, buttery, and slightly salty crackers that are popular in the US. They add a crunchy and nutty flavor to the torte.

Where did Ritz Torte originate?

Ritz Torte originated in the Appalachian region of the US, which covers parts of 13 states from New York to Alabama. It is a traditional dessert that was created as a way to use up leftover crackers and nuts. It is also known as Ritz Tort or Ritz Cracker Torte.

How do you crush Ritz crackers?

The easiest way to crush Ritz crackers is to put them in a plastic bag and use a rolling pin to smash them into fine crumbs. You can also use a food processor or a blender to pulse them into crumbs.

How do you whip egg whites?

To whip egg whites, you need a large bowl, an electric mixer or a whisk, and some patience. Start by separating the egg whites from the yolks and making sure there is no trace of yolk or fat in the whites. Then beat the whites on high speed until they form soft peaks that curl over when you lift the beaters. Gradually add sugar if needed and continue beating until they form stiff peaks that stand up straight when you lift the beaters.

How do you make whipped topping?

To make whipped topping, you need heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla extract. Chill a large bowl and a whisk or an electric mixer in the freezer for 10 minutes. Then pour the cream into the bowl and beat on high speed until soft peaks form. Add sugar and vanilla to taste and beat until stiff peaks form. Be careful not to overbeat or the cream will turn into butter.

Can you use other types of crackers instead of Ritz?

Yes, you can use other types of crackers instead of Ritz for this recipe. You can try graham crackers, saltine crackers, or digestive biscuits for different flavors and textures. Just make sure to adjust the amount of sugar and salt accordingly.

Can you make Ritz Torte ahead of time?

Yes, you can make Ritz Torte ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator or freezer. However, it is best to add the whipped topping and the chocolate just before serving, as they may lose their texture and flavor over time.

How do you cut and serve Ritz Torte?

To cut and serve Ritz Torte, you need a sharp knife, a spatula, and a serving plate. Run the knife under hot water and wipe it dry. Then cut the torte into even squares and use the spatula to lift them out of the pan. Transfer them to a serving plate and enjoy!

What are some other desserts that use Ritz crackers?

Some other desserts that use Ritz crackers are:

  • Ritz Cracker Pie: A pie made with Ritz crackers, eggs, sugar, butter, vanilla, and nuts, baked in a pie crust and topped with whipped cream.
  • Ritz Cracker Peanut Butter Cups: A candy made with Ritz crackers, peanut butter, chocolate chips, and butter, melted and layered in a muffin tin.
  • Ritz Cracker Ice Cream Sandwiches: A frozen treat made with Ritz crackers, ice cream, and chocolate chips, sandwiched together and dipped in melted chocolate.


We hope you enjoyed this article on how to make a Ritz Torte, the easy and delicious Appalachian dessert. This is a great recipe to try if you love Ritz crackers, pecans, and whipped cream. It’s simple, versatile, and satisfying. Give it a try and let us know what you think!

If you liked this article, don’t forget to check out our other articles on similar topics. We have plenty of recipes, tips, and tricks for you to explore. Thanks for reading and happy baking!

Dessert Ingredients Origin Features
Ritz Torte Ritz crackers, pecans, egg whites, sugar, whipped topping, chocolate Appalachia, USA A crunchy and nutty base topped with a creamy and fluffy layer of whipped cream and chocolate
Graham Cracker Cake Graham crackers, butter, sugar, eggs, milk, baking powder, vanilla, whipped cream, fruit USA A moist and tender cake made with graham cracker crumbs and layered with whipped cream and fruit
Salted Crackers Cake Salted crackers, butter, brown sugar, chocolate chips, nuts USA A crispy and chewy cake made with salted crackers and caramelized with butter and brown sugar, topped with melted chocolate and nuts
Biscuit Cake Digestive biscuits, butter, golden syrup, cocoa powder, chocolate, nuts, raisins UK A rich and decadent cake made with crushed biscuits and chocolate mixture, studded with nuts and raisins
Torta de Galletas Marie biscuits, condensed milk, evaporated milk, eggs, vanilla, lemon juice, whipped cream, fruit Mexico A light and refreshing cake made with layers of Marie biscuits soaked in a milky custard and topped with whipped cream and fruit

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