Kiev Cake – Hazelnut Meringue, Cherry, Russian Buttercream

Kiev Cake consists of a yellow sponge cake with hazelnut meringue, Russian buttercream, and tart cherries. A sloppy, yet wonderfully delicious, take on the traditional Ukrainian Kiev Cake.

Kiev cake on a platter topped with chocolate, half meringues, and hazelnut.


Kiev Cake Ingredients:

  • 1 recipe Yellow Sponge Cake
  • 1.5 recipe Russian Buttercream
  • 1 recipe Meringue Cookies
  • 1 cup roasted hazelnuts chopped
  • 1/2 cup tart cherries frozen or canned, juice drained

Soaking Syrup

Kiev cake with a slice missing to see inside, topped with chocolate, half meringues, and hazelnuts on a platter.


Make the Meringue with Hazelnuts

  1. Using a pastry bag and a large French star piping tip, pipe the meringue onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Half of the meringues should be sprinkled with as much hazelnut as you can get to stick. The top of the cake will be decorated with the meringue without the hazelnut sprinkle. Sprinkle the hazelnuts over all of the meringues if desired.
  2. Dry for 2 hours at 225°F on the center rack. Allow 30 minutes in the oven to cool before removing and allowing to cool fully.

Assemble the Kiev Cake

  1. Split the prepared, cooled cake into two even layers horizontally.
  2. On a serving tray or board, dab a dab of Russian Buttercream icing. Place the top layer of the cake, top side down, on top of the bottom layer and press to attach.
  3. For the exterior of the cake, set aside roughly 1.5 cups of buttercream.
  4. Half of the soaking mixture should be sprinkled over the cake, and roughly 2/3 cup buttercream should be put on top.
  5. Dip the hazelnut-topped meringue into the buttercream, gathering as much as will stick to them, then glue them to the cake.
  6. Continue dipping and placing the meringue mounds in cream until the majority of the gaps are filled. If you need to fill tiny spaces, crumble meringue bits.
  7. Tip: Using a cake ring makes assembling this cake a lot easier, so if you have one, use it. If you don’t, the cake won’t be as even, but it’ll still be OK. Adjust the ring around the cake and tighten it to use it. On top of the meringue, scatter the cherries and the remaining hazelnuts. Cherries are an optional ingredient; use them or leave them out as desired.Soak the cut side of the second half of the sponge cake in the remaining soaking liquid. Spread the remaining Russian Buttercream on top (not the one that we will use for the outside).
  8. Place this cake layer on top of the cherries, frosted side down, and push down with your hand to attach. Refrigerate the mixture for at least one hour before using.
  9. To release the ring from the cake, run a knife around the interior of it. Cover the cake with the 1.5 cups of buttercream we set aside earlier, smoothing out the edges as much as possible.

Make & Pour the ganache

  1. 3 tablespoons boiling heavy cream, poured over 3 tablespoons chocolate chips or chopped chocolate Allow for 2 minutes of resting time. Stir until the mixture is completely smooth. Allow to cool until a pourable consistency is achieved.
  2. Spread the ganache over the top of the cake with a spatula until it runs down the edges.


In a half moon shape, top the cake with the remaining meringues. If desired, top with extra chopped hazelnuts.


Before serving, chill the cake for at least 4 hours. It’s best if you eat it within 24 hours of putting it together.

Serving suggestion

Serve by dipping a long thin knife into hot water, wiping it clean, and slicing. After each cut, repeat the process.

Recipe Notes

When making this cake follow this order of preparation:

  1. Make the Yellow Sponge Cake first
  2. Make the Meringue (follow adjustments below)
  3. Make the Russian Buttercream Make the Syrup
  4. Assemble the Cake & Refrigerate
  5. Make the Ganache
  6. Cover the cake in frosting.
  7. Pour the Ganache on top.
  8. Top the cake with Meringue.
  9. Refrigerate
A slice of Kiev cake on a blue plate topped with meringue.

Source: Let the Baking Begin

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