Kiev Cake – {Hazelnut Meringue, Cherry, Russian Buttercream}

Kiev Cake – Yellow Sponge Cake combined with Hazelnut Meringue, Russian Buttercream, and Tart Cherries. A very loose, but incredibly delicious interpretation of a classic Ukrainian Kiev Cake.

Kiev Cake - Yellow Sponge Cake combined with Hazelnut Meringue, Russian Buttercream and Tart Cherries. A very loose but incredibly delicious interpretation of a classic Ukrainian Cake | By Let the Baking Begin!

Original Kiev Cake 

I say loose because the original Kiev Cake, which was first made in Kiev in December of 1956, featured two nut filled meringue disks (Daquoise), sandwiched with some custard buttercream. That recipe was kept a secret to the bakery that produced it, and that is why people started to make ‘knock-offs’.

Kiev Cake - Yellow Sponge Cake combined with Hazelnut Meringue, Russian Buttercream and Tart Cherries. A very loose but incredibly delicious interpretation of a classic Ukrainian Cake | By Let the Baking Begin!

Or at least that is my theory, as there’s no other reason to call this cake, which barely resembles the original Kiev cake, a Kiev Cake. Are you confused yet? 😀

Kiev Cake - Yellow Sponge Cake combined with Hazelnut Meringue, Russian Buttercream and Tart Cherries. A very loose but incredibly delicious interpretation of a classic Ukrainian Cake | By Let the Baking Begin!

A homemade version of the Kiev Cake 

People at home made the cake with two layers of sponge cake, some kind of meringue and nuts in the middle, all sandwiched with Russian Buttercream.

Kiev Cake - Yellow Sponge Cake combined with Hazelnut Meringue, Russian Buttercream and Tart Cherries. A very loose but incredibly delicious interpretation of a classic Ukrainian Cake | By Let the Baking Begin!

This version of the knock-off Kiev Dake has deviated from the original knock off even further with the addition of tart herries. I added them on a whim as I was making the cake and upon trying the cake found that cherries added a very nice tartness to the cake.

Try it with cherries and let me know what you think.

Kiev Cake - Yellow Sponge Cake combined with Hazelnut Meringue, Russian Buttercream and Tart Cherries. A very loose but incredibly delicious interpretation of a classic Ukrainian Cake | By Let the Baking Begin!

Which one is your favorite? With cherries? Without? Or may be a chocolate version is the one you fancy the most? 

Kiev Cake

Kiev Cake Ingredients:

Soaking Syrup (just mix together)

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract

When making this cake follow this order of preparation:

    1. Make the Yellow Sponge Cake first
    2. Whip up the Meringue (follow adjustments below)
    3. Make the Russian Buttercream
    4. Mix the ingredients for the Syrup
    5. Assemble the Cake and refrigerate
    6. Make the Ganache
    7. Cover the cake in frosting.
    8. Pour the Ganache on top.
    9. Top the cake with Meringue.
    10. Refrigerate

Make the Meringue with Hazelnuts

Once the meringue is whipped, pipe it on a parchment lined baking sheet using a pastry bag and a large french star piping tip.

Sprinkle half of the meringues with as much hazelnut as you can make stick. The meringue without the sprinkling of hazelnut will be used to decorate the top of the cake. If you wish, you can sprinkle the hazelnuts over all meringues.

Kiev Cake - Yellow Sponge Cake combined with Hazelnut Meringue, Russian Buttercream and Tart Cherries. A very loose but incredibly delicious interpretation of a classic Ukrainian Cake | By Let the Baking Begin!

Dry on the middle rack for 2 hours @225F. Allow to cool in the oven for 30 minutes, then remove and allow to completely cool.

Kiev Cake - Yellow Sponge Cake combined with Hazelnut Meringue, Russian Buttercream and Tart Cherries. A very loose but incredibly delicious interpretation of a classic Ukrainian Cake | By Let the Baking Begin!

Assemble the Kiev Cake

Split the baked, cooled cake horizontally into 2 even layers.
Put a dab of Russian Buttercream frosting onto a serving platter or board. Place the top layer of the of the cake, top side down and press to adhere.
Reserve about 1.5 cup of buttercream for covering the outside of the cake.

Kiev Cake - Yellow Sponge Cake combined with Hazelnut Meringue, Russian Buttercream and Tart Cherries. A very loose but incredibly delicious interpretation of a classic Ukrainian Cake | By Let the Baking Begin!

Sprinkle the cake with half the soaking mixture and spread about 2/3 cups buttercream on top.

Kiev Cake - Yellow Sponge Cake combined with Hazelnut Meringue, Russian Buttercream and Tart Cherries. A very loose but incredibly delicious interpretation of a classic Ukrainian Cake | By Let the Baking Begin!

Take the hazelnut topped meringue and dip them into the buttercream, collecting as much frosting as will stick and stick them to the cake.

Kiev Cake - Yellow Sponge Cake combined with Hazelnut Meringue, Russian Buttercream and Tart Cherries. A very loose but incredibly delicious interpretation of a classic Ukrainian Cake | By Let the Baking Begin!

Keep dipping and arranging the meringue mounts with cream until most of the spaces are filled with the meringue. Crumble meringue pieces if you need to fill smaller crevices.

TIP: It is a lot easier to assemble this cake with a cake ring, so I suggest you use it if you have one. If not, the cake will not be as even, but still be OK. To use the ring, adjust it around the cake and tighten it.

Kiev Cake - Yellow Sponge Cake combined with Hazelnut Meringue, Russian Buttercream and Tart Cherries. A very loose but incredibly delicious interpretation of a classic Ukrainian Cake | By Let the Baking Begin!

Cherries are an optional addition, so use them if you wish, or not.
Sprinkle the cherries and the remainder of the hazelnuts on top of the meringue.

Kiev Cake - Yellow Sponge Cake combined with Hazelnut Meringue, Russian Buttercream and Tart Cherries. A very loose but incredibly delicious interpretation of a classic Ukrainian Cake | By Let the Baking Begin!

Take the other half of the sponge cake and soak the cut side with the remainder of the soaking mixture. Spread the remainder of the Russian Buttercream (not the one that we will use for the outside).

Kiev Cake - Yellow Sponge Cake combined with Hazelnut Meringue, Russian Buttercream and Tart Cherries. A very loose but incredibly delicious interpretation of a classic Ukrainian Cake | By Let the Baking Begin!

Place this cake layer, frosted side towards the cherries and press with your hand to adhere. Refrigerate for at least one hour before proceeding.

Kiev Cake - Yellow Sponge Cake combined with Hazelnut Meringue, Russian Buttercream and Tart Cherries. A very loose but incredibly delicious interpretation of a classic Ukrainian Cake | By Let the Baking Begin!

Run a knife on the inside of the ring to loosen it from the cake. Cover the cake in the 1.5 cups of buttercream that we reserved in the beginning, trying to smooth the outside as much as possible.

Kiev Cake - Yellow Sponge Cake combined with Hazelnut Meringue, Russian Buttercream and Tart Cherries. A very loose but incredibly delicious interpretation of a classic Ukrainian Cake | By Let the Baking Begin!

Make the ganache 
Pour 3 tablespoons of hot heavy cream over 3 tablespoons of chocolate chips or chopped chocolate. Let sit for 2 minutes. Stir until smooth. Allow to cool until it is a pourable consistency.

Pour the ganache on top of the cake and spread it with a spatula until it pours down the sides.

Kiev Cake - Yellow Sponge Cake combined with Hazelnut Meringue, Russian Buttercream and Tart Cherries. A very loose but incredibly delicious interpretation of a classic Ukrainian Cake | By Let the Baking Begin!

Top the cake with the remaining meringues in a half moon shape. Sprinkle more chopped hazelnuts if you wish.

Kiev Cake - Yellow Sponge Cake combined with Hazelnut Meringue, Russian Buttercream and Tart Cherries. A very loose but incredibly delicious interpretation of a classic Ukrainian Cake | By Let the Baking Begin!
Refrigerate the cake for at least 4 hours before serving. Best served within 24 hours of assembling.

Serving suggestion: for neat slices, dip a long thin knife into hot water, wipe and slice. Repeat after each cut.

Kiev Cake - Hazelnut Meringue, Cherry, Russian Buttercream

Kiev Cake - Yellow Sponge Cake combined with Hazelnut Meringue, Russian Buttercream and Tart Cherries. A very loose but incredibly delicious interpretation of a classic Ukrainian Cake | By Let the Baking Begin!
5 from 2 votes
Author: Marina | Let the Baking Begin!
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Ukrainian
Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours
Servings: 8 " round cake - 9-12 servings

Ingredients

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

Instructions

Make the Meringue with Hazelnuts

  1. Once the meringue is whipped, pipe it on a parchment lined baking sheet using a pastry bag and a large French star piping tip. Sprinkle half of the meringues with as much hazelnut as you can make stick. The meringue without the sprinkling of hazelnut will be used to decorate the top of the cake. If you wish, you can sprinkle the hazelnuts over all meringues.

  2. Dry on the middle rack for 2 hours @225F. Allow to cool in the oven for 30 minutes, then remove and allow to completely cool.

Assemble the Kiev Cake

  1. Split the baked, cooled cake horizontally into 2 even layers.
  2. Put a dab of Russian Buttercream frosting onto a serving platter or board. Place the top layer of the of the cake, top side down and press to adhere.
  3. Reserve about 1.5 cups of buttercream for covering the outside of the cake.
  4. Sprinkle the cake with half the soaking mixture and spread about 2/3 cups buttercream on top.
  5. Take the hazelnut topped meringue and dip them into the buttercream, collecting as much frosting as will stick and stick them to the cake.
  6. Keep dipping and arranging the meringue mounts with cream until most of the spaces are filled with the meringue. Crumble meringue pieces if you need to fill smaller crevices.
  7. [br]TIP: It is a lot easier to assemble this cake with a cake ring, so I suggest you use it if you have one. If not, the cake will not be as even, but still be OK. To use the ring, adjust it around the cake and tighten it. Sprinkle the cherries and the remainder of the hazelnuts on top of the meringue. Cherries are an optional addition, so use them if you wish, or not.
  8. Take the other half of the sponge cake and soak the cut side with the remainder of the soaking mixture. Spread the remainder of the Russian Buttercream (not the one that we will use for the outside).
  9. Place this cake layer, frosted side towards the cherries and press with your hand to adhere. Refrigerate for at least one hour before proceeding.
  10. Run a knife on the inside of the ring to loosen it from the cake. Cover the cake in the 1.5 cups of buttercream that we reserved in the beginning, trying to smooth the outside as much as possible.

Make & Pour the ganache

  1. Pour 3 tablespoons of hot heavy cream over 3 tablespoons of chocolate chips or chopped chocolate. Let sit for 2 minutes. Stir until smooth. Allow to cool until it is a pourable consistency.
  2. Pour the ganache on top of the cake and spread it with a spatula until it pours down the sides.

Decorate

  1. Top the cake with the remaining meringues in a half moon shape. Sprinkle more chopped hazelnuts if you wish.

Refrigerate

  1. Refrigerate the cake for at least 4 hours before serving. Best served within 24 hours of assembling.

Serving suggestion:

  1. For neat slices, dip a long thin knife into hot water, wipe and slice. Repeat after each cut.

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 ButtercreamMake 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

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Kiev Cake - Yellow Sponge Cake combined with Hazelnut Meringue, Russian Buttercream and Tart Cherries. A very loose but incredibly delicious interpretation of a classic Ukrainian Cake | By Let the Baking Begin!

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  • Kseniya

    This sounds delicious and I want to make it over the weekend. I wonder if I can make chocolate cake base instead of yellow sponge? Do you think it will work for this cake? We are big chocolate and meringue fans here!

    · Reply
    • Yes, I think in this recipe either yellow or chocolate sponge will work. If you’re looking for the chocolate Kiev Cake, check out a recipe that is already posted with the chocolate sponge. I think you’ll love it! Click the link HERE for the recipe. If you still want cherries, just add cherries to that recipe, but it’s up to you if you want to add them.

      · Reply
  • Janet Welte

    I love your site, but I am getting frustrated when you just use links to your different components of the recipe, and I have to keep going back and forth to get them., I feel you would get more traffic if you just copied and pasted it yourself, so that we could all get it all at once, without having to click, click, click!

    · Reply
    • Hi Janet,
      Thank you so much for your suggestion and I’m truly sorry for the inconvenience this is causing. I want to explain why the recipes are posted in this way, so you don’t think that I am just doing this to give my readers the runaround.

      There’s a set of basic recipes that are used in many desserts and by changing or twisting the recipe a little bit, you get a new recipe. If there’s a recipe for meringue, it probably gets used in more than just one recipe.

      By having a separate recipe for just meringue, I don’t have to re-write the instructions and re-take the pictures of a process that is the same from one meringue recipe to another. This allows me spend the time I have for blogging, to create and test new recipes.

      It would’ve been easier if I could just copy and paste the recipe and include it on multiple pages, but if I do that, my website will be seen as bad quality website by search engines, and recipes that I put a lot of work into will not show up in google.

      Hope this helps a little~!

      · Reply
      • Janet Welte

        I am not sure I understand your philosophy in this way to do it, It would be so much easier for you, but not for us, copy and paste would be the way to go, and then you could say that if you want to see pictures and in depth directions go to this link, but when it is the same recipe used over and over again, it would make more sense to help us at the followers, and not just easier for you., I understand your tweaking the recipes to make them different, but when it is the same until the tweaks, you could add that at the changes, but I have found this way to be cumbersome, and I think that maybe you do this, so it looks simple to the not-so experienced baker, until they have to click, click, to get all the different recipes to be on just the recipe posted, I am not sure that it is easier for us, just you? I don’t mean for this to sound mean spirited, just an observation in so many of your recipes.

        · Reply
  • Another beauty 🙂 Thank you so much for this creation ! Will definitely be back !

    · Reply

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