Hazelnut Cake – Kyiv Torte Recipe (video)

Kyiv Torte Hazelnut Cake with caramel buttercream

My take on the famous Kyiv Torte – aka, the Hazelnut Meringue Cake. This stunning Ukrainian cake recipe is made with simple sponge cake soaked with hazelnut liqueur, chocolate ganache filling, caramel frosting and crunchy hazelnut meringue! All those incredible layers, textures and flavors come together to create an unforgettable cake! This meringue cake is the ultimate hazelnut treat!

Check out my new cookbook, Beyond Borscht, for a more classic take on this delicious cake!

Watch My Video!

Watch my video recipe for step-by-step instructions to make the perfect ‘Hazelnut Meringue Cake’! Want to receive new recipe notifications? Subscribe to my YouTube channel and turn on notifications!

History of the Kyiv Torte

The original, Ukrainian cake ‘Kyiv Torte’ is traditionally made with one tall meringue layer, thin layers of sponge cake on the top and bottom, all covered with a buttercream frosting. It was first created in 1956 and sold in bakery shops across the USSR. It’s still very popular today and available even in the US in Eastern European grocery stores. My recipe is slightly different, incorporating more layers but the flavor is still the same!

inside of kyiv cake with hazelnut meringue layers, caramel frosting and chocolate ganache on cake turntable

How to Make Kyiv Torte

The main star in this meringue cake recipe is the hazelnut meringue! It’s slightly different in texture than the meringue that we are used to in the US. This Eastern European version is baked at a low oven temperature for many hours, until it’s crispy inside and out. When it’s ready, it will sound hollow when tapped on the top. When making the meringue, make sure to wash the mixing bowl very well with degreasing dish soap and white table vinegar, otherwise the egg whites will not mix properly and fall flat. The vinegar will get rid of any stuck on grease.

Frosting & Garnish

Besides the delicate hazelnut meringue layers, this hazelnut meringue cake is made with simple sponge cake, caramel frosting and chocolate ganache filling. I have separate video recipes for each step of this cake, with in-depth instructions. Check out those videos here:

I garnished the top of my hazelnut cake with dollops of salted caramel frosting and also piped some of the chocolate ganache.

Hazelnut Meringue Cake topped with chocolate ganache and caramel frosting

More Recipes!

Looking for more Ukrainian cake recipes? Check out my dessert book, ‘The European Cake Cookbook’ for more recipes, like this ‘Peach Zefir Torte’!

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Kiev Torte Hazelnut Meringue Cake video recipe


Need some supplies to make this recipe? You can get them here (Amazon affiliate links):

Kyiv Torte Hazelnut Cake with caramel buttercream
4.41 from 5 votes

Hazelnut Cake – Kyiv Torte Recipe (video)

2 hours prep + 20 minutes cook + 8 hours For Baking Meringue:
16 servings
Learn how to make a decadent Kyiv Torte – a Ukrainian hazelnut cake with sponge cake, crunchy meringue center and smooth buttercream!


  • 1 recipe ‘Salted Caramel Frosting’ link above
  • 1 recipe ‘Chocolate Ganache Filling’ link above

For Sponge Cake:

  • 6 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For Hazelnut Meringue:

  • 6 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups white granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped hazelnuts

For Garnish:

  • 1/4 cup melted chocolate
  • 1/2 cup Frangelico liqueur or hazelnut syrup


For Hazelnut Meringue:

  • Prepare the hazelnut meringue first. This can be prepared 3 to 4 days in advance but must be kept in an airtight container! Preheat oven to 200F. Line 2, 8-inch cake rounds with parchment paper, or trace the pans onto a sheet of parchment paper and place onto a baking sheet.
  • Place the egg whites into a mixer bowl and begin whisking on medium speed. Combine the sugar and cream of tartar (can also use 1 tablespoon cornstarch) and gradually add to the egg whites as they are mixing. Once all the sugar has been added, keep whisking the mixture on high speed for 8 to 10 minutes, until stiff and glossy peaks form, taking the texture of marshmallow cream.
  • Fold in the vanilla extract and chopped hazelnuts. Transfer the mixture into a large pastry bag tipped with a large, round tip and pipe onto prepared pan/paper. Create even layers, then level off the top with an off-set spatula. Bake in preheated oven for 8 hours, allowing the meringue to dry out and become crispy. The meringue will sound hollow when tapped on the top. Allow the meringue to cool overnight. If baked in pans, carefully run a knife along the edge to release the meringue, then invert onto a tray and remove paper.

For Sponge Cake:

  • Prepare the sponge cake. Place the eggs, sugar and vanilla into a mixer bowl and whisk on high speed for about 8 minutes, or until the mixture is thick, pale and almost white in color. In a separate bowl, combine the flour and baking powder, then sift into the eggs gradually, folding gently but thoroughly after each addition.
  • Split the cake batter between 2, 8-inch cake pans lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350F for 18 to 20 minutes, or until top is golden brown. Allow the cakes to cool in the pans, then use a long, serrated knife to split each layer in half.
  • Prepare the ‘Salted Caramel Frosting’ and ‘Chocolate Ganache Filling’ according to instructions; links above.

For Cake Assembly:

  • To assemble the cake, begin with the sponge cake. Soak the cake with hazelnut liqueur or syrup, then add a generous amount of the chocolate ganache filling, spreading it to the edges. Add another sponge cake layer, soak again, then top with caramel frosting. Add meringue layer, caramel frosting, sponge cake, liqueur, chocolate ganache, sponge cake, liqueur. Finish the cake with the final layer of meringue, then use remaining caramel frosting to frost the top and sides of the cake.
  • To garnish the top, drizzle melted chocolate using a disposable bag. I used tip #8FT for the caramel frosting. Allow the cake to set in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours or overnight to allow the layers to come together. Cut the cake using a sharp, serrated knife.