Ukrainian Liver Cake (Печінковий торт) Recipe

While it is true that liver cake can sound off putting to some people, this is one of my absolute favorite Ukrainian recipes. It is not a dessert like one thinks when they hear the word cake, but rather something eaten as a side dish during holiday feasts or other family get togethers. Ukrainian liver cake is one of the most traditional dishes in Ukrainian cuisine and is widely loved by many people young and old.

Ukrainian Liver Cake Печінковий торт Recipe

Liver cake is one of my favorite Ukrainian recipes, and my main request from Alona’s babusya every time I stay over for holidays. This Ukrainian Liver Cake recipe is quite easy, but so delicious and rich. Finally, after years of asking for it, I determined it was time to learn her traditional recipe.

In Ukrainian it is called Печінковий торт which simply translates to liver cake. However don’t think it is simply a liver flavored bready cake like chocolate, or red velvet. No, it is more like a savory crepe cake. Thin layers of the liver batter are cooked in a pan and layered.

Making the layers of the Ukrainian Liver Cake
Just pouring the batter in a thin layer on the hot pan (that’s probably older than I am).

If you have been following the blog for a while you may know that I love traveling to other countries and learning authentic recipes. Like how two weeks ago I was in Sri Lanka learning how to make an authentic Sri Lankan Roti. Or a month ago in Indonesia learning how to make Bumbu Bali/Base Gede from a farmer an hour north of Ubud. It only makes sense that I should also post authentic recipes from the county I live in.

Of course, what better teacher is there than a village grandmother. Someone who has been making Ukrainian liver cake for many, many years is the perfect person to learn from. Not to mention now that it is up on the site her recipe is forever documented.

As the cake is meant to be eaten cold, no need to do this quickly or try to keep the layers warm.

Like many Ukrainian recipes, the one for this Ukrainian liver cake involves mayonnaise. I suggest making your own homemade mayonnaise, but you can easily just use store-bought if that is easier.

How To Make Traditional Ukrainian Liver Cake

This Ukrainian liver cake recipe is actually pretty easy, so don’t be intimidated by the ‘crepe-making’ aspect of it. This basic liver batter is much easier to deal with than normal batter, so it peels right off the pan with no fuss.


  • 5 Eggs 2 hardboiled and reserved
  • 500 grams Liver Pork or Chicken; chopped finely
  • 1 Onion yellow; finely chopped
  • 125 ml Milk
  • 50 grams Butter browned
  • 4 tbsp Flour
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • 1 pinch Baking Soda
  • 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 1/2 cup Mayonnaise or to taste

In a large bowl mix together 3 eggs, the liver, onion, milk, browned butter, flour, salt, baking soda and oil. Heat up a pan to medium high and ladle in just enough batter to coat the bottom. The liver cake batter only takes about 15 seconds to cook on one side, so once you see it set give it a flip and cook for 10 seconds or so on the other. Then remove and stack on a plate.

When all the layers are done you can prep the cake. This traditional Ukrainian liver cake recipe makes about 15 liver crepes so you can do one high stacked cake, or three shorter ones. If doing this for a family get-together it is customary to make multiple small ones so you can set them at different points on the table.

Composing this liver cake is as easy as stacking sheets. Just lay down a crepe, give it a thin smear of mayonnaise, and top with another crepe. Repeat until everything is done. For the top layer give a thin spread of mayonnaise and then crumble over the some hard boiled egg. You can also add garnishes like parsley, dill, chives, or even caviar!

Storing Ukrainian Liver Cake

Ukrainian Liver Cake as part of a big holiday spread
Ukrainian Liver Cake as part of a big holiday spread.

We actually made this delicious liver cake the day before a big family holiday dinner, and it keeps perfectly well in the fridge, or just on a counter top if it is the middle of winter. Make sure to put a cloche over the cake so you don’t get any unwanted critters or even dust on it!

I’ve kept this cake at slightly lower than room temperature just covered with a cake dome, and the cake has stayed fresh nearly a week. I don’t know if it stays fresh longer than that as I always tend to eat it pretty quickly. If you’re looking for something to wash down the cake with, I’d recommend making a traditional Ukrainian Kompot (also from grandma’s recipes)

Ukrainian liver cake slice (cross-section)
Look at those layers

Ukrainian Liver Cake Liver Type?

Yes, I know some people don’t like liver. If it’s the base liver flavor then maybe this dish is not for you. If your only experience has been mashed liver and onions, I still think you should give this a shot as you won’t be chewing on large pieces of liver. In fact, I find this recipe is best with pig liver instead of chicken, but you can absolutely use both. I will say that Ukrainian liver cake has been traditionally cooked with chicken liver, but this is not a hard and fast rule.

Ukrainian Liver Cake (Печінковий торт)

A savory crepe cake made of pig liver. This may be my favorite Ukrainian recipe and my favorite request of babushka.
5 from 9 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Main Dish, Side Dish
Cuisine European, Ukrainian
Servings 8 people


  • Pan


  • 5 Eggs 2 hardboiled and reserved
  • 500 grams Liver Pork or Chicken; chopped finely
  • 1 Onion yellow; finely chopped
  • 125 ml Milk
  • 50 grams Butter browned
  • 4 tbsp Flour
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • 1 pinch Baking Soda
  • 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 1/2 cup Mayonnaise or to taste


  • In a bowl combine 3 eggs, the liver, milk, flour, salt, and baking soda. Slowly trickle in the browned butter.
  • Use some vegetable oil to grease a pan and on a medium heat add just enough batter to cover the bottom. Let cook for a couple minutes, then flip and cook for another minute. Place off to the side until all liver crepes are cooked.
  • Assemble the cake. Layer of liver crepe, thin smear of mayonnaise, and continue. This recipe makes about 15 layers, which you can separate into 3 5-layer cakes, or just make a big 15 layer liver cake. It is entirely up to you.
  • On the top, add a final thin layer of mayonnaise and some crumbled hard boiled egg. Garnish with parsley or kale and serve cold.


This recipe can hold for up to a week in a cold environment.
Keyword Liver, Liver Cake, Offal, Ukrainian Liver Cake
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10 thoughts on “Ukrainian Liver Cake (Печінковий торт) Recipe”

  1. 5 stars
    I grew up in Poltava region and my babusya would make it almost the exact same way! The only difference I remember is mixing herbs into the mayonnaise layers in between

  2. Marc Willey

    5 stars
    I made this because I wanted to learn more about Ukrainian cuisine. I will be honest I wasn’t sure about this recipe (but I’ve made your other Ukrainian recipes and they came out fantastic).

    I Love This Cake. It was a huge hit and even my kids ate it all up. I will absolutely make this again and again!

    Слава Україні

    1. 5 stars
      Thank you Marc for those kind words! Yes I agree many people are a little cautious about this recipe, but it is 100% my favorite Ukrainian dish and one I definitely try to push people to try.

  3. Jess Betrand-Smith

    5 stars
    I made this but used Japanese mayonnaise since it is all I had. I couldn’t have more than 1 slice because it was so rich tasting, but that’s probably on me and I should have used regular like the recipe calls for. Wil make again since I did eat some single crepe and the taste was phenomenal.

    1. Hi Jess,
      If you have followed this blog at all you will know I am a HUGE fan of Japanese mayonnaise (I even have a recipe for a homemade version since I use so much of it), but I do think that it is far too rich to use in this recipe. That plus the liver…no wonder you could only have one slice.

      Also, even with the regular mayo, it really is just a very thin smear. If it squishes out when you cut it, you’ve added too much 🙂

  4. Benedict T

    5 stars
    I know you said you can use any liver, what do you prefer most? Or do you suggest sticking with chicken first since you said it was most popular.

    Edit: Made it with pork and it was delicious

    1. Really any can be used, but I personally prefer pig liver. I use chicken liver a lot as well, for things like my pashtet but for liver cake I think pig liver is the best one. That being said, chicken, duck, rabbit, or even cow liver will all work here and you might find it is even more delicious than pig due to your own tastes!

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