This Russian layered liver cake recipe comes straight out of the family cookbook. It’s rich, decadent, and unexpectedly delicious. Try it and be surprised!
If you’ve ever been a guest at a Slavic wedding, you’ve surely seen a Russian liver cake. If you haven’t, they’re one of the most unexpectedly delicious appetizers in Ukrainian and Russian culture. While chicken liver isn’t a super common food stateside, Slavic people have been cooking with it forever and love tapping into its richness and depth of flavor. Truly a must try if you want to eat authentic and are adventurous!
For those of you out there who love pate, you will be just as enamored with liver cake. You might actually like liver cake more if you appreciate the flavor of pate but aren’t in love with the raw texture. There’s something so addicting about the way the crisped liver crepes complement the herbed mayonnaise…
Where to Purchase Chicken Liver
First things first, let’s chat about where you can find chicken livers. If you haven’t cooked with them before, you might be wondering if you can find them easily. Lucky for you, most grocery stores sell them frozen or at the butcher counter. If you can’t find them there, go to a local butcher or European specialty store. They’re typically very affordable and always in stock!
How to Make Russian Liver Cake
Making Russian liver cake only requires a handful of ingredients and a couple of simple steps. Below, find a quick overview of the recipe before you get started.
- Clean the Chicken Liver: Rinse the chicken liver under cold water in the sink and use a sharp knife to remove any excess connective tissue (the white or pink muscle fibers). Next, pop blend the liver in a blender or a food processor until it becomes fine in texture.
- Season the Liver: Into the blender, add the sour cream, egg, salt, pepper, and flour. Pulse the mixture until well combined.
- Fry the Liver Crepes: In a skillet preheated with oil over medium heat, pour in a thin layer of the liver mixture. Fry each side until golden brown, setting them aside in a single layer as you go. Allow the crepes to cool at room temperature.
- Make the Herbed Mayo: In a separate bowl, combine the pressed garlic, dill, and mayo.
- Assemble the Liver Cake: Lay on crepe flat on a serving plate. Next, spread a think layer of mayo on top. Alternate a crepe layer with a mayo layer, repeating until you run out of crepes.
- Refrigerate the Cake: Cover the liver cake with plastic wrap or place it in an airtight cake container. Refrigerate it for at least an hour before serving. Slice and enjoy!
Tips & Tricks
Here you’ll find a couple of tips and tricks to help you make the most authentic Russian liver cake.
- Clean and trim the chicken livers properly. To prevent your chicken livers from turning out bitter or tough, rinse them under cool water before cooking. Additionally, make sure to use a sharp knife to trim off any connective tissue.
- Fry the liver crepes until golden brown. Not only will frying the crepes make the cake taste better, but it will also help it to keep its structure. Just a couple of minutes on both sides will do the trick!
- Use fresh herbs. Refrain from using the dried stuff, as fresh dill makes all the difference when it comes to flavor. It also complements the richness of the liver so well.
Serving Russian Liver Cake
Russian liver cake is typically served as an appetizer during holidays, birthdays, and weddings. You can serve it in cake-style slices as-is or on a platter alongside fresh baguette slices. If you’re not hosting a party, a slice of liver cake can be substituted anywhere you would serve protein. Not only is liver super healthy for you, it pairs well with most sides dishes (especially creamy mashed potatoes or buckwheat with mushrooms).
Whether you’re looking to store leftovers for a couple of days or freeze a couple of slices for a rainy day, you’ll find all the handy storage tips you need here.
- Refrigerator: If you plan to eat leftover liver cake within 3 days, store it in an airtight container in the fridge. Not only will this keep the cake from soaking up any lingering smells in the fridge, but it will also prevent it from drying out.
- Freezer: If you aren’t going to finish the liver cake within three days, freeze it for later. To do so, place individual slices in plastic bags and store them in the freezer for up to 3 months. To defrost, simply place a bagged slice in the fridge overnight.
How long does liver cake last in the fridge?
Liver cake lasts up to three days when stored in the fridge.
Can you freeze liver cake?
Yes, you can freeze live cake. It will stay fresh for up to 3 months and can be defrosted for last minute appetizers of a quick protein.
Where can I find chicken livers?
Chicken livers can be found at most grocery stores. Typically, you’ll find them frozen or behind the butcher counter. If you’re having a hard time finding them, you can always go to a European specialty foods store.
Why did my liver cake turn out so dry?
Your liver cake likely turned out dry if you didn’t use enough mayonnaise spread between the layers or if you fried the crepes too long.
Other Slavic Appetizers
- Pickled Beets And Pate Smørrebrød – Liver and beet mini-sandwiches
- Homemade Kielbasa Sausage Recipe – Classic European cased sausage
- Hummus Eggplant Canapés – Appetizer sandwiches with eggplant spread
- Eggs & Sprats Canapés – Hardboiled egg and fish appetizer sandwiches
- Rinse the chicken liver under cold running water. Using a blender or grinder, blend the liver into tiny pieces. Add sour cream, egg, salt, pepper, and flour to the blended chicken liver. Pulse the mixture a couple of times to combine.
- Preheat a skillet over medium heat with a little bit of oil. Pour a thin crepe like layer of the liver mixture onto the skillet.
- Cook each side for a couple of minutes until golden brown. Set it aside to cool at room temperature.
- In a separate bowl, combine the pressed garlic, diced dill, and mayonnaise.
- Assemble the cake by alternating a liver crepe with a layer of the mayonnaise mixture. Repeat until you run out of crepes.
- Refrigerate the liver cake for at least an hour before serving. Slice and enjoy!