How to make a smith island cake

This recipe is easy enough to make with ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen. The cake is rich, moist, and full of chocolate flavor.

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How to make a smith island cake

Throughout America, virtually each state has a signature meals or dessert that residents take pleasure in. In Maryland’s case, that recipe is the long-lasting Smith Island cake.

What Is Smith Island Cake?

This recipe dates all the best way again to the 1800s, when girls on Smith Island would bake truffles for his or her husbands to take pleasure in through the island’s autumn oyster harvest. The truffles had been supposed to function an emblem of togetherness, and remind the oyster hunters of their family members ready for them to return dwelling. In the present day, the cake is known in Maryland, the place it’s particularly fashionable as a vacation dessert.

Reading: How to make a smith island cake

At its core, a Smith Island cake is a cake product of many skinny, pancake-like layers of yellow cake separated by decadent fudge icing. It’s considerably like a crepe cake however with fewer, thicker layers. Whereas this taste mixture is taken into account the unique, bakeries on Smith Island and alongside the Maryland coast have begun deviating from the traditional recipe, providing flavors reminiscent of coconut, double chocolate, crimson velvet and lemon.

How Many Layers Does a Smith Island Cake Have?

Not like conventional layer truffles which have solely two or three layers, a Smith Island cake has anyplace from eight to 13 layers of moist, yellow cake. Finally, it’s as much as the person baker to find out precisely what number of layers to make use of of their cake. In our recipe, we’re following the steerage of Brian and Pleasure Murphy, house owners of the official Smith Island Baking Firm in Maryland. Their well-known truffles function eight layers of fluffy, moist cake.

What Kind of Frosting Does a Smith Island Cake Have?

One other key ingredient of a Smith Island cake is the frosting. As an alternative of buttercream, it makes use of a wealthy, fudge-like frosting. Traditionally, this kind of frosting was used as a result of buttercream didn’t maintain up as properly whereas being transported on the annual oyster hunts. In the present day, the usage of this kind of frosting is just a matter of custom.

Tips on how to Make Smith Island Cake – Step by Step

a close-up photo of a slice of smith island cake on a plate with a forkLauren Habermehl for Style of House


Yellow Cake

  • 1-1/2 cups butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2-1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 giant eggs
  • 1-1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3-3/4 cups cake flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2-1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

Fudge Frosting

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups evaporated milk
  • 8 ounces unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1-1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instruments You’ll Want

  • If you happen to’re in want of cake pans, look no additional than our Style of House 9-inch nonstick cake pans. They’ve an embossed design that not solely strengthens the pan but in addition will increase airflow for even baking.
  • Anybody who bakes frequently ought to spend money on a top quality stand mixer like this KitchenAid Artisan stand mixer.
  • An offset spatula like this 13-inch model by Wilton will make icing truffles a breeze. Its angled design helps unfold frosting evenly over a cake for a clear look.


Step 1: Combine the cake batter

Read more: How to make box brownies more cake like

smith island cake batter mixedLauren Habermehl for Style of House

In a bowl, mix flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt collectively. Put aside. Subsequent, in a stand mixer, cream collectively butter and sugar till fluffy; about 3 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla and blend on low till mixed. Subsequent, regularly incorporate the dry substances, mixing on low till every part is moist; about 1 minute. Lastly, add within the buttermilk along with your mixer on its lowest pace till the batter is easy and no lumps stay.

Step 2: Bake the layers

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Then, put together two 9-inch cake pans by greasing them with butter and lining with parchment paper. We shall be baking two cake layers at a time—we’re going to imagine you don’t have eight 9-inch cake pans in your cabinets!

weighing smith island cake batter for even layersLauren Habermehl for Style of House

Add about 3/4 cup (212 grams) of the cake batter to every pan after which unfold into an excellent layer utilizing the again of a spoon.

identical layers baked for smith island cakeLauren Habermehl for Style of House

Bake for 10-12 minutes or till the cake is barely golden and set within the center. Take away from the oven and let cool within the pan for 5-10 minutes, then rigorously take away the cake layers and switch to a wire rack to complete cooling. Repeat till all eight layers are baked.

Get our greatest cake baking ideas we discovered from Grandma.

Step 3: Put together the fudge frosting

making fudge icing for smith island cakeLauren Habermehl for Style of House

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In a medium saucepan over medium warmth, whisk collectively the sugar and evaporated milk and cook dinner till the combination is heat. Cut back the warmth to medium-low after which add the chocolate, cocoa powder and butter. Stir the combination till the chocolate and butter have melted and the combination has warmed by means of. Proceed to cook dinner the frosting till it has thickened, about 6-8 minutes. Take away from warmth after which stir within the vanilla. Let cool to room temperature.

Editor’s Be aware: The fudge shall be skinny at this stage. Don’t fear, it’ll proceed to thicken because it cools.

Step 4: Assemble

layering fudge between each layer for smith island cakeLauren Habermehl for Style of House

Start by putting the underside layer of cake on a plate or cake stand. Then, unfold a beneficiant, even layer (2-3 tablespoons) of fudge frosting over the cake. Prime with the following layer of cake after which repeat.

a finished smith island cake covered in homemade fudge icingLauren Habermehl for Style of House

Once you attain the ultimate layer, unfold the remaining fudge frosting on the highest and down the perimeters of the cake. We suggest utilizing an offset spatula to get the frosting good and easy.

Editor’s Be aware: Don’t be too involved for those who get just a few tears in your cake layers alongside the best way. Even as soon as sliced, these imperfections is not going to be noticeable on the completed cake.

Subsequent, plan to make extra traditional recipes from Maryland.

Tips on how to Retailer Your Cake

Retailer leftovers of Smith Island cake in a coated cake service at room temperature for as much as 2-4 days. If you happen to stay in a heat local weather or your kitchen runs scorching, you may additionally retailer the cake within the fridge to forestall the fudge from melting. If saved within the fridge, you should definitely retailer the cake in an hermetic cake dome to forestall it from drying out.

Read more: how to make perfect chocolate cake

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