Mrs Kitching's Smith Island 10-Layer Cake

Total Time
2hrs 40mins
Prep 40 mins
Cook 2 hrs

Smith Island Ten-Layer Cake SILC is a lot less work than this one, but this is the one that won the local paper's contest. It's from a Mrs Kitching and the newspaper states all judges loved it and..."While somewhat plain, it had a real butter flavor, with no unpleasant aftertaste, and an even, if somewhat dense texture." and the frosting was what "...keeps the cake alive." I put "assembly" time into preparation time, and the icing stovetop time into the cooking time.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Lightly grease and flour dust 10 (or aim at baking 3 at a time) 9-inch round pans. (I also use greased parchment on bottom.) Oven middle rack, 350°F.
  2. Cream together sugar and butter.
  3. Add eggs one at a time. Beat till smooth.
  4. Sift flour with salt and baking powder and mix into batter one cup at a time.
  5. Slowly pour in evaporated milk while mixing.
  6. Then add vanilla and water till batter is uniform.
  7. Put 1/2 cup of batter into pan, smoothing out with back of spoon.
  8. Bake for 8 minutes or until it no longer 'sizzles' in pan. Layers will be slightly golden and released from pan edges. Let cool only 3 minutes in pan.
  9. Run spatula around edge (if it tears, use as a middle layer.) and cool on rack.
  10. Icing: Melt butter then remove from heat.
  11. Stir in evaporated milk.
  12. Whisk in cocoa till smooth and return to low heat for 10 minutes. Stir and do NOT boil or scorch.
  13. Remove from heat and whisk in confectioners' sugar slowly.
  14. Return to low heat occasionally stirring for about 45 minutes or until icing is thick and sticks to back of spoon or whisk. Cool.
  15. Put two tablespoons of icing between each layer and spread just barely to the edge before next layer goes on top. Take your time as icing will be 'fluid' and harden or dry out slowly.


Most Helpful

I've spent the better part of the night making this cake, only to realize that the recipe isn't written right, so I have no icing to put on it! The way the ingredients are listed, it's assumed that from the 2nd 1/2lb of butter, down, is the list of ingredients for the icing. Let me tell you, 24oz of evaporated milk is NOT the right amount at all! After 55 minutes on low, I started researching online and found that the original recipe for this calls for 1 cup of evaporated milk, not 2 cans. Now I have 10 layers of cake sitting icing-less until I can go buy another 2lbs of powdered sugar. Ugh!

Mrs. Slade July 31, 2011

This was VERY impressive looking and easier than I thought. The batter is quick to mix up and no more trouble to mix up than a one layer cake. I followed the cake part of your recipe, but used the frosting from "Smith Island Cake" from "Cook's Country." It recommended lining the pans (I bought 10 foil pans and it was worth it!) with parchment. It takes some extra minutes but the ease the layers come out of the pan, then a quick peel off of the paper, makes it STRESS-FREE. Since the layers are so thin I feel certain they'd have stuck to the foil pans without the paper. It is a real treat to eat a 10 layer cake and makes for great table conversation. Thanks Alicia, for posting. Roxygirl

Roxygirl in Colorado August 29, 2009

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