Smith Island Cake

READY IN: 55mins
Recipe by MissHermes

This recipe is from Saveur magazine. "The cake has been around for generations" and is a weekend staple in most homes of Smith Island families. "Every Saturday almost every family makes one."

Top Review by gypsygrandmom

While this is probably a very good recipe, it is not the recipe for Smith Island Cake that was accepted by the Maryland Legislature as the Official State Cake. Fortunately, RecipeZaar also has that recipe. It is recipe #291536. The difference is that the original recipe does not include peanut butter cups or any other type of candy, and it is ALWAYS made from scratch, not a boxed mix. I've lives in Maryland all of my 60+ years, and I can assure you that it's worth the effort to make this cake using the other recipe. Thanksw! Gypsygrandmom

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Pulse 4 peanut butter cups in a food processor into small chunks; transfer to a bowl. Pulse remaining peanut butter cups into a fine powder; transfer to another bowl. Chill both until ready to use.
  2. Heat oven to 350°F Grease four 8-inch round cake pans with cooking spray, dust with half the flour, and knock out any excess. Set aside.
  3. Put cake mix, 1 1/2 cups evaporated milk, half the butter, vanilla, salt, eggs, and 1/3 cup water into a large bowl; beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, 10-12 minutes.
  4. Divide half the batter between prepared cake pans. Set remaining batter aside.
  5. Using the back of a spoon, spread out batter so that it covers the bottom of each pan, making it slightly thicker around the edges.
  6. Bake until cooked through and golden around edges, 12-14 minutes. Set aside to cool lightly, then loosen cake layers with a knife and invert onto cooling racks. Wash and dry cake pans.
  7. Repeat process a second time with cooking spray and remaining flour and batter.
  8. When all 8 cake layers have cooled, make the icing. Combine remaining milk, sugar, and cocoa in a medium pot; stir well, then add remaining butter. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until butter is melted and icing is shiny, 4-5 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes. Stir well.
  9. Spread a cake layer with about 1/4 cup of icing; sprinkle with about 1 tsp powered peanut butter cups. Top with another cake layer and repeat process to make 8 layers total. Frost outside of cake with remaining icing; sprinkle top with peanut butter cup chunks. Let sit for 2-3 hours before serving.
  10. The cake can be stored for up to a week refrigerated in an airtight container.

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