Smith Island Ten-Layer Cake

Total Time
Prep 15 mins
Cook 24 mins

This is a recipe I got from our local newscast from the lady named Mary Ida, who makes them here in Md. She states that you can make the cake layers as thin or thick as you like them, it's all in your taste. You can also use any type of icing...strawberry creme, german chocolate, peach creme, etc., but she used the icing below the most. Times below are estimates...I have not personally made this cake yet...Yet! lol I will have to make 4 layers at a time since I only have 4 cake pans, and I'll probably be making mine an 8 layer) so that's how I got 24 min. cook time. If you make the layers thicker, they'll of course have to bake longer.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Cream together sugar and butter. Add eggs one at a time and beat until smooth.
  2. Sift together flour, salt and baking powder.
  3. Mix into egg mixture one cup at a time.
  4. With mixer running, slowly pour in the evaporated milk, then the vanilla and water. Mix just until uniform.
  5. Put three serving spoonfuls of batter in each of ten 9-inch lightly greased pans, using the back of the spoon to spread evenly.
  6. Bake three layers at a time on the middle rack of the oven at 350° for 8 minutes. A layer is done when you hold it near your ear and you don't hear it sizzle.
  7. Start making the icing when the first layers go in the oven.
  8. Put the cake together as the layers are finished.
  9. Let layers cool a couple of minutes in the pans. Run a spatula around the edge of the pan and ease the layer out of the pan. Don't worry if it tears; no one will notice when the cake is finished.
  10. Use two and three serving spoonfuls of icing between each layer.
  11. Cover the top and sides of the cake with the rest of the icing. Push icing that runs onto the plate back onto the cake.
  12. Directions for Icing:.
  13. Put sugar and evaporated milk in a medium pan. Cook and stir over medium-low heat until warm. Add chocolate and cook to melt. Add butter and melt. Cook over medium heat at a slow boil for 10 to 15 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add vanilla. Icing will be thin but thickens as it cools.
Most Helpful

The icing recipe is out of whack, it made more of a chocolate sauce, than a icing or a glaze, i used probably less than a quarter of the total amount of icing, 24 oz of evaporated milk and 2lbs of powdered sugar makes way too much of this chocolate sauce for the cake.
The cake recipe was fantastic though, made 8 layers with no problems, all came out nice and level, I was happily suprised with that.
Next time I will use the same cake recipe, but choose a different icing for a better presentation.
Instead of a impressive cake I ended up with what looked like a large stack of pancakes covered in syrup.

jimbrey July 13, 2010

Very good custard-like batter which bakes into a dense delicious yellow cake. I didn't have many pans, only a nice cast iron pan. So instead of of doing the traditional 9-10 layers, I opted to make 4 thick, moist layers. I adjusted the cooking temperature to 400F and increased the baking time to about 11 minutes. The sauce/icing really does firm up as long as you boil most of the water out. Moist Cake + Gooey Chocolaty Icing = Awesome!

Benjamaphone March 20, 2010

This is same recipe that was in the Washingtonpost Newpaper in 4/2008. It is the Maryland State Dessert Now. I had it at the Frances Kitching,an innkeeper on the island who called for the cake to be 10 layers, as it is in this recipe. MAKE IT YOU WILL LOVE IT!! 10 STARS ( I was going to post it ) See smithisland.con

CHEF GRPA March 17, 2010