Go Back

Smith Island Cake

A recipe for Smith Island Cake inspired by our visit to Easton, Maryland.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword cake, chocolate, dessert
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 1 Cake



  • 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Chocolate Fudge Frosting:

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 5 ounces unsweetened chocolate chopped
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


To make the cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour up to 10 (9 inch) cake pans.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until smooth and light. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix into the butter mixture, one cup at a time, just until incorporated. Gently mix in the evaporated milk, water, and vanilla extract.
  • Place a scant 2/3 cup of the prepared batter into each greased cake pan. Use a small spatula or the back of a spoon to evenly smooth the batter. Place the pans on the center rack of the preheated oven and cook until the cake springs back when lightly touched and is no longer sizzling, 8-10 minutes. Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining batter, re-greasing the pans between use. Allow to cool completely before layering with frosting.

To make the frosting:

  • In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar and evaporated milk over medium low heat. Once the sugar has dissolved, add the chocolate and butter. Continue to stir until completely melted. Cook, stirring occasionally, for another 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Allow to cool until thickened enough to spread and not completely fall down the sides of the cake.

To assemble:

  • Place one cooled cake layer on a cake plate or serving platter. Evenly spread about 2 large spoonfuls of cooled frosting over the top. Cover with another layer of cake. Repeat with more frosting and cake layers. Finish by covering to top and sides with the remaining frosting. Use a small spatula or the back of a spoon to evenly smooth the frosting into the grooves along the sides and incorporate any that has fallen down onto the plate. Store at room temperature and best if served within a couple of days.