To Order a Smith Island Cake|
9" cake - $25.00 + shipping; ships chocolate and chocolate-peanut butter
Smith Island Baking Company
Mary Ada Marshall
9” cake - $22.00 + shipping, usually $6-$12 depending on the destination; ships some flavors
Betty Jo Tyler
Bayside Inn Restaurant
The Origins of Smith Island Cake
Smith Island Cake is a confection that consists of many (usually ten) thin layers of cake separated by an equal number of layers of sweet icing.|
Nobody is quite sure who first developed the concept of the Smith Island Cake, though it is believed to have been started as a variation on an English torte. Frances Kitching, whose recipes comprise the island’s official cookbook, is often given credit. An excerpt of an interview with Dave and Midge Patterson for the Crisfield-Smith Island Alliance newsletter has this to say about it:
When we asked about the origin of the famous, multi-layered Smith Island Cakes, she (Kitching) responded, "Well, I don’t know who made the first one . . . I could’ve very well been. I don’t know . . . but my kids loved the icing as well as they did the cake . . . " So it seems that those fabulous, thin-layered cakes may well have evolve to satisfy the craving of children (and maybe a few grown-ups too!) for more of that sweet, tasty icing.
The most popular icing flavor is chocolate, but many bakers have branched out and now specialize in such
exotic flavors as banana, orange, and coconut. The cake is usually yellow, though some bakers prefer to make it with
The cake is a favorite at family gatherings and social events on Smith Island. It has become such a part of the
island’s culture that the Visitors' Center on at the Museum features a display of cake pans used to make this special dessert–and a video of Mrs. Kitching assembling one of her masterpieces.
The cake found its way over to the mainland and is now available for sale at bakeries and restaurants in Crisfield.
Visitors to the area who are lucky enough to sample Smith Island Cake don’t soon forget it. In fact, a popular
souvenir of a trip to Somerset County is a copy of Mrs. Kitching’s cookbook–which, of course, includes a recipe for the
island’s beloved cake.