Official Dessert Of Maryland: 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 chocolate batter.
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 visitor center on Ewell 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.
Customize Your Cake
Cakes can be customized a variety of ways. You can add nuts (usually black walnut or pecans), fruit (some only in season), candy bar pieces, jams or jellies to almost any cake depending on the baker. Some vendors already offer unusual combinations such as: Black and Red (devil's food and red velvet alternating layers), Checkered Cake, Neapolitan, Chocolate Covered Cherry, and more. These delicious cakes freeze well either whole, in sections, or by the slice.
Maryland's Official State Dessert, Smith Island Cake, is a delicious confection made up of eight to ten (or more) layers of yellow cake held together with a cooked fudge frosting. Other flavor variations are available, but you can't beat the classic.
Sample List Of Flavors
Peanut Butter Cup
In Season Only
Fig (extra charge)
SMITH ISLAND CAKE VENDORS
CAKES BY DAVID
Address: 745 S. Division Street, Salisbury MD 21801
Smith Island Cakes Details:
FLAVORS: Chocolate, chocolate-peanut butter, strawberry, lemon, spice, German chocolate, peanut butter, carrot, can add nuts, chopped candy bars, jams, or jellies as well, and more. They can customize a Smith Island Cake to meet your needs. They also have a sugar free Smith Island Cake available.
ADVANCE NOTICE REQUIRED: 1 - 2 days (More during holidays)
SHIPPING/DELIVERY: They will ship chocolate w/chocolate icing, chocolate-peanut butter, and yellow w/chocolate icing
CAKES SERVED LOCALLY AT: N/A
Address: 1305 S. Division Street, Salisbury MD 21801
Smith Island Cakes Details:
PRICE: $30 and up
FLAVORS: Chocolate, chocolate-peanut butter, peanut butter, chocolate-walnut, Reese's, banana, banana-walnut, mandarin orange, orange, pineapple, lemon, coconut, spice, red velvet, devil's food, coconut-pineapple, Butterfinger, Cookies'n'Cream, pumpkin (in season), strawberry (in season)
ADVANCE NOTICE REQUIRED: 1 - 2 days (More required during holidays)
SHIPPING/DELIVERY: Will ship