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One slice of Smith Island cake on a plate, with a fork. Milk in the top-right corner.

Smith Island Cake Recipe

Smith Island Cakes is the state dessert for Maryland. 8-12 moist layers of yellow cake are sandwiched between delicious layers of fudge frosting. An impressive and decadent dessert!
Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Resting Time 1 hr
Total Time 2 hrs 20 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 16
Calories 698 kcal



  • 2 boxes yellow cake mix
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup butter, melted and cooled
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  • 9 tablespoon butter, cut into pieces
  • 6 ounce bittersweet chocolate (60% cacoa), broken into squares
  • 2 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla



  • Place butter, chocolate, sugar, heavy cream, and corn syrup in a medium-sized pan over medium heat. Stir frequently.
  • When the mixture comes to a boil, give it a good stir and then let it boil without stirring for 1 minute.
  • Remove from heat. Stir in the vanilla extract.
  • Set aside, uncovered, and allow to cool for 1-2 hours.


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9-inch cake pans with non-stick cooking spray. Line with parchment paper circles and spray again.
  • Using a handheld or stand mixer, combine cake mix, milk, butter, and eggs on low speed for 30 seconds. Scrape the sides.
    Increase speed to medium-high and continue beating for 2 minutes.
  • Use a 1-cup measuring scoop to remove slightly less than a cup of cake batter. Pour this small amount of cake batter into a parchment-lined cake pan. Repeat to fill as many cake pans as you have.
    Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
    Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes, then invert onto a cooling rack. (See FAQ notes for tips on cooling and stacking.)
  • Grease pans and place a parchment circle inside. It is okay to reuse the parchment circles, as long as you grease/spray them each time. Repeat the above steps, filling each cake pan with just under a cup of batter, and baking, until all of the cake layers have been baked.
    Cool cakes completely.

Assembling the Cake

  • Place the first layer of cake onto a serving plate or cake stand. Tear off 4 strips of parchment paper, each about 2-inches long (as wide as your roll - do not cut). Tuck a strip of parchment about a half-inch under each side of the cake, so that the paper will catch any frosting that drips down. This will help your serving plate stay clean.
  • Spread 1/4 cup of frosting over the top of your first layer. Stack the next cake layer on top of the first, and top with 1/4 cup of frosting. Repeat with each layer.
    Pour remaining frosting over the top of the cake and onto sides.
  • Remove parchment strips. Place the cake in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, so that the frosting sets up. If the cake is refrigerated for longer than 2 hours, remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes prior to serving.
  • Cover leftover cake and store at room temperature for 2 days, or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.


The nutritional facts provided are only estimates. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.


Calories: 698kcalCarbohydrates: 93gProtein: 7gFat: 34gSaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 158mgSodium: 682mgPotassium: 179mgFiber: 2gSugar: 66gVitamin A: 998IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 207mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Cake, chocolate, fudge
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