Recipe Finder

The Washington Post

Smith Island Ten-Layer Cake

Smith Island Ten-Layer Cake 16.000

Linda Davidson - The Washington Post

Apr 23, 2008

Some folks believe it was the late Frances Kitching, an innkeeper on the island, who called for the cake to be 10 layers, as it is in this recipe.


Servings: 16
Ingredients
  • For the cake
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into chunks; plus more for greasing the pans
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 heaping teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup water
  • For the icing
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 5 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

For the cake: Position an oven rack in the middle of the oven; preheat to 350 degrees. Use butter to lightly grease ten 9-inch cake pans, or use 2 or 3 cake pans at a time and re-grease them as needed.

Sift together the flour, salt and baking powder.

Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer; beat on medium speed until light and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time; beat until smooth. Reduce the speed to low and add the sifted dry ingredients 1 cup at a time; beat until incorporated. Still on low speed, add the evaporated milk, then the vanilla and water, beating until well combined.

Place 3 serving spoonfuls of batter in each of the cake pans (about 2/3 cup); use the back of the spoon to spread it evenly. Bake 2 or 3 layers at a time on the middle oven rack for 8 to 9 minutes. (A layer is done when you hold it near your ear and do not hear it sizzle.)

While the cakes are baking, make the icing: Combine the sugar and evaporated milk in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the chocolate and butter; warm through, stirring, until both have melted. Increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla extract, stirring to combine. The icing will be thin but will thicken as it cools.

As the cake layers are done, run a spatula around the edge of the pan and ease out the layers. Let them cool. Place the bottom layer on a cake plate; spread 2 or 3 spoonfuls of icing on each layer. (Don't worry if a layer tears; no one will notice when the cake is finished.) Cover the top and sides of the cake with the remaining icing; push any icing that runs onto the plate back onto the cake.


Add it
Rate it

Recipe Source

Adapted from "Mrs. Kitching's Smith Island Cookbook," by Kitching and Susan Stiles Dowell (Tidewater Publishers, 1981). Used by permission of Cornell Maritime Press/Tidewater Publishers, Centreville, Md.

Tested by Vanessa Williams.

E-mail questions to the Food Section.

E-mail questions to the Food Section at food@washpost.com.

Avg. Rating (6)

Rate this recipe

Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving: 545


% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 26g 40%

Saturated Fat: 16g 80%

Cholesterol: 121mg 40%

Sodium: 121mg 5%

Total Carbohydrates: 74g 25%

Dietary Fiber: 2g 8%

Sugar: n/a

Protein: 8g


*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

Most Read lifestyle
SECTION: !!!
INITIAL commentConfig: {includereply=true, canvas_permalink_id=washpost.com/8bvh5zpd9k, allow_comments=true, commentmaxlength=2000, includeshare=true, display_comments=true, canvas_permalink_app_instance=m6yzjj840m, display_more=true, moderationrequired=false, includefeaturenotification=true, defaultsort=reverseChronological, canvas_allcomments_id=washpost.com/km4ey0dajm, comments_period=14, includevoteofftopic=false, allow_videos=false, childrenitemsperpage=3, markerdisplay=post_commenter:Post Commenter|staff:Post Writer|top_commenter:Post Forum|top_local:Washingtologist|top_sports:SuperFan|fact_checker:Fact Checker|post_recommended:Post Recommended|world_watcher:World Watcher|cultuer_connoisseur:Culture Connoisseur|weather_watcher:Capital Weather Watcher|post_contributor:Post Contributor, includesorts=true, includeheader=true, defaulttab=all, includeverifiedcommenters=true, includerecommend=true, maxitemstop=2, includereport=true, source=washpost.com, allow_photos=false, maxitems=7, display_ugc_photos=false, includepause=true, canvas_allcomments_app_instance=6634zxcgfd, includepermalink=false}!!!

FINAL commentConfig: {includereply=true, canvas_permalink_id=washpost.com/8bvh5zpd9k, allow_comments=true, commentmaxlength=2000, includeshare=true, display_comments=true, canvas_permalink_app_instance=m6yzjj840m, display_more=true, moderationrequired=false, includefeaturenotification=true, defaultsort=reverseChronological, canvas_allcomments_id=washpost.com/km4ey0dajm, comments_period=14, includevoteofftopic=false, allow_videos=false, childrenitemsperpage=3, markerdisplay=post_commenter:Post Commenter|staff:Post Writer|top_commenter:Post Forum|top_local:Washingtologist|top_sports:SuperFan|fact_checker:Fact Checker|post_recommended:Post Recommended|world_watcher:World Watcher|cultuer_connoisseur:Culture Connoisseur|weather_watcher:Capital Weather Watcher|post_contributor:Post Contributor, includesorts=true, includeheader=true, defaulttab=all, includeverifiedcommenters=true, includerecommend=true, maxitemstop=2, includereport=true, source=washpost.com, allow_photos=false, maxitems=7, display_ugc_photos=false, includepause=true, canvas_allcomments_app_instance=6634zxcgfd, includepermalink=false}!!