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Smith Island Baking

Traditional Multilayered Cakes

Layers of Delicious History

The last time

Jessica Smith returned home to Maryland for a family visit, she and her husband were served a delicious, multilayered cake twice in as many days. What was this scrumptious confection, and how had she never heard of it before? It turned out to be a Smith Island Cake — and when Jessica told us about it, we were hooked, too.

Smith Island is historically home to crabbers and oyster seekers. During the 19th century, when the men headed out to fish, the women would send them off with supplies. As the legend
goes, the women discovered that cakes made with lots of thin layers and sealed with frosting made from cooked fudge would stay fresh longer than conventional cakes. The results are not only delicious, but make them ideal for shipping and storing (you can enjoy one of these cakes fresh for a week, or freeze it for up to two months).

Smith Island Baking Company allows you to partake of this Chesapeake Bay delicacy no matter where you live. Maryland native Brian Murphy left his job as a portfolio manager to start the company, which partners with local bakers of Smith Island to bake and distribute the cakes around the U.S. He sees it as a way to spread the word about this treasured local dessert while also revitalizing the island economy (and supporting several charities including Special Olympics, Feed the Children and International Justice Mission). We’re salivating over their 6-inch yellow cakes, available with your choice of three frostings: original fudge frosting, cooked coconut, or chocolate peanut butter. Shipped in either a box or a decorative tin, they make a special gift fit for a queen.

— Mir
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Smith Island Baking Company - Traditional Multilayered Cakes
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Grommet Launch Conversation

  • Karla
    Karla

    I’m delighted that Daily Grommet has chosen to feature Smith Island Cakes and to share the story about the generations and generations of Smith Islanders who have been celebrating their special events with this delicious dessert. The ladies here would love to box up a cake for you and send it on the next ferry en route to your special event so you can be a part of this rich tradition, too. Please let me know what questions you have!

  • Meghan
    Meghan
    4/29/2010 12:26 PM

    Hi Karla,

    I just had my first taste of one of your cakes the other day...unbelievable!! It was so tasty and so good, it was hard to stop eating it. Keep up the good work down there!

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    4/29/2010 12:29 PM

    I love imagining the tradition of bringing these cakes to events. Because most Smith Island women makes these, it must be like a state fair judging, where you cut into your cake holding your breath knowing all eyes are judging the quality and quantity of your layers! And the surprise when people first started upping the ante by adding more and thinner layers, pushing their skills to the limit, fun story and great tradition!

  • Sara
    Sara – Grommet Team
    4/29/2010 12:44 PM

    The Smith Island Baking Company not only produces this amazing cake, it is also helping a local US economy by creating jobs. The decreased production of the local crab and oyster population has really effected their fishing economy. We applaud Smith Island for supporting the talented people who live in this beautiful part of our country.

  • Janet
    Janet
    4/29/2010 1:50 PM

    We enjoy Smith Island Cakes for all our major celebrations! Can't beat them!

  • Tom
    Tom
    4/29/2010 3:14 PM

    Karla-

    Your cakes continue to be a favorite in our house! Please thank the Smith Island ladies for their outstanding work-and thanks for yours in getting this delicacy into the public eye!

  • Karla
    Karla – Special Guest
    4/29/2010 3:56 PM

    It is great to hear from all of you and thank you from all of the ladies on Smith Island. It is a warm and sunny day here on the island, come and visit us this summer.

  • Linda
    Linda
    4/29/2010 4:05 PM

    Hi Karla, Your cake sounds delicious and the tin is really cute. Is the tin meant to be reused?

  • Karla
    Karla – Special Guest
    4/29/2010 4:27 PM

    Yes, the tin is meant to store the cake on the counter, the chocolate cake is not refrigerated, it is kept covered for freshness. The other flavors have to be refrigerated. It's also great for reordering your next cake...!

  • Maria
    Maria
    4/30/2010 8:37 AM

    Hi Karla! You need to bring the cake to Cinci! Have a great day.

  • Sara
    Sara – Grommet Team
    4/30/2010 9:30 AM

    Hi Linda, you will love the cake tin. It is a really cheery, bright yellow, retro looking. It would look great on the counter. I love sending delicious food gifts with beautiful presentation... and once the cake is all gobbled up, your recipient has this charming tin to use again and again.

  • Katherine
    Katherine
    4/30/2010 11:27 AM

    Your cake looks just like a cake my grandmother used to make. It was my favorite dessert she made. I am ordering one to share with my family. What a great memory

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    6/4/2010 11:45 AM

    Congratulations to Brian for being featured at businessweek.com!

    http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/10_22/b4180077289992.htm

  • Dede Lewis
    Dede Lewis
    5/3/2011 3:57 PM

    These cakes look wonderful and I can almost taste them when looking at the photos!Are all of the cakes 6" size? I see that there are two tins pictured but can not find any information on different sized cakes. I look forward to having one of these beautiful cakes on the next special occasion. Thanks!

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    5/3/2011 4:52 PM

    @Dede Lewis: I'm always amazed at how many layers they get in there! Yes, each of the cakes we are carrying are 6".

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