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.