Smith Island Cake



  • 24 tablespoons (3 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
  • cups flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • teaspoons salt
  • cups sugar
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 6 eggs


  • 4 ounces dark chocolate , chopped
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla


Make the cake

  1. Heat oven to 350°. Butter and flour four 9″ cake pans; set aside. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl; set dry ingredients aside. Whisk together butter, sugar, milk, vanilla, and eggs in another bowl. Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients, and using a whisk, stir together until just combined; let batter sit for 15 minutes. Stir batter again until smooth, and then divide half the batter among prepared pans; tilt cake pans around to let batter cover entire bottom. Bake cakes, rotating pans halfway through cooking, until barely browned, about 15 minutes. Let cakes cool for 20 minutes in pans, and then invert onto wire racks to cool completely. Clean and dry pans, and grease and flour again; divide remaining batter among pans, and repeat baking process.

Make the icing

  1. Bring both chocolates, sugar, milk, and butter to a boil in a 6-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat; cook, stirring often, until sugar dissolves, chocolate melts, and mixture is smooth and shiny, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla; let icing sit until thick enough to spread, about 30 minutes.

Assemble the cake

  1. Place one cake on a cake stand and, using an offset spatula, spread with 1/4 cup icing; repeat with remaining cakes and 1 1/2 cups icing, leaving top cake un-iced. Chill cake to set icing between cakes, about 30 minutes. Rewarm remaining icing, if necessary, and spread over top and sides of the cake; let icing cool before serving.

Recipe Notes

Adapted from Saveur