Smith Island Layer Cake

This version of this recipe is the beginner's version.

Recipe courtesy Mary Ada Marshall, Drum Point Market, Smith Island, MD
Show: Hook, Line & Dinner Episode: Chesapeake Bay
TOTAL TIME: 2 hr 5 min
Prep: 25 min
Inactive Prep: 1 hr 30 min
Cook: 10 min
YIELD: One 9-inch, 8-layer cake
LEVEL: Intermediate


  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs
  • One 18.25-ounce box yellow cake mix, such as Duncan Hines
    • 6 cups confectioners' sugar
    • 1/2 cup softened butter
    • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 3 tablespoons evaporated milk
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    For the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease eight 9-inch cake pans with cooking spray.

    Add the milks, butter, vanilla, salt, eggs and cake mix to a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until fully combined. Evenly divide the cake batter between the cake pans, about 1/2 cup per pan. Bake until the edges are nicely browned and pulling away from the sides of the pan, 6 to 8 minutes.

    Let the cakes cool on damp kitchen towels.

    For the frosting: Meanwhile, heat the sugar, butter, cocoa and evaporated milk in a medium pot over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thoroughly combined. Let cool about 5 minutes prior to frosting.

    Once the cakes have cooled, frost and stack each cake layer. Allow to rest about 1 hour before slicing.

    A viewer or guest of the show, who may not be a professional cook, provided this recipe. The Food Network Kitchens chefs have not tested this recipe and therefore, we cannot make representation as to the results.

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