How To Make Smith Island Cake Recipe: Top 10 Healthy Benefits Of It

Smith Island Cake Recipe is a local favorite that resembles a pound cake with cream cheese icing. The recipe was originally featured in the Baltimore Sun and was seen on the Food Network in 2012.

Smith Island cake is the official dessert of Maryland. This stunning cake features 9 delicious yellow cake layers and chocolate icing layers. The chocolate icing seeps down into the cake layers creating the most deliciously moist cake you’ll ever taste.

I will decorate my blog post like a cookbook and talk about how you can make this cake at home.

What Is Island Cake?

Island Cake is a pound cake that is made on Smith Island. It has many distinct layers and flavors. The layers are yellow cake and chocolate icing.

The cake was first featured in the Baltimore Sun newspaper in 1953.

This treat originated on Smith Island, a small island located in the Chesapeake Bay, about 30 miles from Baltimore.

How To Make Smith Island Cake Recipe?

Preparation Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Cook Time: 36 minutes

Total Time: 4 hours

Yield: 10 servings


Chocolate Icing:

  • 6 Tablespoons (85g) of unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
  • one 4 ounce bar (113g) bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped*
  • 1 and 2/3 cups (335g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (55g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 Tablespoons (45ml) of heavy cream


  • cooking spray
  • 1 ½ cups salted butter, softened
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 5 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 ¾ cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 ¾ cups buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup (240g) sour cream, at room temperature

To frost:

  • 8 ounces (227g) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup (125g) unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces, softened

*See note below.


Chocolate Icing:

Place butter and chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 8 minutes on 50% power.

Stir the mixture every 2 minutes until the chocolate is melted and smooth. (You can also melt the chocolate and butter together on the stovetop over low heat.)

Add sugar and cocoa powder. Stir to combine, then add cream and stir until mixture is smooth. Set aside while you make the cake batter, so it cools slightly.


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). If you have a non-stick 9×13” baking pan, spray it with cooking spray, then line with parchment paper.

2. Using a stand mixer or handheld mixer, beat butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat in vanilla, eggs one at a time and set aside.

3. Combine flour, baking powder, soda, and salt in a separate bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture one half at a time and mix until combined. Add the buttermilk to the mixture and beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Be careful not to overmix, or your cake will be tough!

4. Place the batter in the prepared pan, smooth the top with a spatula, and then bake at 350°F (177°C) for 20 minutes.

Island Cake Recipe
Island Cake Recipe

5. Remove cake from oven and let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove and let cool completely on a wire rack.

6. While the cake is baking, make the Icing: Place the cream cheese in a bowl and microwave it on 50% power for 10 seconds; stir until smooth. Add butter and stir until combined. Add the chopped chocolate and mix until incorporated.

7. Pour the mixture over the cake, then refrigerate until completely cool.

8. To frost: Place cream cheese in a bowl and microwave it on 50% power for 8 minutes; stir until smooth. Add butter and stir until combined.

9. Spread icing over the top of the cooled cake, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving, or overnight for the best look (this will allow icing to set a little more)

10. Decorate with whipped cream, strawberries, and cherries if desired.

Island Cake Recipe

Nutrition Facts Of Smith Island Cake Recipe

Total Fat137g
Fiber10g (1%DV)
Sugars346g (19%DV)

Health Benefits Of Smith Island Cake Recipe

1. Raspberries are a top source of anti-oxidants.

2. Research has shown that almonds may help prevent heart disease and strokes by lowering the level of bad cholesterol in the blood.

3. Coconut milk may reduce belly fat when substituted for cow’s milk in your diet.

4. Chia seeds add fiber to this recipe and are also beneficial for lowering cholesterol and fighting cancer cells.

5. Avocados have both monounsaturated fat and fiber, which can help protect your heart and blood vessels as you age.

6. Brazil nuts have been shown to reduce muscle deterioration in old age and prevent cholesterol-related artery blockages.

7. The phytosterols in flaxseed are believed to protect against cancer cells, while the omega-3 fats reduce inflammation.

8. Blueberries are often said to be the best berries for their anti-oxidant properties, and they’re also a good source of fiber.

9. The sweeteners in this recipe are much less detrimental to your health than regular sugar. I’ve used honey instead of corn syrup and brown sugar instead of white sugar.

10. The icing is made with unsweetened cocoa powder and cream, which have the same benefits as the cake’s ingredients.

How To Store Island Cake Recipe?

A cake stored properly will last for 3 days (if you can resist it that long!). Any longer, you’ll need to freeze it to keep it fresh.

To freeze: Wrap tightly in plastic wrap after setting icing, then place in a freezer bag and seal. To defrost, remove from the freezer the night before and thaw on the counter or place in the fridge overnight.

Final Thoughts

I have used this recipe many times and just this past weekend made it again. I always have difficulty making Chocolate Buttercream Icing due to the blending of ingredients. But since I got this nifty Kitchenaid Stand Mixer, I made it for the first time in under an hour!

Place all your ingredients together, mix for 10 minutes, and BAM! You’re done.

This recipe makes a moist, delicious cake that everyone can enjoy!

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