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Old 01-02-2009, 07:35 PM   #1
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Lesson learned: Smith Island cake, 9" pan & boxed mix = poor results

Tried the smith island cake...It's usually an 8, 10 or 12 thin layers of yellow cake with a fudgy frosting. I used my favorite boxed cake mix, Betty crocker butter recipe yellow...I used whole milk vs water...In the past, my guests and I are extremely pleased with the taste and texture of this mix when using milk.

Upon my research, many sites said to use 1/2c of batter for an 8" pan and 2/3c of batter...Two major observations, I was probably just reading info from the wrong sites, but you need more batter than that. Second, the viscosity of the batter changes after 15mins and the volume needs to increase the more time lapse...

Problems I had were varying thickeness of layers...I think a lot of it had to do with the viscosity of the batter over time. Perhaps homemade mix would fair better, but again, I'm happy using boxed cake...

For the future, regardless of size, I'd buy two boxed cake mixes for an eight layer or three mixes for a 12 layer...Make one mix at a time, fill four cake pans and use the remaining batter for cake batter cookies...A few mins before that batch is done, I'd then start making the second mix, and repeat...

Here's what it SHOULD of looked like:

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Old 01-02-2009, 07:37 PM   #2
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Sorry it didn't turn out - at least you learned for the next time, right?
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Old 01-02-2009, 07:38 PM   #3
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It looks perfectly fine to me! I'd be overly proud of such a cake!!
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Old 01-02-2009, 07:42 PM   #4
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Pic wasn't my cake...Just wanted to show people who aren't familiar with a smith island cake what it looks like... :)
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Old 01-02-2009, 07:44 PM   #5
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oh. Well...in that case. Better luck next time!
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Old 01-02-2009, 10:02 PM   #6
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I know you're satisfied with a cake mix, but if you used a "from-scratch" recipe, you might find that the layers would have a little more body. I don't remember who posted this (thanks, whoever you are!!), but I copied and pasted it into my recipe files...it is the perfect basic yellow cake recipe, and it's not much more work than a cake mix:

Basic Yellow Cake

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (do not sift the flour)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups milk
Vegetable oil
1 stick butter (not margarine), softened
1-tablespoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350°

Cut wax paper to fit the bottom of (3) 9 x 1 1/2-inch round pans. Spray the pans with cooking spray, place the wax paper in the pans and spray the paper.

In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt, mixing well.

Measure the 1-1/4 cups of milk in a 2 cup measuring cup….then add enough vegetable oil to bring the liquid up to 1-1/3 cups.

Add the milk/vegetable oil mixture, butter and vanilla to the flour mixture and beat with an electric mixer on medium to medium-high speed for 2 minutes, scraping sides of bowl as needed.

Add the eggs and continue beating an additional 2 minutes. Pour batter into prepared pans.

Bake at 350° for 20 to 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted near center of cake comes out clean, or until cake springs back when touched lightly in the center.

Cool cakes on wire racks for 15 minutes; remove from pans and cool completely.

Frost as desired.
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Old 01-02-2009, 11:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MexicoKaren View Post
I know you're satisfied with a cake mix, but if you used a "from-scratch" recipe, you might find that the layers would have a little more body. I don't remember who posted this (thanks, whoever you are!!), but I copied and pasted it into my recipe files...it is the perfect basic yellow cake recipe, and it's not much more work than a cake mix:

Basic Yellow Cake

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (do not sift the flour)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups milk
Vegetable oil
1 stick butter (not margarine), softened
1-tablespoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350°

Cut wax paper to fit the bottom of (3) 9 x 1 1/2-inch round pans. Spray the pans with cooking spray, place the wax paper in the pans and spray the paper.

In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt, mixing well.

Measure the 1-1/4 cups of milk in a 2 cup measuring cup….then add enough vegetable oil to bring the liquid up to 1-1/3 cups.

Add the milk/vegetable oil mixture, butter and vanilla to the flour mixture and beat with an electric mixer on medium to medium-high speed for 2 minutes, scraping sides of bowl as needed.

Add the eggs and continue beating an additional 2 minutes. Pour batter into prepared pans.

Bake at 350° for 20 to 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted near center of cake comes out clean, or until cake springs back when touched lightly in the center.

Cool cakes on wire racks for 15 minutes; remove from pans and cool completely.

Frost as desired.
Thanks for the reply! I want to add that the smith island recipe has it's own "authentic" from scratch recipe that can be found via google search...I like the mixes because there cheap and you don't made as much as a mess than scratch...Also that the 20-25min times would not work with the thin layers needed for the desired results of the smith island cake, so one would need to monitor cake closely when baking...I've never seen a butter AND OIL cake recipe, but I may eventually give this a try...
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Old 01-02-2009, 11:39 PM   #8
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Bacardi, you might want to try this as an alternative. It's a recipe from Art Smith, as I know, no relation to the Maryland Smith's Island folks. However, I've made this cake successfully.

What I did was to use disposable aluminum pans lined with parchment paper. You have to make soooo many layers in separate pans that's the easiest way I found to handle it. You'll get your multiple layers easily this way.

At any rate, good luck with conquering your cake.
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Old 01-02-2009, 11:48 PM   #9
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I'd never seen a cake recipe like this either. It is perfect with chocolate frosting. Perhaps you'll make it for some other purpose sometime. It's definitely worth the effort.
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Old 01-03-2009, 01:29 AM   #10
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I bet this would be good as a coconut
cake too.
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