map of smith islandSmith Island, Maryland, was settled by the British in the 1600’s. It remains Maryland’s only inhabited island group in the Chesapeake Bay. Comprising three villages, Tylerton, Ewell and Rhodes Point, it is inhabited by about 250 people and located 10 miles off shore. Ferry service is limited, sometimes only offering one trip a day.

Smith Island Cakes have been made since the 1800’s, when women on the island would send them with their husbands on the autumn oyster harvest. The cakes were a symbol of community and togetherness, meant to remind the men of the community they had left behind. Smith Island Cakes were the perfect way for the watermen’s families to remind them they were loved and missed, and to ensure them of their prayers for a successful harvest and a safe reunion.

Original Chocolate Smith Island CakeSmith Island Cakes are defined by their super thin layers, stacked usually 8 layers high. The most popular and "traditional" flavor of Smith Island Cake is the Original Chocolate Smith Island Cake, a yellow cake with chocolate fudge frosting. The Maryland legislature named Smith Island Cakes the state dessert in 2008, but Smith Island Cakes were still primarily a locally known delicacy. In 2009, Brian Murphy started The Smith Island Baking Company and began shipping made-from-scratch Smith Island Cakes nationwide.