Smith Island cakes, designated the official dessert of the state of Maryland, are prepared on December 11, 2009 on Smith Island on the Chesapeake Bay, which has its own region-specific traditional cuisine. The most famous dish is the locally produced cake, featuring 8 to 15 thin layers filled with creme, frosting and/or crushed candy bars. The cake is iced with a cooked chocolate icing.  Known simply as the Smith Island Cake, the dessert is baked for any occasion and not reserved only for holidays.    AFP PHOTO / Virginie MONTET (Photo credit should read Virginie Montet/AFP via Getty Images)

Food - News

Maryland's Decadent State Cake Is Named For A Disappearing Island
The Smith Island Cake, which has been adopted as the official state dessert of Maryland, is typically made with 8 to 10 layers of yellow cake and chocolate frosting. This cake originated on Smith Island — a unique, isolated island first settled in 1608 that is now facing the risk of extinction.
Smith Island’s population has declined from over 800 residents in the 1960s to only 200 in 2021, thanks in part to the loss of jobs after catch limits were implemented in their traditional crabbing and oystering industry. What’s worse is that as the Chesapeake Bay rises, Smith Island sinks, and may be underwater by 2300.
Luckily, new construction is slowing shoreline erosion, and the adoption of the Smith Island cake as Maryland's state dessert in 2008 may boost the island’s tourism industry. As long-time resident Hester Smith told The New York Times, "All the women just about make cakes. The women will pull together and try to save the island."