Made with stacked pancake-thin layers slathered with frosting, this cake is a specialty of the people who live on Smith Island, an isolated dot of dirt in the Chesapeake Bay.
Some cakes have as few as 7 layers; others boast up to 14. The range of flavors is limited only by the cook's imagination, but the traditional yellow cake with chocolate icing is the favorite.
If you plan to visit the island, wait for spring's more pleasant temperatures. Many Crisfield restaurants offer Smith Island Cake, as do several local bakeries. If you want a whole cake, call ahead. The bakers will send one to the mainland. For a list of cake makers, contact the Somerset County Tourism Office at 1-800-521-9189.
photo: "There is a lopsidedness to it, but that adds to the cake's specialness," says Smith Island, Maryland, baker Beverly Guy.