Like breaking a bottle of champagne and starting a fistfight over corsage color, buying a cake is the prerequisite for many important celebrations. Party with pastries with today’s Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of cakes from Smith Island Baking Company.
With a distinctive flavor that earned it the title of Maryland’s official state dessert, Smith Island Baking Company bakes fudgy layer cakes from scratch, shipping them from the eponymous island in Maryland. Each 6-inch chocolate-and-peanut-butter cake alternates ultrathin layers of yellow cake with chocolate and peanut-butter-fudge frosting, mixing flavors like snowflakes in a snow-globe blizzard. The 6-inch original Smith Island cake yields eight slices of yellow-cake pastry mixed with chocolate-fudge frosting. In spite of its obscure origins, Smith Island cake has gone on to receive national acclaim, inspiring National Geographic magazine to name it one of Five American Desserts Worth the Trip and taking the place of tiny golden-man statuettes at regional awards shows.
Smith Island Baking Company
Maryland’s official state dessert is the Smith Island Cake. This delicacy brims with homemade layers of goodness and 200 years of tradition. In the 1800's, watermen's families baked cakes for their hubbies’ oyster-fishing journeys. To help the treats withstand the waves, they iced them with fudge as sweet and sturdy as a drawbridge made of candy canes. Fast-forward to 2009, at a market 50 miles from Smith Island’s shores. Brian Murphy, a recent graduate of the Wharton School, was shopping for a birthday cake for his mother. He chose a Smith Island Cake, and the rest is history. He’d always envisioned himself as a commodities trader, he began to think like an entrepreneur. Before long, he founded the Smith Island Baking Company, a business that handcrafts Smith Island cakes and ships them around the world. The bakery’s signature creation, the chocolate Smith Island cake, teems with thin layers of yellow cake and fudge that National Geographic has deemed “an architectural marvel.” Under his leadership, the venture has grown to incorporate myriad other confections such as chocolate fudge the best ice cream on the planet.