Smith Family's 12-layer Cake



I found this recipe in a old cookbook,the recipe was handed down from Art Smith's great-great grandmother.Art Smith is a chef and cookbook author.I have not made this cake yet,but looks impressive and tasty.


★★★★☆ 3 votes



  • ·
    4 1/2 c all purpose flour,sifted
  • ·
    1 1/2 t.baking powder
  • ·
    1/4 t. salt
  • ·
    1 1/2 c.(3 sticks) unsalted butter,rm temp
  • ·
    2 1/2 c sugar
  • ·
    6 large eggs,rm. temp
  • ·
    3 c milk
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    1 1/2 t. vanilla
  • ·
    3 c sugar
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    1/21/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder,preferably dutch process
  • ·
    1 c(sticks) unsalted butter,cut up
  • ·
    12 oz. can evaporated milk
  • ·
    1 t.vanilla
  • ·
    pecan halves,for garnish

How to Make Smith Family's 12-layer Cake


  1. Position racks in the center and bottom third of
    the oven and preheat to 375°. Lightly butter four 8
    1/2- to 9-inch cake pans (you will bake the cakes in
    three batches) and line the bottoms with rounds of
    parchment paper. Flour the pans and tap out the

    To make the layers, sift together the sifted flour,
    baking powder and salt. Sift the mixture one more
    time, and set aside.

    Beat the butter and sugar in the bowl of a heavy-duty
    electric mixer fitted with the paddle blade on high
    speed until light in color and texture, about 3
    minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Scrape down
    the bowl and be sure the mixture is well-blended. On
    low speed, add the flour in 3 additions, alternating
    with 2 additions of the milk, beginning and ending
    with the flour, and beat until smooth, scraping down
    the sides of the bowl often with a rubber spatula.
    Beat in the vanilla. Using a scant cup for each layer,
    spread the batter evenly in the pans. It will make a
    thin layer.

    Staggering the pans on the racks so they are at least
    2 inches from each other and the sides of the oven and
    not directly over each other, bake the layers until
    they feel firm when pressed in the centers.
    about 12 minutes. Cool in the pans for 5 minutes.
    Invert the layers onto cake racks, remove the
    parchment paper, and cool completely. Wash and prepare
    the pans. Repeat the procedure until all 12 layers
    have been baked and cooled.

    To make the icing, bring the sugar, cocoa, butter and
    evaporated milk to a full boil in a large saucepan.
    Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the icing
    has thickened slightly (it will resemble chocolate
    syrup but will thicken as it cools), about 3 minutes.
    Stir in the vanilla. Let the icing cool until thick
    enough to spread, but still pourable.

    Place a layer of cake on a wire rack set over a
    jelly-roll pan. Spread with a few tablespoons of the
    icing, letting the excess run down the sides. Stack
    the remaining cakes, icing each layer. Pour the
    remaining icing over the top of the cake. If you wish,
    smooth the icing on the edges to cover the sides.
    Place pecan halves around the top perimeter of the
    cake. Let stand until the glaze sets. (The cake is
    best served the day it is made. To store, cover
    loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 1

    Recommended technique: If you buy inexpensive aluminum
    foil cake pans at the grocery store (they can be saved
    for another time as well), you will be able to knock
    out layers in no time. And no washing between baking!

Printable Recipe Card

About Smith Family's 12-layer Cake

Course/Dish: Cakes

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