Fourteen for the Fourteenth

Fourteen Layer Cake. This is apparently a favorite at family get togethers in the South. Now, I’m from the South and I’ve never heard of such a thing. Actually, when I first heard the name, I didn’t believe it. Fourteen individually baked layers … no way. Who would do that? And… why? Then, I thought, it must be good if someone goes to that much trouble. And I did want something new to bake for Valentine’s Day.

Hmmm…let the googling begin.

Well, they do exist. In no time, I had the recipe for a 10-Layer Cake, a 12-Layer Cake and a 14-Layer Cake.

Looks like I’ve been going to the wrong parties.

I decided to go with the 12-Layer Cake recipe because it looked like it would work the best for me. The 10 would be too small and the one for the 14 called for cutting the cake layers and I didn’t think that would go very well. So I used the 12 and just poured it into fourteen pans. Fourteen aluminum foil pans. That way I didn’t have to wait for the pans to cool and be cleaned in between baking. This was a huge time saver.

Here they are … fourteen – 8.5″ pans… Shiny!

Aluminum Pans

Then, I cut 14 sheets of parchment paper, stapled them together and cut out circles the same size as the bottom of the pan.

Getting ready

I decided to err on the side of caution with greasing the pans, because fourteen stuck cakes would make me very unhappy.
So, I greased the bottom and sides with a stick of butter. Then, I laid the parchment circles down and lightly buttered and floured the top of the parchment paper.

Please work!

Fourteen Layer Cake Pans

While those are waiting, I mixed up all the ingredients for the cake batter –
the HUGE amount of cake batter. (Mom, if you’re reading this… thank you again for my Kitchenaid Stand Mixer. I love it.)

Cake Batter

Then I placed a heaping 2/3 cup full of batter in each pan.

Fourteen Layer Cake

Then, just spread it out as evenly as possible.

Fourteen Layer Cake

I was able to bake three cakes at a time. Each set baked for 12 minutes at 350 degrees, (the recipe says 375, but I went with 350). So that means there were five sets at 12 minutes each. (About an hour to bake. Not too bad.)

When the last batch of cakes go in the oven, it’s a good time to start making the icing.

Then, after the icing cools and before it hardens, you can start spreading a little bit on the top of each layer of cooled cake. Before you start… place the cake on a cake board. Place the board on a wire rack. And place the wire rack over a jelly roll pan to catch any icing that drips.

2 layers

and it will drip…

6 layers

and drip…

8 layers

and drip…

14 layers

and drip. It kinda looks like chocolate covered pancakes!

Right about now, I had to control myself from taking a big huge bite right out of the side. YUM!
When you’re done with the last layer, pour any extra icing over the top and spread it around the sides to cover.

Chocolate covered cake

Now, based on the recipe, you’re done. You can let the icing set and eat it right up. The finished cake will look something like this.

Fourteen Layer Cake

I didn’t really like that too much, so I whipped up a quick dark chocolate buttercream frosting and covered the cake to even out the top and sides.

Frosted Fourteen Layer Cake

There… much better. (I know, I know. It lost some of the “homemade, old-fashioned feel.”)

But, I think if you served the cake like this, no one would suspect there were lots of little layers inside.

And, when you finally cut it open, people would be like… wow!

Fourteen Layer Cake

I MEAN WOW!!!!!!!!

Fourteen Layer Cake Side View

I can’t tell you how happy I was to finally cut into this cake and see how pretty it was… and even better, that it worked. And, it was really good and super moist, too. YAY!

Sliced Cake


Fourteen Layer Cake

The recipe I used:
The Smith Family’s 12-Layer Cake (used with 14 pans)

Some other recipes you might like:
10-Layer Cake (Smith Island Cake Recipe)
14-Layer Cake (uses a cake mix)
14-Layer Cake (you cut the layers with this one)

Dark Chocolate Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting
1/2 cup butter, softened to room temperature
8 oz. cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder ( I used Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa)
1 box (1 lb) confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1-3 Tbsp milk

  • Cream the butter and cream cheese with a mixer.
  • Add the cocoa and vanilla.
  • Add the confectioner’s sugar in small batches and blend on low until combined. Scrape down sides with each addition.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of milk at a time until you get the consistency you desire.

Some helpful tools:
Aluminum foil cake pans
Cake board
Cake rack
Jellyroll pan

Happy Baking!

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727 comments on “Fourteen for the Fourteenth”

  1. oh wow that looks absolutely divine and full of love! awesome job!

  2. This is crazy! 14 layers…you have great patience…oh wise one! XXL cake, bravo! I don’t think I can make this.

  3. it is absolutely BEAUTIFUL!!! you are simply amazing.

  4. This looks just like my Granny’s (rest her soul) chocolate layer cake. She was born, raised, and lived her entire life in southeast Alabama. I always thought having a many layered cake was normal until I read your post! She also made a many layered peanut butter cake that was to die for! :) Great job and thank you for taking me back to my childhood.

    How I’d love to come steal a piece :)

    Wow, I’ve never heard of a 14 layer cake before, it looks awesome, but I’m totally intimidated by it :)

    Love your site! You are simply amazing!

  6. I’m going to try to make a sugar-free low carb version of this.

    That is one pretty cake!

  7. this cake is so impressive looking and so mouth-watering! thank you for posting it!

  8. Amazing! I am so grateful you go to so much work to show me wonderful things that I want to see done, but am not quite committed to putting in the effort to make myself (especially since I don’t have 14 pans!). Another masterpiece, Bakerella. (And I made the Oreo truffles tonight and they are possibly one of the best indulgences I’ve ever had.)

  9. HOLY SMOKES! That’s one fabulous cake. My mouth is watering. I NEED that cake! Lol…

    I hope my sister sees this. Maybe she’ll bake one for my next birthday *keeps fingers crossed*

  10. OMG how yum!!!


  11. That is too cool! I can hear all the oohs and ahhhs it brings to the table!

  12. That is amazing!! I can’t believe you went through all that work putting layers together, I would have given up after the 6th layer and started dipping the pieces directly into the icing and eating them. Looks about as tall as Cheesecake Factory Cakes, and that is a feat worth bragging about..

  13. Oh my… my mouth is watering at the sight!

  14. Oh my!!! Eat this must be a sin. I’m a sinner!!!

    One again… Thank you for your great work and your incredible ideas.

  15. Wow- what an amazing looking creation!

  16. Beautiful! For some reason, it’s appearance reminds me of chocolate wafter cookies I’ve eaten before. I dunno why. It looks very neat though. I bet this would also be interesting with the cake batter dyed different colors! Like a rainbow of cake layers!

  17. Oh god amazing!!

  18. Wow, this is certainly just…WOW. It would make a spectacular wedding cake!

  19. I’m from the south and have lived here all my life and I’ve never heard of such thing.

    This cake looks amazing and I am in total awe. It almost looks like a crepe cake.

    What a great idea to use aluminum pans. I’ve wanted to make multi layer cakes but I always talk myself out of it because I don’t want to have to clean the pans in between baking.

    Absolutely Fabulous!

  20. Wow! This is amazingly beautiful & wonderful! I shall try this one day…just one day! Wow wow!!

  21. Looks fantastic, but a lot of work!

  22. Wow, thats the yummiest cake Ive ever seen! I wish I could do something like that in my convetion oven, mabie I could downsize it a little.

  23. Not only am I impressed with the cake, itself, but I'm impressed with the way you cut it! lol It's perfect & beautiful.

  24. WOW!

    If only I had the inclination to do this – just baking a batch of cupcakes has left me grumpy this week! ;-)

  25. I like the final cake and all the layers look so wonderful when you cut it. Many years ago I used a recipe from an AWW book and made a rectangular layer cake and it was cooked in very thin layers under the griller. It worked really well.

  26. Wow! Happy valentines day to *you*, too.

  27. My first thought was to bake regular cake layers but cut them with the wire cake slicer. But you didn’t like that idea? It sounds easier than cutting 12 parchment circles! :-)
    I love the way it turned out. Maybe I can convince one of my kids that they want this for their birthday.

  28. from Malaysia and multi layered cakes are one of our sacred menus here. yours are baked in 14 seperate pans, but our layered cakes are baked or steamed (yep, steamed to lock the moisture, i prefer the steamed version) in 1 pan. it is sold at quite a high price for a small piece.

    you can google for “kek lapis” or “kek lapis sarawak” for images and details on how its made.

    *kek=cake, lapis=layer, sarawak=one of a state in Malaysia.

  29. This looks so good! I almost ate my computer screen!
    What kind of icing did you pour over the cake? Maybe you mentioned it in the post. I’ll have to go back and look.

  30. Wow! So glad you learned about something new and Southern. I’ve never been brave enough to make one, but we have them at most birthdays around my house. In fact, my brother, who is weird at times, had a 14-layer chocolate cake with strawberry icing on the outside for his birthday recently. It was better than it sounds!

  31. YUMMY! I love this cake! :) We have several ladies at church that make it and it’s always my favorite. I’ve never attempted it, but you make me want to!

  32. Completely gorgeous, but I have to know –
    Would you make it again?

  33. This look AMAZING! I will definitely have to try this sometime!

  34. Brilliant idea to use all those foil pans.


  35. My great-grandmother & grandmother used to make these all the time (sometimes with a caramel frosting or white frosting) YUM! I guess it is a southern thing – I live in Alabama.

  36. When I lived in New Orleans, we called this Doberge Cake. Is it the same thing? It looks the same.

    My SE Louisiana mother-in-law still serves a Doberge cake every time we visit.

    I must make this soon. Thanks for sharing.

  37. This cake is called a Smith Island Cake and has been named the official Dessert of Maryland and they have been making it that way for years.

  38. I have definitely never done this, but my brother-in-law’s grandmother, who is most definitely southern, does. So I believe your story!

  39. My three year old is sitting here with me and keeps chanting chocolate pancakes! chocolate pancakes!!! This cake looks devine! Did you wash and save the cake pans?

  40. Boy, does that look delicious! I think it looks better when you added the butter cream icing! Well done!


  42. That looks WONDERFUL…but I don’t think I would ever have the patience to make that :) (especially with buttering all the pans). Super pictures!

  43. I don’t think i could ever do that!

  44. This sort of looks like a Doberge cake (dough-bage with a soft “g”), which is a huge favorite here in New Orleans. For a lot of people it the the birthday standard. The filling, though is more custard-like…and I’ve never counted the layers, so I’m not sure if there are 14, but there are a lot and they are thin like that.

  45. This looks amazing! I will def. be making this soon.

  46. WOW!!!!!!! Sooo COOL!!!! It looks beautiful too!

  47. Fabulous!!! You did a great job with this…as you always do your other projects. This oddly reminds me of the crepe cake I made once.

  48. Well now I know what I’m doing for my toddler’s birthday next week! You are a goddess!

  49. I just realized I needed a great chocolate frosting recipe for my daughters chocolate cupcakes today (her 3rd bday!) I will try out this yummy frosting today. Thanks for sharing! :)

  50. THAT is just amazing!!

  51. Unbelieveable!!! That cake is gorgeous and the pictures with the chocolate running down the side? I totally agree…chocolate pancakes.

  52. yum yum yum!! i am suddenly changing my mind for breakfast!!!

  53. This is the traditional Smith Island cake. The people of Smith Island, in Maryland, claim it as their own. I blogged about it a while back and made one, too:
    It’s crazy-good! GOOD JOB, Jessie!

  54. I’ve seen cakes like this where the layers were cooked like pancakes. After each layer had cooled from the frying pan, they were stacked with icing between.

    Has anyone ever tried pouring cake batter into a frying pan to see if the layers would bake this way?

  55. I have always known these as “Hundred Layer Cakes”, although obviously they are usually much closer to your 14 layers. I tried to make one once and as a cautionary tale to your readers – be 100,000% sure that your cake pans are all exactly the same size! Yours is beautiful. I love the idea of using disposable pans and I do wish I had thought of that….

  56. Oh! That looks absolutely amazing! Great idea with the disposable pans, too. Now I have to try it…hope mine comes out as beautiful!

  57. I’m from the deep South as well and I’ve never had this. But it looks yummy! I think I’m going to link you on my blog just to start the week off right. Thanks for doing all the hard work!

  58. Wow! That is one delicious looking cake!!

  59. Great cake!!!! Looks really tasty!


  60. Wow! That looks great! I’ve seen this kind of cake before and always wondered how they did it. I thought they probably cut the cake to make the layers, but that was way too intimidating for me. I like your method and I think I’ll try it.

  61. Thank you so much for posting this. This is my all time favorite cake from my childhood in the south and I have often wondered how to make it. Thank you!

  62. My grandmother used to make this cake but the layers were made in a cast iron skillet. She cooked each layer on top of the stove. She had either chocolate or that yummy caramel icing. It was SOOOO good.

  63. Oh my! That looks amazing! You are a dynamo!

  64. Holy Smoke! I am SOOOOO gonna do this! How awesome!

    Thanks for sharing.

  65. Even thought I knew there were going to be fourteen layers inside the finished cake, I was will wowed by the sliced pic!

    I’m also from the South (well, I guess it’s technically the Southwest, but who’s counting?), and I have never heard of this. Although after seeing one in action, I have apparently been missing out!

  66. I just had to comment on this. There are several cakes I make that have this many or even more layers. While being a PAIN to make, they are always worth the ton of work they require. My favourite cake ever is a Russian Layered Honey Cake, it usually has at least 12 layers, I believe the last one I made had 15. And they are all rolled out, so no shortcuts like 14 separate tins… If you are curious, you can see it here:
    Great job on the cake and it must have been really good!

  67. Yep, yep, just like a few others have said above me, it’s a Smith Island Cake, from Maryland. Around here, you can get them in a variety of different flavors. Everything from creamsicle to peanut butter. The thin layers combined with the icing make for the craziest, sweetest, moistest, most delicious cake (not to mention time consuming to make!) They go for big bucks in the bakeries!

  68. By any chance is the house next to your for sale? I’d make a great neighbor and taste-tester. Wow.

  69. Wow, this is a labor of love! It looks fabulous.

  70. Simply stunning!! You did a beautiful job! I am up for the challenge…one day I will make this cake.

  71. Wow, just WOW! It looks delicious and also a major pain. I have lived in the South ( South Louisiana) all my life, and have never heard of anyone making a 14 layer cake. The closest thing I can think of would be a Doberge cake, made in the traditional Chocolate or Lemon. But even that only have 6 layers.

  72. I was just starting to think of what kind of cake to make for my dad’s birthday and there it was on your site! That looks so good I wanted to take a big bite out of it! Amazing as usual!

  73. YUM-O!!! looks fantastic!!!

  74. WOW is right, just beautiful!!
    Did you have to put skewers in or anything to keep it from tipping? Or does the chocolate between the layers make it nice and sturdy?

  75. Amazing! Did you know that this layer cake is the State Cake for Maryland?

    Yours looks much better!
    Paula L.

  76. ooohhh, I will definitely have to try this sometime! It reminds me of this Martha Stewart Recipe, but that one is crepes. Did yours taste like crepes or cake?

  77. Amazing and beautiful all at the same time. I really want to try this. Have you ever tried doing anything fun with a carrot cake. I have a to die for carrot cake recipe that I could share with you, but all I can seem to do with it is a round cake as it is pretty moist. I need some fun ideas for a baby shower. :-)

  78. holy cow!

  79. my sister makes this for the holidays every year! It’s my favorite thing she makes. I love it!!

  80. I don’t really know what to write….WOW! YIKES! HOLY COW! Now, that’s a cake indeed! ~Kelly

    unDeniably Domestic

  81. OMGosh! Stop my beating HEART!!!!
    14 layers of divine sweetness covered in heavenly chocolate….

    I have had a cake similar to this a few years ago.

    since you are ridiculously close to me….do you think you could just make me one and bring it to me? Pretty Pleeeeeeease! :)

  82. WOW!! That is amazing and looks so delicious!!

  83. I’ve lived in the south my whole life and never heard of this cake, either. Apparently, I’ve been missing out! Yum!

  84. Looks good Bakerella! And I thought everyone knew about this kind of cake. Hmm. =D

    I make an 8 layer version of this for family shindigs, but I put pecans on top.

    Dad burn it! Now I want a piece!


  85. i aspire to be just like you! those of us who are OCD would have a very hard time making this cake successfully!

  86. Hey Y’all…..this is what we call a Doberge cake in Mobile Alabama. My daughter requests this cake every year for her birthday. The local bakeries still make these, especially during this time of year due to Mardi Gras celebrations. Love your blog!

  87. Amazing cake. Need lots of patience. Thanks for the recipes I might give this a try.

  88. WOW. That cake is amazing! Will you be my mommy?

  89. Wow!!! So cool and delicius yumi
    it´s a great idea

    Salute from:

  90. Hi! I’m also from the deep South – Georgia and Alabama. I’m thinking it might be a deep south thing, since your other Alabama readers are also familiar with it? I’m also thinking it’s something from our grandparents’ era? I’ve only ever seen sweet older ladies serve it. Maybe only they had the patience to attempt it? Thanks for the recipe and the inspiration. It’s so pretty and you made it sound doable, so I think I’ll give it a try!

  91. I'm glad I wasn't the only one to never hear of this cake. But I'm glad there are a bunch of you who have actually had one. And for everyone who seems a little intimidated, it really wasn't that bad. Just took a little more time.

    And, If you make one, I think it tastes better the day it's made. The frosting almost made it too moist for me a couple of days later.

    Melissa – glad I could take you back for a minute.

    alisaz – trust me… I was tempted.

    morgana – you make me laugh

    Victoria – that would be pretty. try it for me.

    Monica H – the idea for the pans came from a tip in the recipe. Thank goodness.

    tamilyn – it wasn't that bad.

    jennie w. – they're so thin, I was afraid I would mutilate them

    Anonymous – looking that up… thanks!

    Cindy – the icing recipe that pours is in the link to the 12-Layer Cake

    Lauren & Eddie – Aren't all brothers weird by default.

    creativecarryout – Yes. But only for a bunch of people.

    Missy – yes. caramel would be yummy

    Julie Marie Winans – thanks I linked to a recipe for the Smith Isalnd Cake, but it was only for 10 layers, so I wasn't sure if it was the same one.

    Liz – I was going to, but when I was all done, it didn't happen.

    Knitnut,Karen – thanks. I think so too

    BMoreSweet – Thanks for the link

    Annapolitan – Frying pan? Yikes. Now, that's work.

    Jennifer – Do you have a recipe?

    The Chic Cakery – I felt the same way

    tastefully sweet – thanks for the link

    Angie – Lucky you live nearby

    Carol Ann – it just sold recently.

    Maryjane – nope. if your layers are flat, you won't need to.

    Paula – I didn't even know state's had cakes. I guess this Famous Smith Island Cake from Maryland made it to a family reunion in Georgia.

    Annie – more like cake.

    Happy Hollister's – not yet, but my mom loves carrot cake so maybe I should.

    The Cookie Girl – it's in the mail.

  92. One of these cakes is a staple at my family reunion every year. Yum!

  93. I live in Mississippi and haven’t seen a multiple layer cake like this before! I’m definitely going to try this! :-)

  94. That cake looks amazing! I definatly want to make it for my next dinner party. I had never heard of this before, also. I love the individual pans. You always have great short cuts.

  95. I think I wouldn’t even bother with a plate… just hand me a fork and let me go to town. The simple things in life are the most decadent ;o)

  96. I love this beautiful cake! I enjoy different cakes for the family for birthdays and now I have found it!Thanks

  97. Oh my stars. This looks simply divine!!!!!!!!

  98. As I looked at the pictures, all I could say was WOW!!!! Then you said it too! I look forward to your blog so much and you have taught me that baking is fun and not as hard as I thought it was. I made the cake mix cookies for my son’s Valentines party and they were a big hit! Thank you so much for making me more comfortable with baking!!!

  99. You. Are. Amazing.
    This is beautiful!

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