Lovie Smith

Let them eat cake

Chef's picks, Dining: Let them eat cake

Lovie Smith

Let them eat cake

Lovie and MaryAnn Smith focus on the family. And shares some recipes!

Story: Bridget Broihahn

Photos: Bridget Broihahn

MaryAnne Smith is focused on family. And being the spouse of a coaching professional can be quite daunting. The outside pressure from the public can be enormous. Moving to Champaign-Urbana makes this the Smiths’ twentieth home in Lovie Lee Smith’s –his given name- football coaching career. Moving is considered one of the biggest stressors in life; something that could even bring about great strife to a marriage. Try multiplying that by 20.

Obviously, MayAnne and Lovie are solid. Indeed.

They have successfully raised three young men, Mikal, Matthew and Miles, and now have ten grandchildren. Lovie and MaryAnne’s commitment to family is evident in all they do, and making the world a better place for others is the cornerstone of their philanthropic endeavors, like American Diabetes Association and the Lovie and MaryAnne Smith Foundation.

When it’s time for the holidays, families come together to enjoy each other and celebrate the season. The Smiths- no doubt- enjoy each family moment as much as any family. Being the high profile family that they are, the relish their family time together. MaryAnne Smith was eager to pass down a family favorite recipe for pineapple cake to At Home in Central Illinois readers’ families so they may enjoy it, too.

“I love this recipe because it comes from my mother,” she said of the cake that comes from Margaret Ford.

There’s nothing like a family recipe. It has not only the delicious experience in the now, but it also lends to the recollection of family memories, something that is priceless.

MaryAnne wrote it down for At Home in Central Illinois, right out of her head, from memory.

“My family has made it since the1950s,” she said.

She hopes that At Home readers will enjoy this recipe from her family to yours.

“It’s always for family occasions, never formal, but always a favorite because it just means ‘family,’” she said.

The Pineapple Cake


2 eggs

2 cups sugar

1 can crushed pineapple (juice included)

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla Walnuts as desired

Frosting: 1 stick butter

8 oz. cream cheese

1 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla


General baking directions: preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Beat the eggs, add the sugar, and add the crushed pineapple. Then, mix in the flour, the baking soda, the walnuts, as desired, and then the vanilla. Pour into 13 x 10 oblong pan sprayed with floured cooking spray. Bake for 35 minutes. It is done when it has a springy top.

MaryAnne said, “Always check with the clean toothpick test!”

MaryAnne shared to not let the cake cool first before frosting this family favorite.

“While cake is still warm frost with the stick butter, the cream cheese, the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla,” she said. *

Editor’s note: In the print edition of At Home in Central Illinois, it states that the Smith’s have eight grandchildren. They have ten grandchildren. At Home in Central Illinois deeply regrets this error.