Decorating cakes brings peace of mind to the baker in the area

Elizabeth Cata Holmes
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF ELIZABETH CATA-HOLMES

SOUTHWEST PORT — Elizabeth Cata-Holmes is a stay-at-home mom and hobby baker who decorates custom cakes that she makes from scratch — a process she says gives her peace of mind.

Cata-Holmes closed Elizabeth’s Peace of Cake, her cupcake and cake shop in Kentucky, six years ago before moving to Southwest Harbor to be near her family.

“My mother wanted her whole family on Mount Desert Island and we would come visit every summer,” Cata-Holmes said.

After she gave up her cake business, she found that the rent for a commercial space at the MDI was too high to move. The baker, who has three children, said running a business of your own is difficult.

“It’s a hobby and I don’t want to stop doing something I really enjoy,” she said.

Cata-Holmes continues to bake cakes for close friends and family members. The baker takes cake requests for events from graduation to birthday parties.

Elizabeth Cata-Holmes bakes and decorates custom cakes from scratch.
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF ELIZABETH CATA-HOLMES

Cata-Holmes bakes and decorates her cakes from home, where she usually works all night after her children have gone to bed. Cata-Holmes can bake six cakes in just one weekend.

“Simple cakes are really hard for me because I have a really big problem with overdoing it,” she said.

Over the years, the self-taught master confectioner has got to know both the beautiful and the challenging aspects of baking. Her favorite cake was a Super Nintendo cake that she made for a birthday party.

“I enjoyed the nostalgia of decorating the Nintendo characters breaking out of the console,” she said.

A more difficult time was a last-minute repair to a wedding cake that was almost ruined during delivery due to traffic conditions. “Luckily the bride had no idea. I said afterwards that I would never make a wedding cake, but of course I did,” she said.

For Cata-Holmes, the greatest reward in baking is seeing a smile and surprise on people’s faces when they see their cakes. Since she bakes as a hobby, she only calculates the ingredients for the cake.

“It’s so important to me to be able to offer a cake to people who couldn’t normally afford it,” she said.

During peak tourist season, Cata-Holmes bakes cakes for Island Bound Treats in Southwest Harbor. While working for them, she doesn’t make custom cakes, which she says is one of the hardest things to tell people who inquire.

To see photos of Cata-Holmes’ cake, visit Elizabeth’s Peace of Cake on Facebook.

Nina Rein

Ninah Rein, an MDI native, shares news and features in the Bar Harbor area. She’s happy to be back in Maine after earning her bachelor’s degree from the University of California, San Diego.

Nina Rein

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