Cake decorating brings peace of mind to local baker


Elizabeth Cata Holmes

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

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

“My mom wanted her whole family to be on Mount Desert Island and we came to visit her every summer,” Cata-Holmes said.

After abandoning her cake business, she found that the rent for commercial space on MDI was too high to relocate. The baker, who has three children, said the balance of owning a business would be difficult.

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

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

Elizabeth Cata-Holmes bakes and decorates custom cakes from scratch.

Cata-Holmes bakes and decorates her cakes from home, where she mostly works through the night after her children go to bed. In a single weekend, Cata-Holmes is able to bake six cakes.

“Simple cakes are really hard for me to do because I really have a hard time going overboard,” she said.

The self-taught master pastry chef has, over the years, experimented with both the enjoyable and challenging aspects of baking. Her favorite cake was a Super Nintendo cake, which she created for a birthday party.

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

A tougher time was a last minute solution to a wedding cake that was nearly 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 of baking is seeing smiles and surprise on people’s faces when they see her cakes. Because she bakes as a hobby, she only charges for the ingredients for the cake.

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

During peak tourist season, Cata-Holmes bakes pies 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 the Cata-Holmes cakes, visit Elizabeth’s Peace of Cake on Facebook.

Ninah Rene

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

Ninah Rene

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