A 60th birthday cake fit for a captain. PHOTO COURTESY OF ELIZABETH CATA-HOLMES

Cake decorating brings peace of mind to area baker



Elizabeth Cata-Holmes
PHOTO COURTESY OF ELIZABETH CATA-HOLMES

SOUTHWEST HARBOR — 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 cake shop in Kentucky, six years ago before moving to live near family in Southwest Harbor. 

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

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

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

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

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

Cata-Holmes bakes and decorates her cakes from home, where she works mostly throughout the night after her kids go to bed. In just one weekend, Cata-Holmes is capable of making six cakes.  

“Simple cakes are very hard for me to do because I have a really bad problem with going over the top,” she said. 

The self-taught cake master has over the years experienced both 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 of decorating the Nintendo characters breaking out of the console,” she said.  

A more challenging time was a last-minute fix to a wedding cake that was nearly ruined during delivery due to traffic conditions. “Thankfully the bride had no idea. I said after that I would never do a wedding cake, but of course I did,” she said. 

For Cata-Holmes, the biggest 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 cake’s ingredients.  

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

During the peak tourist season, Cata-Holmes makes pies for Island Bound Treats in Southwest Harbor. While she is working for them, she does not make custom cakes, which, she says, is one of the most difficult things to tell people who inquire. 

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

Ninah Rein

Ninah Rein

Writer at Mount Desert Islander
Ninah Rein, an MDI native, covers news and features in the Bar Harbor area. She is glad to be back in Maine after earning a bachelor's degree in San Diego from the University of California.
Ninah Rein

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