South Florida mother battling ovarian cancer turns to baking

(WSVN) - A South Florida woman took up a tasty hobby that also turned out to be therapeutic.

While battling ovarian cancer, Ellie turned to baking when the pandemic hit. Little did she know, her passion would turn out to be a sweet success.

When the pandemic hit and everyone was stuck at home, a lot of people turned to baking to fill the time.

While many opted for baking bread, one South Florida woman started baking a different kind of treat.

Ellie’s passion project blossomed into an online business, Oh My Pavlova, that ships desserts around South Florida.

It’s something her daughter grew up always loving.

“I’ve always loved the pavlova cake, and it’s been something that I’ve been obsessed with. Me and her decided to figure out a recipe, and we’d make it for friends and family pre-COVID. We’d make it for birthday or events,” said Ellie’s daughter.

It wasn’t just the pandemic, Ellie was also fighting stage one ovarian cancer. For her, baking pavlova cakes was therapeutic.

“While I was sick going through chemo, I’d be sick for about a week, and then the next two weeks I’d just make pavlovas from my house,” she said, “and it really helped my mind be focused and just be focused on making pavlovas and making people happy.”

During her treatment and as the pandemic raged on, she wasn’t able to leave the house. That’s where her family stepped in to help this start-up bakery.

“A lot of people wanted their cakes delivered. I would help with it, my grandfather would help with it, my grandmother would help with delivery. We had a whole team working together,” her daughter said.

Once they got picked up by a popular social media page, their business reached the next level.

“Once we were featured on OnlyinDade, and it increased our sales by so much,” said Ellie.

That meant the business being run out of her kitchen needed an upgrade.

“Things started getting a lot more busy once I finished my chemotherapy treatment, and we had to make a move,” Ellie said. “We’re lucky that E&M sweets leased up some space, and we’re able to make more cakes now.”

And if you’re still trying to figure out just what a pavlova cake is, here’s what it’s all about.

“It’s made with a base of crispy meringue, the second layer you can choose either dulce de leche or Nutella, third layer is homemade whipped cream, and the fourth is topped with strawberries,” Ellie said.

Ellie is now cancer-free after finishing chemotherapy in December and business is booming as well.

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