Ever find yourself eating a piece of cake that is so perfectly moist and full of flavor, sweet yet not overwhelming, and the topping, whether it’s a cream cheese icing, chocolate shavings or sprinkles, really are the icing on the cake, and you just don’t want to stop with one slice? You find yourself looking around to see who’s watching … but of course, you won’t do that.
The reality is we all know we can’t have our cake and eat it, too. Why else make up the meme, right?
Wrong! Enter James Ephraim, aka The Baker’s Man, and his delectable bundt cakes made in just one size, mini. Ephraim has big plans for your cake cravings, too. His goal is for The Baker’s Man to be a household name, and I believe he’ll accomplish that.
Friends, we’re going to have to eat more cake!
Ephraim started The Baker’s Man, a small local bakery that specializes in bundt cakes, about the same time we met at my market three years ago. Ephraim sells his seven flavors of bundt cakes at Houston-area outdoor markets and my Market at Sawyer Yards.
Ephraim fell victim to my random, blunt style of questioning when I asked how a baker was driving such a nice car. Sometimes, I totally lack any couth. Ephraim didn’t miss a beat, though.
“I use to be a banker,” he said.
I knew we had to talk more, and I finally got the chance this week.
Ephraim told me as far back as he could remember, growing up in Houston, he helped bake carrot cakes with his mom.
It took many years before Ephraim made the switch from corporate America back to baking.
Ephraim went to college on the GI Bill after serving in the United States Marine Corps. After graduation, Ephraim worked his way up from bank teller to bank management.
He left banking for a time to travel the world working on offshore oil rigs. His jobs took him to Malaysia, Singapore and even Amsterdam before returning to banking. The rig jobs funded his wife’s dream engagement ring.
The couple now have a 2-year-old girl and 5-month-old boy.
All the while, Ephraim told me, his personal motto kept haunting him about baking.
“I don’t want to be on my death bed and having any what-ifs,” he said.
In true adventurer’s form, and with his wife’s blessing, Ephraim dove right into baking, leaving the banking industry behind (but not the car).
Why bundt cakes?
“That’s an easy one,” Ephraim said. “My mom always made 10-inch bundt cakes for the holidays. So I figured to take them to market I’d make them a smaller personal size.”
Ephraim started with his mom’s carrot cake recipe that he long ago memorized, duplicating the moist base for his other signature flavors, Blondie Caramel, Chocolate Fudge, Lemon, Funfetti, Strawberry and Red Velvet.
“If God didn’t make it, it’s not in the cake,” Ephraim says in one of his lively social media videos, explaining how his red velvet cake has no artificial colors.
Ephraim didn’t leave banking to relax. After all, those children need to eat more than cake. His plans are to expand from multiple outdoor markets to kiosks in malls like the Galleria and Memorial City, before taking over the world of bundt cakes.
To steal another one of his many phrases, his cakes really are deliciousness personified. I can’t wait to see his iconic logo in my local grocery.
To order online or find The Baker’s Man in person, his schedule is listed at TheOriginalBakersMan.com. Find him at the Market at Sawyer Yards, 1502 Sawyer St. this Saturday from 6-10 p.m. Don’t be late, because he typically sells out of his cakes at these markets.
Cohen is an artist and founder of First Saturday Arts Market and the Market at Sawyer Yards. Find him at ArtValet.com.