Jake’s Cakes: Bundt Cakes Rule at Bundt Appetite 

Jakenesia “Jake” Winder’s cake business is kicking off.

Jakenesia "Jake" Winder inherited her "chef's ear" from her mother, grandmother, and aunt.

"It's when you're cooking, you don't use a recipe," Winder says. "You keep seasoning and adding until you hear the chef call, 'Stop. That's enough.'"

That's "chef" as in "the chef gods — people like Wolfgang Puck, Gordon Ramsay, Alejandro Sánchez."

Winder has the ear as well as the eye when she makes her often elaborate bundt cakes for her business, Bundt Appetite.

click to enlarge Jakenesia Winder
  • Jakenesia Winder

"Sweets caught my attention. And the funniest thing is I don't like sweets for myself. I do not eat candy. I don't like a lot of sugar. But it just came naturally. I'm really good at making cakes from scratch, for somebody who doesn't like sweets."

Growing up in Hollandale, Mississippi, Winder made up her mind as a child to cook for a living. "My grandma had a peach tree in her backyard. I was picking fresh peaches, picking peas. I'd wake up early in the morning and pick a bunch, and she would cook and I would watch, and I fell in love with it."

Winder preferred the kitchen to the backyard. "A lot of kids were always outside playing. And I never wanted to go outside and get dirty," she says.

Her grandmother's caramel cake particularly made an impression on her. "It wasn't too thick. It wasn't too thin. It was just right. Fluffy."

In high school, a motivational speaker told her, "College is an investment for your life. So if you're going to spend money and spend time, make sure it's something you love to do."

"I thought to myself, 'I love to cook. I should do that.'"

Winder graduated from Southwest Tennessee Community College with a degree in culinary arts. Chef Steven Leake, culinary and hospitality management instructor, was another inspiration. "He believed in me," she says.

Winder's first job out of school was "cold prep" at Methodist University Hospital. "Just putting Jell-O in a tray and sending it to patients." Within three years, she worked her way up to become one of the lead cooks.

Winder then went to work at Next Door American Eatery in Crosstown Concourse. She was hired as "a salad person" and rose to kitchen supervisor in less than a year.

After taking a job at French Truck Coffee, Winder and her best friend began a short-lived cake business. They saw a photo of a pound cake and said, "We can make this."

Winder eventually moved to the Hu. Hotel, where she was the lead morning cook, but she lost her job after the restaurant was sold and the pandemic began. She moved to Comeback Coffee, where she now is line chef.

She got the idea for her bundt cake business last May. "I love bundt cakes because you can go so many different directions with them."

Winder began Bundt Appetite less than a month ago. "I did a tasting with my close friends and family and took some pictures of the cakes and got their opinion on the batter and icing and what I could do differently," she says. "They all gave me the green light. That's when I posted my Facebook page and said I'd be taking orders. We've been doing great. More than I expected. In my first four days I did roughly 30 cakes."

As for future plans, Winder says, "I want a pastry food truck." She also would like to branch out and make Rice Krispies treats in several flavors.

But, for now, she's sticking to her bundt cakes, which come in 4-, 8-, and 10-inch sizes. "I have four flavors: vanilla, honey bun, and strawberry, and a new one — cookies and cream."

A "vegan cake," which is "animal-product-free, plant based," is in the works, Winder says.

But don't rely on your "chef's ear," nose, or mouth to figure out how to make one of Winder's Bundt Appetite cakes. "Each cake has a secret ingredient that makes the flavor pop more."

For information on Bundt Appetite, go to facebook.com/keepitbundt or search for Bundt Appetite on Facebook.

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