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Bowmanstown man in Greatest Baker competition

Could a Bowmanstown man be the one to take the cake?

Maxwell Bonser was selected for The Greatest Baker competition, guest starring Buddy Valastro.

The winner of the online competition will take home the title, $10,000, and share their work in Bake from Scratch Magazine.

“So, my cousin (Brittany Handelong) decided to make me sign up for The Greatest Baker competition and of course me being myself was like “Yeah sure I’m not going to get picked but whatever I’ll give it a shot,” Bonser said in a post. “Make sure to support and vote for ya boy.”

Voting begins at 10 a.m. Monday.

Bonser, 22, said he’s been into baking for about three years.

A graduate of CCA, an online school, Bonser said he’s “self-taught.”

“I never went to school for it,” Bonser said. “I use it as like a therapy.”

Bonser explained what he enjoys most about baking.

“Just being able to be able to create something that’s mine,” he said. “Creating new recipes, making new things.”

As part of the competition, he sent photos of the food he makes. People will vote off those photos.

He said they include pictures of cheesecakes, cookies, cakes, and cupcakes.

“My mom (Marybeth Ziegenfuss Gombert) always tells me that I don’t believe in myself the way I should,” he said. “I like the fact that it’s different; not everyone is doing the stuff that I make.”

Bonser said that having been diagnosed with Speech Apraxia Autism and Tourettes, “I dealt with stigmas galore.

“I always kind of felt like an outcast because it was always programmed in my brain that because I was different, that I wasn’t good enough to fit in with the others,” he said. “But as I got older, I realized a diagnosis does not define what you can or cannot do with your life.

“Now being different isn’t such a bad thing after all, and I think that’s why I love baking so much because I get to be myself and show myself in my work, creating new and different things. Still at 22, I have a hard time accepting the fact that being different doesn’t make me any less worthy of great things.”

Bonser said he knows exactly what he would do if he wins the competition.

“If I actually did win, I think I’d use the money to open up my own bakery,” he said. “I think it would be a cool thing to do.”

Aside from baking, Bonser said he likes to make paintings, statues, and masks.

“I deal with everything,” he said.

Known as the “Cake Boss,” Valastro is a beloved pastry chef and TV personality with a passion for crafting awe-inspiring cakes.

In addition to having the chance to meet Buddy, the winner will gain access to an exclusive workshop and Q&A with the Boss himself.

Maxwell Bonser of Bowmanstown was selected for The Greatest Baker competition, guest starring Buddy Valastro. Voting begins at 10 a.m. Monday. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO