Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Discussing Cupcakes, SweetArt

The cupcake, America's first trendy treat of the 21st century, and it couldn't be more fitting.  With flavor combinations throughout the country that would require a renowned team of statisticians to total,  prices that range from under $1 for the mini ones to over $5 for the truly decadent, and an individuality that screams, "no sharing necessary", Americans can't seem to get enough of them.  No more fighting over which flavor to get or who got the bigger half, everyone gets to pick, and buy, their own.  

Personally, I'm against the whole phenomenon.  Desserts are meant to be shared!  But at an average of 6 bites per cupcake, are you really willing to risk a bite of your red velvet in exchange for the chocolate cupcake with cream cheese frosting?  For me, that would be an ill advised trade since I don't care much for cream cheese frosting, but then there's the guilt of depriving your friend of a wonderful taste of red velvet.  Questions abound...

Putting the moral issues aside, though, let's return to the item at hand.  Cupcakes are certainly not created equally.  Most stands excel at different aspects of the treat.  Some have perfected a moist cake, while others churn out heavenly butter cream icings.  As with most desserts, it seems that simplicity breeds the best cupcakes.  When there are multiple toppings, fillings, and complex flavored cakes, something is bound to go awry.

But there is one place that seems to get it all right; the cake, the icing, and even the atmosphere.  Nestled into the quiet neighborhood of Tower Grove North, SweetArt puts out tray after tray of simple yet flavorful cupcakes such as the lemonade-blackberry cupcake pictured above.  Not only are the cupcakes well made, the bakery manages to create an environment that encourages sharing and community.  Family inspired art created by co-owner Cbabi Bayoc hangs throughout the store, lovingly nudging you to share one of those 6 precious bites.

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