There was a new addition to the Webster Groves Farmers' Market this past week. On Thursday Kaylen Wissinger and her husband Pete set up her Farm Fresh Cupcakes tent and started stacking strawberry-rhubarb, zucchini-spice, chocolate-malt and PB& J cupcakes. It may seem at first glance that there's nothing new about what Wissinger's peddling. In fact, it seems odd to find a cupcake stand at a farmers' market.
Hipster eaters of the world have given the cupcake a kick to the cuisine curb, and food-trend trackers predicted pies would eclipse cupcakes in '11. But Kaylen Wissinger doesn't care about that. She's in it for the love.
She is, she concedes, "obsessed with cupcakes. There are endless possibilities with them. Endless flavor combinations, and they're portion controlled so you can eat a few and not feel badly for eating, like, a whole cake."
After a few minutes with Wissinger, you can't help but acknowledge that this is a woman who is devoted to cupcakes. It's the moist cake, the creamy frosting. It's peeling away the paper wrapper, finishing off the last bite. And it's seasonality of ingredients. "We use fresh and organic ingredients," she says. "We really want to use the best of what's in season."
A bite or two of one of Wissinger's zucchini-spice or peanut-butter-and-jam cupcakes (yes, made with local peanut butter and jam) brings home the depth of her devotion. The buttercream or frosting isn't too sweet. She doesn't (thank goodness) inject anything into the centers. And the PB&J is topped with...PB&J!
These are cupcakes like your grandma would make. If your grandma lived on a farm, baked really well and was all hip in her marketing style. More than that, they're cupcakes-for-cupcakes'-sake -- and that can't be a bad thing.