Thursday, February 23, 2012 / 8:25 AM
Webster Groves is a cute place. There are cute families gamboling about in its parks; shuttling back to comfy homes in SUVs; faces besmirched with the evidence of recreational snacks from its ice cream and sno-cone stands.
There was an awfully cute family at the grand opening of St. Louis Cupcake yesterday. Five blonde kids, from rugrat on up, each but a single clothing size bigger than the next, with their blonde mom. They were as excited as a kid can get by a cupcake, which is a lot, but though they nearly attempted to physically scale the glass cupcake counter, they were under control. Mom had that covered.
In a cute li’l bedroom community, about 20 licks from Serendipity and a few slurps north of cute little Tro-Mo, in a strip mall across the street from the nostalgic-diner-cute Hwy 61 Roadhouse, St. Louis Cupcake is gettin’ cute.
Stephanie Chapman has supplied cupcakes to all four Straub’s locations for a few years now, and, we hear, they fly off the shelves. She said she was ready to plant a flag in her own storefront, and as of yesterday, she has.
Her newly christened St. Louis Cupcake is a small-ish joint inclined to carryout, with just two tables. In fact, the glass case loaded with cupcakes is strangely small as well – maybe five feet in width. No matter – it’s those sinful cupcakes that draw the eye like a stripper at a nursing home.
A chocolate coconut cupcake (below left) offered the big sugar-boom of luscious buttercream, and dense cake. A red velvet cupcake (below right) had a sufficiently sour tang from the cream-cheese frosting. Other offerings may be pretty great, too, but eating more than two would have been akin to drinking multiple cups of coffee in a single burst – surely, others would have been forced to pay for my freakishly intense mood.
(Note that St. Louis Cupcake's cupcakes are medium-size, larger than minis but smaller than, say, the jumbo-size guys at Jilly’s.)
Among the many other flavors Chapman plans to rotate day by day are:
Classic Vanilla (sweet vanilla buttercream frosting on a Madagascar bourbon vanilla cupcake)
Chocolate Velvet (chocolate cupcake topped with a whipped chocolate ganache frosting)
Carrot (carrot cake topped with a vanilla cream cheese frosting)
Vanilla Fudge (Madagascar bourbon vanilla cupcake topped with a whipped chocolate ganache frosting)
Key Lime (key lime cupcake topped with a tart key lime frosting)
Hot Fudge (chocolate cupcake topped with a vanilla cream cheese frosting and a hot fudge swirl)
Lemon Drop (light lemon cupcake with a tart lemon buttercream frosting)
Vanilla Caramel (Madagascar bourbon vanilla cupcake topped with a sweet vanilla buttercream and a caramel swirl)
Royal Raspberry (Madagascar bourbon vanilla cupcake stuffed with fresh raspberry sauce and topped with a sweet vanilla buttercream frosting)
Cookies ‘n Cream (chocolate cupcake topped with an Oreo-crumble buttercream frosting).
Chapman plans to feature about six different flavors of cupcake in the shop each day and added that she's considering developing other flavors, such as a s’mores cupcake, in the future.
Foodies moan about trends, about the dead horse that is the cupcake-shoppe trend, but let’s face it: cupcakes are eternal. A pack of squealing kids in Webster gets it, just like every adult who makes a beeline for the cupcake shop gets it – with their sugar-bomb rush, and squat, miniature, humble cuteness, cupcakes have a way of melting your defenses faster than the summer sun can morph a buttercream frosting. Everyone who walked into St. Louis Cupcake on its first day of business had that rapturous smile on his face -- cupcakes had come to town.
St. Louis Cupcake
39 S. Old Orchard
Mon-Sat 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Sun 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Cupcakes are $3; $15/half-dozen; $29/dozen
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