Photo courtesy of Cupcakes by Kasthuri

Kasthuri Kateel spent her years in Malaysia baking cookies and cakes for festivals and for her family and friends. Today she is the owner of Cupcakes by Kasthuri, bringing us her unique take on one of Utah's favorite desserts.

When Kasthuri first came to Salt Lake in 2008, she was disappointed to find most cupcakes were beautifully decorated, but overly sweet and lacking in flavor. One day while walking in the Avenues, Kasthuri decided to stop at Cafe on 1st and simply asked the owner, “If I bake something, will you consider selling it?” The owner agreed, and after a few years, Kasthuri started to bake cupcakes full time in 2013.

Kasthuri's philosophy of “double the flavour, less the sugar” goes hand-in-hand with her preference for organic, sustainable products. When basic ingredients like flour, sugar and baking powder aren't treated with hormones or artificial flavoring, the organic flavors in the cupcakes—like real raspberry, ginger and chai—are allowed to shine through.

I'm really particular about the ingredients that go in,” Kasthuri says. Even her kitchen in Artspace Commons is solar-powered and filled with energy-saving appliances. 

Kasthuri has enjoyed having a booth at the Downtown SLC Farmers Market this year, because she is able to see people's reactions when they first try her cupcakes. “They really appreciate [the taste], even the kids do. People love products that are a healthier version, that really are baked with heart and soul,” she says. 

Photo courtesy of Cupcakes by Kasthuri

I, like many Farmers Market patrons, found the cake base to be moist and flavorful, and the frosting to be smooth, fruity and just sweet enough. 

Not only has Kasthuri's time at the Farmers Market brought exposure to her business, but it has helped her integrate into the strong small-business community of Salt Lake. “We are all friends,” she says. Most importantly, it is through this community that she is able to find the locally grown, fresh, sustainable products she needs for her recipes.

"It's how food is supposed to be—how our great-grandparents would have eaten before us."

You can find Kasthuri and her cupcakes on Saturdays at the Downtown Farmers Market at booth 14 W on 400 West, at the City Creek Nordstrom eBar on weekends and at Sugarhouse Cafe. You can order her cupcakes or have your wedding, work party or other event catered by visiting her website, cupcakesbykasthuri.com.