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MARYVILLE (WATE) - Moon Pies have been a Southern staple since the early 1900s. They're made in Chattanooga, are called part of the working man's lunch and they've even inspired a song.
Now there's a new Moon Pie creation and a Maryville bakery called KupKatie's KupKakes, 541 High Street, is the only one licensed to make it.
When Made in Tennessee arrived on a Friday afternoon, the store was hopping. Owner Katie Rayburn described it as, "Overwhelming! It has been crazy, so many people coming in!"
KupKatie's has only been open about 10 months and only selling Moon Pie cupcakes for a few weeks, but already the 27 year old known as KupKatie has made quite a name for herself.
"We are exclusive," Rayburn said. "We are the only bakery in America that can make Moon Pie cupcakes."
KupKatie's holds the license to make official Moon Pie cupcakes and it was Katie's own persistence that made it happen.
"I emailed the VP, and I called him. He said we don't really do that," Rayburn said. "I asked if I could bring them down for him to try. He said, sure. So I brought them down and he took one bite and said, 'You got it!'"
To get the privilege, Rayburn must pay royalties. She also needs to make sure each flavor tastes like the real thing.
She says the Moon Pie officials told her, "He said the core ingredients were the graham cracker and the marshmallow, which is in our cake."
Rayburn whipped up a batch of cupcakes while Made in Tennessee was there. There are Moon Pies in the batter. They're stuffed in the core of the cooked cupcakes and there's even a chunk of one placed on top of the homemade frosting.
So far, the store has sold thousands of Moon Pie cupcakes. "I almost cried. I thought this was amazing! I get to create something that is ours, but with Moon Pies!" Rayburn said.
She's quick to point out that her husband, who wasn't there when we stopped by, is usually the baker and keeping the business going is really a family affair.
"My parents have been overwhelmingly supportive. They are here helping out a lot. My sister, my cousins, it takes all of us to make the magic happen," Rayburn said.
It looks like that magic might just land her a spot in Tennessee baking history. "It is great to be able to represent a cupcake that is a new trend with a Southern classic. I think it makes for a fun, yummy experience," she said.