When we started planning our holiday dinner, we decided we wanted to have an assortment of mini-cupcakes so that our guests could have a tiny bites of delight after their meal. So from Halloween to Thanksgiving, we tested recipes every week to decide which cupcakes made the cut! All the recipes we tried came from a wonderful little book called Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. For the first week, we tried out Maple Walnut, Cookies & Cream, Dulce Sin Leche, and Mexican Chocolate Chip (pictured above, listed clockwise starting from the upper left).
Based on our preferences, as well as those of our friends, the Maple Walnut Cupcakes were surprisingly by far the best of the group! While we expected them to be good, they exceeded our expectations by being fantastic!
People liked both chocolate cupcakes equally well. This was also surprising since we expected the Cookies and Cream to be more popular than the Mexican Hot Chocolate. However, the Mexican Hot Chocolates were fudgier and had a better depth of flavor than the Cookies & Cream's; in fact, the C&C's (while good) seemed like they were missing a little richness. The biggest problem with the Mexican Hot Chocolates was their crumbliness. They lacked a bit of structure and ended up falling apart before you could eat them!
The biggest disappointment (for me, at least) were the Dulce Sin Leche. They weren't bad, but with a name like that, we expected them to taste a little more decadent than they did. I'd even venture to say that the Maple Walnuts had the richness & decadence we expected from the Dulce's!
In the end we decided that we would definitely serve the Maple Walnuts at the party. We placed both chocolate cupcakes on the "maybe" list, depending on how our other test recipes panned out. The Dulce's were the first to be completely cut from the running!
For now, I'm only going to share the recipes that were chosen for the Holiday Dinner. However, if there's interest, I could also share other recipes once I've done all the ones from the Dinner Party.