Cupcakes have been on the brain a lot lately, but we're hardly alone. We met Melisser and her brand new company Sugar Beat Sweets at the World Veg Festival. She's playing with vegan confections, like the candy corn she had on hand, but her focus is on cakes and cupcakes that defy the usual vegan dryness.
Taking advantage of the special sale she had at the event, I selected the four cupcakes pictured above: Snickerdoodle, peppermint patty, vanilla and PB&J. Melisser has certainly achieved her goal of just good cupcakes, period; all passed blind tests of unassuming taster pals who didn't know they were vegan and don't normally choose vegan anything. Flavors are deep and the mouth feel is just what is wanted in a cupcake. For now, Sugar Beat Sweets cupcakes are available at Other Avenues, Rainbow, Underdog, Real Food Co., Ike's Place and Urban Harvest Market. —Tamara Palmer