What is the difference between cupcakes and muffins? There are no strict rules on when you are allowed to call your baked goods either a cupcake or a muffin. It is not like it is with champagne, a baker does not have to make a cupcake according to a very particular process in a defined region before he or she can sell it as such. Because there are no clear rules, there seems to be a lot of overlap, and I felt the time for this article had come.
All shapes and sizes
When you think about cupcakes and muffins, one could think about savoury baked goods, filled with vegetables. You can top these baked good off with a topping made with cream cheese and avocado. It would be delicious, not sweet and you might be able to get away with calling it healthy.
Someone who hears the words cupcakes and muffins might think about mini cakes, frosted or filled with creamy sweetness, colourfully decorated and topped off with sprinkles. A nice frosting can be made with butter and sugar, and I bet that more than just one person conjures up a mental image that involves chocolate at the mention of cupcakes and muffins.
Some cupcakes and muffins are made without using butter and others are made without eggs. Dietary restrictions can be taken into account, and it won’t change the name you give to your restriction. So the question is, what is the difference between a cupcake and a muffin to you?
To me, a cupcake is always made in a cupcake cup. They are sweet and remind me of a small cake. Most often they are frosted, decorated with icing or covered with other delicious sweet things like chocolate ganache or a glance. Cupcake batter is smooth, moist and rich, and now and then you will find a sweet filling on the inside of your cupcake. They are best enjoyed as a special treat because they are definitely not healthy due to the high sugar and fat content that makes cupcakes so delicious.
Muffins, on the other hand, could be viewed as the healthier version of the cupcake. They can be savoury and often contain nutritious ingredients that contain for instance healthy fats, are low in sugar or have a high fibre content. Muffin batter is a bit dryer than cupcake batter because it is usually made with less fat.
Because muffins are hardly ever frosted and are fairly dry, they have an even shorter shelf life and should ideally be eaten on the same day they were made. A frosted cupcake, on the other hand, will stay delicious for several days.
The difference between a Cupcake and a Muffin
So to summarise, I would say that the difference between cupcakes and muffins is:
- Cupcakes are sweet, muffins less so.
- While cupcakes are moist, muffins are usually on the dry side.
- Cupcakes are never a ‘healthy’ snack, but muffins have the potential to be.
- You always bake cupcakes in a cupcake liner. Muffins are only baked in liners when the baker feels like it.
- Cupcakes are often covered with something sweet like frosting; muffins usually aren’t.
Don’t be mad if one of your friends is showing you this article to keep you from having a cupcake for breakfast. It probably just means they are looking out for you. (Or like to say ‘I told you so.’) But come on, calling a red velvet cupcake with buttercream frosting a breakfast muffin is brilliant marketing but does not make it a good way to start your day.
Did you enjoy this article? Please share it or leave a comment and follow Truthful Food on social media so that you won’t miss out on anything new!