Cupcakes Vs. Muffins

Baking By teaparty Updated 22 Aug 2010 , 2:21pm by teaparty

teaparty Posted 8 Aug 2010 , 5:59pm
post #1 of 10

Hi, this is something that I've been wondering about. What's the difference between a cupcake and a muffin? Other than the icing and dressing it up. Thanks.

9 replies
pmarks0 Posted 8 Aug 2010 , 6:06pm
post #2 of 10

I always think of a cupcake as being cake in mini form with possibly a filling, and obviously the icing. And I see a muffin more along the lines of a mini loaf type of thing, more a bread-type product like banana bread, a more dense product. Maybe a more coarse product as opposed to a fine product. Although I do find a blueberry muffin straddling the line in texture. And I wouldn't ice a muffin.

teaparty Posted 8 Aug 2010 , 6:54pm
post #3 of 10

Thanks, I guess I'm wondering more about the diffence in ingredients, which I guess is what affects the texture that you mentioned.

Dayti Posted 8 Aug 2010 , 11:34pm
post #4 of 10

I think muffin recipes tend to have less fat and eggs compared to flour and sugar than regular cake recipes, which is why they have a slightly more doughy, bread like texture. I wouldn't ice them either, in fact I wouldn't even wait for them to cool before eating!

Limpy Posted 8 Aug 2010 , 11:40pm
post #5 of 10

A muffin is just an ugly cupcake (laugh).

poohsmomma Posted 9 Aug 2010 , 2:23am
post #6 of 10

I remember from my 4-H baking lessons MANY years ago that you should barely mix the muffin batter before baking-just enough to moisten all the ingredients. Not sure why, but that piece of trivia is stuck in my head. (And it has many random friends up there!)

KristyDi Posted 10 Aug 2010 , 11:44pm
post #7 of 10

To me the difference between muffins and cupcakes are the same as the difference between banana or pumpkin bread and cake. The breads are heavier and have a coarser crumb while the cake is lighter in texture and has a finer crumb.

Quote:
Originally Posted by poohsmomma

I remember from my 4-H baking lessons MANY years ago that you should barely mix the muffin batter before baking-just enough to moisten all the ingredients. Not sure why, but that piece of trivia is stuck in my head. (And it has many random friends up there!)




Because muffins are quick breads and you use the "muffin method" (mix dry and wet ingredients separately then bring them together and mix till just moistened) you mix as little as possible to avoid developing the gluten in the flour since it's supposed to make the bread tougher. The same idea applies to things like pancakes and banana bread too. Or so says Alton Brown.

kansaslaura Posted 11 Aug 2010 , 12:02am
post #8 of 10

The only way that I see a similarity between a cupcake and a muffin is the shape. I make savory muffins all the time--but not so much the savory cupcakes icon_smile.gif

Cupcakes = mini cakes Muffins = mini quick breads?? icon_biggrin.gif

AmandaLP Posted 22 Aug 2010 , 5:35am
post #9 of 10

Cakes have more sugar and fat compared to muffins. As such, muffins have to be mixed through the "muffin method" which is mix dry ingredients, mix wet ingredients, and then mix together until just combined, so you do not let the gluten develop.

Cakes have higher levels of sugar and/or fat, which can interfere with gluten development, so you can mix them in a few different ways and still have moist and not tough cakes/cupcakes.

teaparty Posted 22 Aug 2010 , 2:21pm
post #10 of 10

More sugar and fat, darn! I guess no more eating an un-iced cupcake for breakfast and pretending it's just like eating a muffin. lol

Thanks for all the info. I've never tried to pass a muffin off for a cupcake, it was just something that had my curiosity going.

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