What is the Difference Between a Cupcake and A Muffin?

Advertisements

Welcome to the great Cupcake vs. Muffin debate!  Muffins and cupcakes may look and taste the similar, and of course they are both family tree of breads, but they are two different types of food. Despite their many similarities, cupcakes, and muffins have several critical differences.

About Muffins

Muffins are a class of their own and can have all kinds of flavors and textures. For example, unlike cupcakes, muffins don’t always have to be sweet, nor do they always need to have special flavors.  Muffins can be dense and dry, or soft and creamy. Some are even crunchy. It all depends on the recipe. In this sense, muffins are more versatile than cupcakes which are always meant to be tender and sweet.

Another significant distinction between muffins and cupcakes is how they use toppings and fillings. Muffins don’t need toppings, whereas cupcakes do. However, this doesn’t mean that muffins can never have any toppings. Many muffin recipes feature toppings and even fillings, but they are not always necessary.

Finally, muffins may be eaten at any time. Muffins can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They may even be eaten as snacks.

About Cupcakes

Cupcakes are essentially miniature cakes, and like large cakes, they have to be soft and sweet. They also need to have frosting, like vanilla, chocolate, and mocha. Cupcakes that don’t have frostings and other decorative ingredients could not be called cupcakes.

Additionally, real cupcakes are meant to be tender, which means that they need to be made with eggs and butter. Some recipes allow for thicker cupcakes, but real cupcakes need to have the same texture as larger cakes. In contrast, muffins can have varying textures.

Finally, cupcakes are desserts, which means that they are best eaten after meals. Some cupcakes may be eaten as snacks, but most cupcakes are meant to be desserts.

Conclusion

The difference between Cupcakes and muffins comes down to several factors:

  • Taste – Cupcakes are always sweet, while muffins can have several flavors.
  • Texture – Cupcakes are always soft, while muffins can be crunchy, dense or dry.
  • Toppings and Fillings – Cupcakes always have toppings, while muffins can have toppings, fillings or have none at all.
  • Type of Food – Cupcakes are desserts, whereas muffins are eaten most any time.

Hopefully, this clarifies matters and best wishes in your culinary adventures.

Recipe – Pumpkin Muffins

Advertisements

October is fast approaching, and a variety of pumpkin-spice recipes is sure to brace our kitchen.  Pumpkin recipes taste delicious and give your body that extra boost of veggie goodness.

Pumpkin muffins are perfect breakfast treats as we settle into the fall. The spice blend gives them incredible autumn flavor.

Recipe Ingredients

Ingredient

US measure

Metric measure

Cooked and pureed pumpkin1 cup250 ml
Organic whole wheat self-raising flour7/8 cup207 ml
Baking powder1 teaspoon5 ml
Buttermilk or full-fat milk¾ cup180ml
Baking soda1 teaspoon5 ml
Granulated white sugar¾ cup180 ml
Raisins or dried cranberries1 cup240 ml
Ground cinnamon1 ½ teaspoons7.5 ml
Salt½ teaspoon2.5 ml
Vanilla extract1 teaspoon5 ml
Ground cloves¼ teaspoon1.25 ml
Ground ginger½ teaspoon2.5 ml
Nutmeg¼ teaspoon1.25 ml
Eggs2 large

Recipe Directions

  • Preheat oven to 400F or 205C and place rack in the center of the oven.
  • Prepare the muffin pan (use a nonstick vegetable spray).
  • In a medium-size mixing bowl, add pumpkin puree, buttermilk, and vanilla extract. Whisk until well combined. Add in the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition until well mixed. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, mix the dry ingredients – flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the milk/egg/puree ingredients and mix until combined.
  • Add raisins or dried cranberries
  • Fill the muffin cups to about 2/3 full with the batter using an ice cream scoop (you can also use two spoons as an alternative).
  • Place in your oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.
  • Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack.

Servings

This recipe makes 12 muffins.

How best to serve the dish?

These muffins can be enjoyed at any time of the day with your favorite drink.

How to store

Wrap each muffin in a paper towel and place them in a sealable bag or airtight container and store at room temperature for 5 days, or put them in the freezer.

How long can it be stored?

Frozen  Pumpkin Muffins can last up to three months.

Ask The Cook – How to make Muffins and cupcakes easier to remove from their liner?

Advertisements
Cupcake With Liner

When working with muffins and cupcakes many cooks prefer to take advantage of liners, but often the finished cupcake or muffin sticks to the liner and can be messy to remove.  To prevent this problem, simply place your liner in the pan and give it a lite coating of your favorite cooking spray.   Usually, unflavored cooking sprays work best.  Floured cooking spray, such as ‘Bakers Joy’ may also be used.

A Home Cook’s Muffin Primer

Advertisements

Who can say NO to muffins? Definitely NOT me. Everyone in the world adores muffins regardless of what they may say. If you have never tried one before, you will become a believer once you take your first bite.  Muffin recipes come in many different flavors which make them more irresistible.

Muffins are small, sweet cup-shaped bread usually served in a paper baking cup or straight out of a muffin tin and are accompanied by jam, butter, Cheshire cream, and much more.

Muffin quick breads are delicious and a perfect addition to your breakfast. They are very versatile. You can make savory cheese and ham muffins or sweets like strawberry and banana chocolate chip muffins.  There is an array of muffin recipes out there today.

A Brief History of Muffins

Bakers started making muffins in the early 1700s They were little flat, quick bread or cake with little sugar and easy baking. The word was spelled “moofins,” and many language historians suggested that the word comes from either the French word “moufflet,” meaning “soft bread,” or from the German word “muffe,” which is often applied to a type of cake.  Regardless of where they got their names, muffins have become very popular.

These little round bread became much sweeter in the 19th century. Some bakers still used yeast while others relied heavily on baking soda but were still round and flat.  Many chefs used plain wheat or corn and baked them on a griddle instead of in the oven.

Modern muffins look like cupcakes, but the first sets were a lot like what we call English muffins. One big difference between the ancient and modern muffins is that the first muffin recipes had a limited number of flavors, while current ones come in almost every flavor one can imagine such as chocolate, strawberry, pineapple, pumpkin chips, banana, and et cetera.

Different Types of Muffins

There are two main types of muffins – the English muffins and the American muffins. Both vary in style, flavor, and history.

English-style muffins have a dry texture. They are flat yeast-raised muffins with nooks and crannies that are cooked on a griddle rather than baked in an oven. This muffin recipe dates back to the 10th century in Wales. The muffins were then cooked in hoop-like muffin rings and on the bottom of a skillet or directly on a stove.

So what are American muffins? American-style muffins differ from the English-style muffins. They are quick bread made with flour in individual molds. This is because the mixture forms batter rather than dough.  American muffins are leavened with potash which produces carbon dioxide gas in the batter. These muffins can be further divided into two categories – cake-like and bread-like muffins.  Both categories have peculiar techniques of mixing the batter. The surface of American muffin quick bread is bumpy because the volume of the batter usually doubles during baking. They are traditionally served for breakfast.

In the United States, three states adopted an official muffin. Blueberry muffins are the official muffins in Minnesota. Massachusetts adopted the corn muffins in 1986 as its official state muffin and in 1987 New York adopted the apple muffins as its official state muffin.

The Different Approaches to Making Muffins

Breakfast

Breakfast muffins are normal muffins but with extra nuts, veggies, fruits, and whole-grain flours. You can bake a batch of healthy morning muffins during the weekend and they will take you for the week or you can easily bake a fresh batch every morning.

Sweet vs. Savory

Sweet muffins don’t have to contain excess fat, sugar, or calories. These muffins are soft and light with a delicious taste of different flavors and fresh ingredients.

Winter is coming! This means there will be lots of savory dishes like stews and soups and baked goods like muffins.  Savory muffins are perfect for the toppings to the batter, filled with Bacon, spring onions, and other spicy ingredients. They are ideal as a soup side and are great for a lunchbox treat. Extra virgin oil makes it more virtuous.

Muffin Mixing Method

When making muffin quick bread, there is a need to pay close attention to the order and manner in which you mix the ingredients in the recipe. If the ingredients are mixed in the appropriate way, it will produce perfect results. The dry and wet ingredients should be mixed in separate bowls. Make a well in the dry ingredients, and then pour in the wet ingredients and stir until just combined.

Cooking Tip

  • To make muffins that are soft, light and fluffy, you must avoid over mixing the batter. The over-mixed batter will not give the desired outcome of a perfect muffin; it makes muffins too dense and ruins the airy texture.
  • Always remember to use a muffin liner or grease your muffin pan thoroughly before you scoop in the batter. If you skip this step, baked muffins will lose their shapes when you finally take them out
  • Preheat oven before baking time. This makes the muffin batter less dense and allows for easy baking and puff up.
  • Mix the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet ingredients in a separate bowl. Make a well in the dry ingredients and then stir in the wet mixture until combined.
  • Don’t overfill muffin cups. Filling the cups to the brim will alter the beauty of the baked muffins. Aim to fill your muffin cups ¾ full.
  • After removing muffins from the oven, let them cool off in the muffin tin for 5-6 minutes, and then remove and transfer them to a cooling rack for further cooling before storing or serving.
  • Allow muffins to cool off completely before storing them. Put muffins in sealable plastic bag or airtight container. Use a paper towel to line the base of the container and cover the muffins with another paper towel. You can also put muffins in freezer bags or wrap in foil and store in the fridge.
  • Creativity is the spice of life. Be creative. Do not adhere strictly to the available Try something new by adding some form of creativity to the recipe. Be bold and let your imagination run wild.

Muffin Recipes

Recipe – Pineapple Muffins

Advertisements

Pineapple muffins are a perfect flavorful treat for breakfast, brunch or lunchbox snack. These rich and gooey muffins get their wonderful flavor from fresh pineapple and lemon zest.

Recipe Ingredients

Ingredient

US measure

Metric measure

Crushed pineappleOne-8 ounce can226.80 g
All-purpose flour1 ½ cup360 ml
sugar1 1/8 cups270 ml
melted butter4 tablespoons60 ml
Baking powder2 teaspoons10 ml
Baking soda1 teaspoon5 ml
Buttermilk¾  cup180 ml
Salt¼ teaspoon1.25 ml
Fresh lemon zest1 teaspoon5 ml
Vanilla or almond extract½ teaspoon2.5 ml
Egg1 large

Recipe Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degree F (190 C).
  • Prepare muffin tin with nonstick vegetable spray.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk the egg, milk, and sugar. Stir in the butter, lemon extract and lemon zest tablespoons of butter.
  • Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and stir continuously until well combined, then add the pineapple and lightly stir the batter.
  • Scoop the batter into greased muffin tins ¾ full.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Remove from the oven and set the pan on a wire rack to cool for 20minutes.

Servings

Yield 12 muffins

How best to serve the dish?

Serve warm with Cheshire cheese or jam.

How to store

Store muffins in an airtight container at room temperature. Wrap muffins with aluminum foil and put in a freezer.

How long can it be stored?

Pineapple muffins stored at room temperature can last for 3 days, while frozen muffins can last for three months.

Recipe – Breakfast Muffins

Advertisements

These muffins are a healthier treat for breakfast. These delicious and healthy muffins contain carrot, orange, apple, yogurt, whole flour and porridge oat.

Recipe Ingredients

IngredientUS measureMetric measure
Whole wheat self-raising flour3.53 oz.100 g
Porridge oats13.76 oz.390 g
Melted butter3.53 oz.100 g
Natural yogurt1 tablespoon15 ml
Ground cinnamon1 tablespoon15 ml
Baking soda1 ½ teaspoons7.5 ml
Brown sugar5.29 0z.150 g
Vanilla extract1 teaspoon5 ml
Eggs2 large
Carrot1
Green apples2
Orange zest1 pinch
Salt1 pinch

Recipe Directions

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees C (355 F.).
  • Line muffin pan with a paper liner, or grease the bottom with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Peel and grate the apples and carrot.
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat melted butter and eggs.
  • Stir in yogurt and vanilla extract.
  • In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda, cinnamon, oats, salts, apples, carrots, and zest.
  • Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and stir until well combined.
  • Spoon batter into 8 muffin cups
  • Bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Servings

Makes 8 muffins

How best to serve the dish?

Serve warm with a hot cup of tea or coffee.

How to store

Place muffins in a sealed container and to store your muffins for a long time, wrap them tightly in foil or put them in freezer bags, and store in the fridge.

How long can it be stored?

These muffins can be stored in a sealed container for up to 3 days. Frozen muffins can be stored for 3 months.

Recipe – Strawberry Muffins

Advertisements

It’s not fall, until you’ve had a taste of a delightful, scrumptious treat! Fresh strawberry muffins are a favorite muffin recipe in many households. These muffins are made with sweet fresh or frozen strawberries.

Recipe Ingredients

Ingredient

US measure

Metric measure

Chopped strawberries1 23 cups400 ml
All-purpose flour1 ½ cups360 ml
Baking soda½ teaspoon2.5 ml
Vegetable oil1/3 cup80 ml
Milk½ cup120 ml
Sugar2/3 cup160 ml
Vanilla extract½ teaspoon2.5 ml
Almond extract½ teaspoon2.5 ml
Salt½ teaspoon2.5 ml
Eggs2 large

Recipe Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line muffin pan with a paper liner, or grease the bottom of the muffin cups with non-stick cooking spray.
  • In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk eggs and oil until well combined.
  • Stir in vanilla extract and almond extract.
  • Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients, mix until well combined.
  • Toss in strawberries and lightly stir to coat with flour.
  • Stir in milk.
  • Spoon batter into muffin cups
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
  • Allow muffins to cool for 20 minutes before removing them from pans.
  • Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely

Servings

This recipe makes 1 dozen standard-size muffins.

How best to serve the dish?

Serve warm or at room temperature with cream cheese, whipped cream or yogurt.

How to store

Place muffins in airtight container and store at room temperature for 3 days. If you wish to store them for a long time, wrap them tightly in foil or put in freezer bags, and store in the fridge.

How long can it be stored?

Frozen muffins can last for three months.

Recipe – Blueberry Muffins

Advertisements

Blueberries are my favorite nutritional superstars. They are healthy and range in flavor from sweet to tart and packed with nutrients. I have loved them for as long as I can remember.

Blueberry muffins are easy and quick to make, but it’s quite difficult to make them soft and moist since blueberries become hard when baked. However, you need to take precaution while preparing blueberry muffins.

This is my special blueberry muffin recipe that I have been using for over ten years, and I have never grown tired of using it.

Recipe Ingredients

Ingredient

US measure

Metric measure

Milk½ cup120 ml
Butter4 tablespoons60 ml
All-purpose flour2 cups480 ml
Baking powder2 teaspoons10 ml
Sugar½ cup120 ml
Fresh blueberries1 ½ cups350 ml
Almond extract2 teaspoons10 ml
Vanilla extract¼ teaspoon1.25 ml
Salt½ teaspoon2.5 ml
Eggs2 large

Recipe Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line muffin pan or grease with nonstick vegetable spray.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add the butter and sugar then beat with an electric mixer until the mixture becomes creamy.
  • Add one egg at a time, beating continuously after each addition.
  • In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • Add the dry mixture to the butter-sugar-egg mixture, and then beat until well blended.
  • Stir in the milk, almond and vanilla extract, mix until smooth. Add the berries and stir quickly.
  • Fill each muffin cup (¾ to almost full), using all of the batter.
  • Put the cups in the muffin pan and bake 25 to 30 minutes or until they are golden brown.
  • Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a rack. Let it cool for 10 minutes.
  • Try to lift one muffin out of the pan (you can run a knife around the edge). If the muffin lifts out without sticking or crumbling, then remove all of the cups and allow the muffins to cool completely on a wire rack. But if the muffin sticks, leave them for another 10 minutes before removing all of them.

Your muffin will still retain its great taste even if it crumbles while removing it from the pan.

Servings

This recipe makes twelve muffins.

How best to serve the dish?

This muffin is very versatile. You can serve with any kind of fruit beside blueberries like cranberries, apples, or even raspberries. You can even use pumpkin with seasonings and it will turn to pumpkin muffin. Just be imaginative.

How to store

Store your blueberry muffins in a sealed container. Line the base of the container with a paper towel and cover the muffins with another paper towel.  Use aluminum foil to wrap muffins and store them in the freezer.

How long can it be stored?

Muffins can retain their freshness for about four days, but if frozen it can last for three months.

Recipe – Orange Sour Cream Muffins

Advertisements

Take one bite of these delicious muffins drizzled with a decadent glaze and you’ll see why these rich, tender muffins are a big hit for breakfast, brunch or anytime snack.

The orange juice provides a wonderful flavor, while the sour cream makes each bite of these mouth-watering muffins moist.

Recipe Ingredients

Ingredient

US measure

Metric measure

All-purpose flour1 ¼ cups300 ml
Baking powder1 tablespoon15 ml
Unsalted butter, melted½ cup120 ml
Sugar2/3 cup160 ml
Sour cream1 cup240 ml
Freshly squeezed orange juice¼ cup60 ml
Orange zest1 large orange
Egg1 large
GLAZE  
Freshly squeezed orange juice¼ cup60 ml
Confectioners’ sugar1 ½ cups360 ml
Orange zest2 teaspoons10 ml

Recipe Directions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line muffin tin with paper liners or grease with nonstick cooking oil.
  • For the glaze, mix confectioners’ sugar, orange juice, and zest. Whisk until smooth and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.
  • In another bowl, whisk butter, egg, sour cream, orange juice, and zest.
  • Stir in wet mixture into the dry ingredients just until moist.
  • Spoon the batter evenly into the muffin cups.
  • Bake for 18 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Let muffins cool for 10 minutes and dip muffin crown into the glaze.
  • Allow glaze to set for few minutes before serving.

Servings

This recipe makes twelve muffins.

How best to serve the dish?

Serve warm with cream cheese, orange juice or a cup of hot tea.

How to store

Store muffins in an airtight container at room temperature for two days or allow muffins to cool completely before wrapping them with foil, then store in the fridge.

How long can it be stored?

You can store muffins in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Frozen muffins can be stored for 3 months.

Recipe – Apple Muffins

Advertisements

This recipe is a household favorite, especially during the fall. The combination of apple, cinnamon, and nutmeg blend well in this tasty treat. These muffins are versatile. They are not just for breakfast. You can use them as dessert, lunch box snack, coffee break or any time of the day.

Recipe Ingredients

Ingredient

US measure

Metric measure

All-purpose flour2 cups480 ml
Unsalted butter½ cup120 ml
Canola oil¼ cup60 ml
Baking soda1 ¼ teaspoons6.25 ml
baking powder4 teaspoons20 ml
Brown sugar¾ cup180 ml
Buttermilk1 cup250 ml
Ground cinnamon½ teaspoon2.5 ml
Nutmeg1/8 teaspoon0.625 ml
Peeled and chopped apple2 cups480 ml
Salt½ teaspoon2.5 ml
Egg1 large

Recipe Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Prepare a 12-cup muffin pan. Use a nonstick vegetable spray or line the pan with paper muffin cases.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir in the sugar, and apples until well combined.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, beat the egg, butter, milk, and oil until well combined.
  • Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture, stirring with a large spoon until well combined.
  • Fill muffin cups to about ¾ full.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Insert a toothpick in the center of one muffin; if it comes out clean, it is ready if not leave for some minutes and remove from the oven.
  • Place on a wire rack to cool off completely.

Servings

This recipe yields 12 muffins.

How best to serve the dish?

Serve warm or at room temperature with a cup of tea.

How to store

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for two days or allow muffins to cool completely before wrapping them the muffins in foil, then store in the freezer.

How long can it be stored?

Frozen apple muffins can last for 3 months.

Recipe – Ginger Yeast Muffins

Advertisements

Ginger yeast muffins are loaded with the flavor of ginger and taste best eaten on the day they are cooked. The wonderful aroma of these delicious muffins will fill your home as you make them.

Recipe Ingredients

Ingredient

US measure

Metric measure

All-purpose flour3 cups720 ml
Active dry yeast1 (0.5) ounce package14. 17 g
Warm water (110 to 115 degrees)1 cup240 ml
Shortening1 cup240 ml
molasses½ cup120 ml
Sugar1 ½ cups360 ml
Ground cinnamon2 teaspoons10 ml
Chopped walnut½ cup120 ml
Baking soda½ teaspoon2.5 ml
Ground ginger½ teaspoon2.5 ml
Salt1 teaspoon5 ml
Eggs3

Recipe Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12 standard-size muffin pan with a paper liner, or grease the bottom of the muffin cups with non-stick cooking spray.
  • In a medium bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Set aside and let it sit for few minutes.
  • In a large mixing bowl, cream shortening, and sugar. Whisk in the eggs and beat lightly until smooth.
  • Beat in molasses until smooth.
  • Add the yeast mixture.
  • Stir in cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, and salt.
  • Add in flour and beat to make a thick, light batter. Stir in the nut.
  • Cover and let the batter rise in a warm place for about 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Scoop batter into muffin cups 2/3 full.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until a cake tester (or toothpick) comes out clean.
  • Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to wire rack

Servings

This recipe makes 24 muffins.

How best to serve the dish?

Serve warm muffins with vanilla cream sauce or whipped cream.

How to store

Let the muffins cool off completely on a wire rack, and then place them in a sealable plastic bag and store for four days max. For longer storage, wrap muffins tightly in aluminum foil or put them in freezer bags, and store in the fridge

How long can it be stored?

You can store frozen ginger yeast muffins up to 3 months.