Muffin vs. Cupcake : What’s is The Difference Between Them?

Muffin vs. Cupcake : What’s is The Difference Between Them?

Muffin or cupcake?

If you give these two options and ask me to choose, I would say “Give me both!”as they are so damn delicious!

As much as we all love munching on muffins and cupcakes, not everyone can distinguish between these two. Both of them have the same ingredients and are of a similar size. If you minus the frosting on top, cupcakes and muffins even look the same!

The characteristics of muffin and cupcakehave a lot of similarities, we agree. But there are also enough differences in terms of ingredient quantity and the way people choose to eat them. For instance, a muffin is more suitable as a breakfast option, but when there’s a celebration going on, cupcakes will always be on the way!

Still confused which one is your favorite?Let’s give you a muffin vs cupcake comparison before you take a side!

What Is A Muffin?

What Is A Muffin?

A muffin is a small-sized bread that’s made of flour, egg, butter, milk and sugar.

Typically, muffin comes with a raised top and moist, coarse-grained texture that tastes delicious. The cup-shaped bread is baked in a pan and often contains fruits inside it.

There are 2 types of muffins available: Savory and Sweet varieties. When the muffins are made of cornmeal and cheese, they are called savory muffins. And the sweet ones contain chocolate chips, blueberry, lemon or banana flavors in them. 

A lot of people often make the mistake of thinking muffins don’t contain any frosting on top. The idea is partially true as regular muffins aren’t usually frosted. However, depending on the occasion, muffins are often highly decorated with different frosting to suit your style.

Characteristics Of Muffin

characteristics of muffin

Ingredients And Method

Muffins are made with a batter consisting of flour, butter/shortening, eggs, flavoring (sweet/savory) and bicarbonate soda that acts as a raising agent.

The mixture is then transferred to pocketed muffin tray/individual moldand baked in the oven. If you want your muffin to brown a little bit more, add some milk into the mixture for that purpose. For toppings, you can use cornmeal, cheese, berries, cinnamon sugar, nuts, chocolate chips, etc.

Appearance And Texture

Muffins come with a rough, pebbled surface that has a golden-brown crust on top. The slightly rounded top may or may not have any frosting in it. The texture should feel a bit crispy on the outside and moist on the inside if baked properly. While chewing, you will feel a bit resistance when you take a bite as it’s a bit dense inside.

Required Temperature

The top of the muffins is usually slightly raised, have you noticed?

To achieve that raised top, the batter needs to rise pretty quickly while in the oven. That’s why, muffins require a high temperature in the initial stage of baking. Muffins are usually baked at 375- to 400-Degree Fahrenheit initially. Later the heat is reduced to 350-Degree Fahrenheit to continue baking.

Health Benefits

Muffins are considered an ideal breakfast option. Do you know why?

They are a basically small version of bread! As muffins don’t contain too much sugar or any additional glazing or frosting on top, you can eat it without counting the calories.

Also, you can also go for some of the healthier options if you maintaining a strict diet. For instance, apple muffins, blueberry whole wheat muffins or delicious starfruit muffins will give you a taste of freshness in every bite!

Limitations

Gets Dry And Overbaked Easily

Remember when we told you muffin needs to be baked at a high temperature initially?

As it requires a high temperature to bake, you have to be really careful about the batter consistency, ingredient quantity, pan size, etc. If any of these requirements aren’t fulfilled properly, then the muffins will become too hard and too chewy to eat.

What Is A Cupcake?

what is a cupcake?

If muffins are considered small-sized bread, then we can call cupcakes a miniature version of birthday cakes!

A cupcake is basically a small cake that’s suitable for a single serving. Baked in a small paper or aluminum cup, cupcakes are usually flavored or topped with additional ingredients such as nuts, raisins, berries or chocolate chips.

Cupcake is a very popular item in weddings, parties and get-together events to celebrate special occasions. The most popular flavor of the cupcake is chocolate. However, vanilla, red velvet and strawberry flavors are pretty famous for their strong tastes and bold appearance as well!

Characteristics Of Cupcake

characteristics of cupcake

Toppings

One of the key aspects of a cupcake is that it usually comes with beautiful frostings.

There are different types of frosting available out there. The buttercream frosting made with sugar and icing sugar is the most common one. For red velvet cupcakes, cream cheese frosting is more suitable. And if you are chocolate lover, then chocolate ganache frosting will make you go “Mmm” in satisfaction!

Ingredients And Method

Cupcake is made with butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, milk and self-rising flour.The dough of the cupcake often contains some sort of add-ins.

Depending on what type of cake you are baking, you can use different creaming method for your cupcakes. However, the most used method is creaming method where the melted butter is thoroughly mixed with the sugar first. Then you can add in the rest of the ingredients and bake the cake immediately in its mold.

Texture

Cupcakes are easy to bite into as they have a very soft texture. They don’t have a crispy exterior and aren’t too dense inside. If baked properly, cupcakes should be lightweight and moist so that you can chew without any difficulty.

Limitations

Higher Calorie Count

Cupcakes are more suitable for festive occasions. You can’t eat them on a daily basis!

As most cupcakes contain a lot of sugar in it, it’s not an ideal food for people with diabetics. Also, the frosting on top of the cake contains a lot of saturated fat and sugar as well. A homemade chocolate cupcake with chocolate frosting, for instance, contains around 473 calories, 23-gram fat, 23-gram saturated fat and 58-gram sugar in total.

Cupcake Vs Muffin – Head To Head Comparison

cupcake vs muffin

Temperature And Baking Time

As we have mentioned earlier, muffins come with a slightly raised top, whereas cupcakes usually have a flat top to accommodate the frosting.

For this reason, muffins require 375 to 400-Degree Fahrenheit temperature to bake initially. After that, the temperature is reduced to 350-Degree to continue baking. In total, muffins are required to be inside the oven for 25 minutes.

Cupcakes, on the other hand, don’t have to be that much crispy or brownish edge. You can bake the cupcakes at 350-Degree Fahrenheit and they will be done in 30-minutes tops!

Flour

Muffins are significantly much denser than cupcakes. The inside of the cupcakes is moist and soft whereas muffins tend to have a little more resistance to them.For this reason, you need to use more flour in making muffins compared to cupcakes.

Also, cupcakes are usually made with all-purpose flour. However, in the case of muffins, flours are often replaced with oat flour, whole wheat flour or nut flour.

Sugar Quantity

Muffins can be sweet or savory depending on your preference. The ratio of the flour, sugar and fat is 3:1:1 whereas cupcakes have a 1:1:1 ratio in them. As you can see, cupcakes already have a higher ratio of butter and sugar.

In addition, cupcakes have frosting on top which contains a lot of sugar as well. The overall taste of cupcakes is sweeter than a muffin in all aspects.

Mixing Process

Cupcakes are made following the cake mix method. The batter is beaten with sugar first. Then all other ingredients such as egg, milk, etc. before putting it inside an oven. To achieve a good texture, sometimes, whipped eggs or mayo are added.

Muffins, on the other hand, are generally mixed using the muffin method. The idea is to put all the dry and wet ingredients in separate bowls. Next, you pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients slowly and make sure not to mix too much.

There’s no need to use a beater, just combine all the ingredients with a spatula and put it inside an oven to bake. If your batter has lumps in it, don’t worry and let it be.

Health Benefits

Due to less sugar and fat ingredient, muffins are considered a healthier treat than a cupcake.

However, it all depends on the size as well! If you buy one of those large bakery muffins and think you are eating healthy, you couldn’t be more wrong! 

To enjoy the health benefits, bake muffins at home and use healthy alternatives. Also, try using whole wheat flour to make the muffins and add fruits for the extra boost.

Frosting

The most glaring difference between cupcake and muffin is the frosting.

Cupcakes are topped with fun, creamy and delicious frosting often accompanied by sprinkles.

Muffins, on the other hand, don’t have any toppings whatsoever. Sometimes, the top is coated with a sugary glaze for improving its texture. However, muffins are usually baked with additional fruits or nuts inside to compensate for the frosting you see on cupcakes!

Bottom Line – Who Is The Winner?

Honestly speaking, there is no right or wrong answerin the muffin vs cupcake battle.

It all depends on what time you are eating and how frequently. Cupcakes are eaten cold whereas muffins taste great both hot and cold!

For festive days, we suggest going for cupcakes as they are always dressed prettily to please the crowd! Also, a day or two with loaded sugar doesn’t hurt anybody either.

However, if you want something that’s healthy enough to eat every day, then homemade muffins are your best option. Don’t forget, you can always add some savory items like cheese, sweetcorn, vegetables to make them all the more interesting!

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