A question that I have been wondering about for quite a while is this one, “What traits make a muffin a muffin and how do those traits differ from what makes a cupcake a cupcake?” You probably know that a muffin is a muffin and a cupcake is a cupcake, but what really distinguishes the two from each other? I thought about which traits I thought differentiated the two baked goods from each other on the bus home from school the other day and I’d like to share my thoughts 😄 .
Here are four points that I think capture the distinct differences between muffins and cupcakes:
- Mixing method and batter
- To frost or not to frost?
- When to eat what?
- The fallacy of health
1. Mixing method and batter-When mixing muffin batter, all you need is a wooden spoon you can go to town. If you’ve ever made muffins before, you will know that it is ABSOLUTELY CRUCIAL to not over mix the batter, otherwise, you’ll end up with rock-hard muffins. Muffin batter should be lumpy, those lumps are lumps of love 😍. Cupcakes on the other hand are essentially mini cakes, so they usually use the creaming method of beating butter and sugar together with an electric mixer, then slowly incorporating eggs, dairy and flour in gradual amounts. Cupcake batter is usually beat until silky smooth,which is completely different from muffin batter.
2. To frost or not to frost- If you go to the streets and ask someone what makes a cupcakes different from a muffin, chances are they’ll tell you that a cupcake has frosting on it. That being said, you can’t just put frosting on a muffin and call it a cupcake. Likewise, you can’t call a cupcake without frosting a muffin because the crumb of the two baked goods are different. I tend to think that the crumb of a muffin is more moist and fluffy than the crumb of a cupcake, which to me is denser and less moist.
3. Rise- Muffins are encouraged to rise up in the oven to create a beautiful dome shaped top. They are also filled with more batter to ensure that they have a high-rising power.
4. When to eat what?- While both cupcakes and muffins can be eaten for a snack, people often eat muffins for breakfast and not cupcakes. Perhaps this is because people believe muffins are healthier than cupcakes, which brings me to my next point…
5.The fallacy of health-