Muffins and cupcakes have the same shape and are often confused, yet there are differences between these two small cakes of American origin.
What is the difference between a muffin and a cupcake?
- The first and most visible difference is that the cupcake is covered with a colored and often flavored icing (buttercream, ganache, sugar paste, etc.) while the muffin is eaten without icing (in general).
- The second is in the texture, the muffin is closer to bread, while the cupcake is lighter. In the muffin recipe, all the dry ingredients are mixed together on the one hand, and on the other hand, all the liquids are assembled. And finally, the two elements: solid and liquid are mixed to obtain the muffin batter. The final texture is therefore heavier.
For the cupcake, we proceed differently: the sugar and the butter are beaten together to add air to the mixture. Then the rest of the ingredients are added. The texture of the cupcake is thus lighter and airy.
- The third: the muffin is normally eaten for breakfast as a pastry, while the cupcake is more appreciated for a snack, or for dessert.
- The fourth is in the composition. The muffin is not very sweet and is richer in flour than the cupcake. The latter is more “greedy”, with more sugar, egg, and butter.
- The fifth and last one is the paper box that wraps the cake. Generally, for the muffin, we use a simple white case or special muffin. For cupcakes, we prefer more original models: square, tulip-shaped, patterned, or multicolored and matched with the frostings. In short, the visual is much more important for a cupcake than for a muffin.