If you have a bit of a sweet tooth, then you like to enjoy a cupcake or muffin from time to time. While these two sweet snacks may look a bit alike, they have plenty of differences about them, as well. There’s no denying that both of these foods are yummy, but they both deserve to have their own individuality. If you tend to lump cupcakes and muffins into the same category, or you’re not really sure what the differences between the two are, then keep reading to learn all about these two baked goods and how different they truly are.
Difference Between Muffin and Cupcake
- One of the biggest differences between these two foods is the health factors of the two, especially when you take the ingredients into consideration. Muffins are typically eaten as a quick and convenient breakfast food while eating a cupcake every morning would definitely add on some extra weight over time.
- People don’t typically decorate muffins the way that people decorate cupcakes. Cupcakes are usually used during birthday parties and other social gatherings, so they tend to have loads of frosting or candy on them. Cupcakes are also a lot easier to make in large batches, which is why so many people use them instead of a cake for gatherings. Also, muffins typically have fruit baked into them, where cupcakes may have fruit added to the top.
- Muffins have a dryer and denser texture, while cupcakes have a nice fluffy texture. And unlike a cupcake, muffins usually have a cracked crust, which makes them a bit crispier than cupcakes.
- Considering that cupcakes are essentially miniature cakes, they use much of the same ingredients. On the other hand, muffins are more like quick bread and use a lot of the same ingredients that is takes to make bread. So you see, they may look alike, but they don’t even contain the same ingredients!
- Now, let’s talk about the size of cupcakes compared to muffins. As you have probably noticed, cupcakes are much smaller in size when compared to muffins. They also look a bit different on the top, considering that the muffin’s top overflows on the sides.
Difference in Ingredients
The reason why muffins and cupcakes have a different texture and health benefits is that they’re made from completely different ingredients. As you’ve probably noticed before, the batter for muffins is typically thick, small, and lumpy, where cupcake’s batter is thin and smooth like cakes
Muffins can be considered healthier than cupcakes because the cake flour used in cupcakes is usually replaced with wheat or oats in muffins. Also, the butter required for cupcakes can be replaced with vegetable oil in muffins.
You also have to take the use of eggs into perspective. It takes two eggs to make 12 cupcakes and one egg to make the same amount of muffins. This means that the ratio of fat in muffins is less than it is in cupcakes.
Now that you understand why these two foods are so different, let’s take a look at some mindblowing recipes for both!
For the Cupcakes:
- ½ cup dutch-process cocoa powder
- ½ cup hot water
- 2 cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ tsp baking soda
- ¾ tsp baking powder
- ¾ coarse salt
- 16 tbsp butter, unsalted
- 1 ½ cup sugar
- 2 large eggs and 1 egg yolk
- 1 ¾ tsp vanilla extract
- ⅔ cup sour cream at room temp
For the Caramel Sauce
- 8 tbsp unsalted bytter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- A pinch of salt
For the frosting:
- 16 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 lb confectioner’s sugar
- ⅓ cup caramel sauce
- 1 pinch of coarse salt
- 2 tbsp heavy cream
- 8 fun-sized Snickers bars, chopped
To Make the Cupcakes
- For the cupcakes, you’ll want to preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Using paper liners, line the inside of a standard cupcake tin.
- Using a small bowl, mix together the cocoa powder and hot water until it’s nice and smooth.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the baking soda, flour, baking powder, and salt. Once you’re finished, set to the side.
- Put a medium saucepan over medium heat. Combine the butter and sugar. Stir occasionally, heating the butter until it is melted.
- Remove your mixture from the heat and transfer it into a bowl. Beat the mixture together using an electric mixer on low-speed for four to five minutes.
- One at a time, mix in the eggs and egg yolk.
- Mix in the vanilla and cocoa mixture. Beat the ingredients together until they’re thoroughly combined.
- Put your mixer on low speed. Add in the dry ingredients in two separate batches. Add in the sour cream. Beat until they’re combined.
- Pour your fresh batter into the paper-lined pan. Fill each cup ¾ of the way full with batter.
- Bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes. Make sure to rotate the pans halfway through.
- Once they’re finished, place the pans onto a wire rack to cool.
To Make the Caramel Sauce
- Put a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Melt the butter.
- Add in the sugar. Stirring every so often, cook until the sugar begins to foam. Once it appears that it may begin to burn, remove it from the heat and add in the heavy cream.
- Stir the mixture until it’s completely smooth. Add in the vanilla and salt.
- Allow the mixture to cool down before moving on to the next step.
To Make the Filling
1. Put the chopped Snickers bars into a bowl. Add in ⅓ and ½ cup of the caramel sauce.
- Mix together to coat the Snickers bars.
To Fill the Cupcakes
1. Using a knife, cut a hole out of the center of each cupcake.
- Drop a spoonful of the filling mixture into each cupcake.
To Make the Frosting
1. Put the butter into a bowl.
- Take out your electric mixer, and beat the batter on medium speed for one minute or until smooth.
- Add in the confectioner’s sugar. Blend for one to two minutes, or until it’s nice and smooth.
- Add in the vanilla, caramel sauce, and salt. Mix thoroughly until all of the ingredients are combined.
- Add in the heavy cream. Whip the cream on high speed until it’s light and fluffy.
- Transfer the frosting you just made into a pastry bag.
- Frost the cupcakes. Drizzle the caramel sauce on each of the cupcakes.
- Complete the cupcakes by adding the Snickers bars to the tops of each cupcake.
Pumpkin Muffins w Streusel & Cream Cheese Glaze
For the Muffins:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tsp pumpkin pie spices
- ½ can pumpkin
- ½ cup buttermilk
- ½ tsp vanilla
- ⅛ cup canola oil
- ⅛ cup unsweetened apple sauce
For the Streusel:
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- A dash of nutmeg
- 4 tbsp butter, melted
- ½ cup plus 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
For the Cream Cheese Glaze:
- 3 tbsp cream cheese, softened
- 3 tbsp confectioner’s sugar
- 2 tbsp milk
- Dash of vanilla
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Using paper liners, line a 12 tin muffin pan.
- Using a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt.
- Combine the pumpkin, egg, applesauce, canola oil, vanilla, and buttermilk in a large mixing bowl. Blend together until they’re smooth.
- Slowly mix the dry ingredients in with the wet ingredients. Make sure that you don’t overmix the batter. This could cause your muffins to be very dry, which isn’t enjoyable for anyone.
- Fill each muffin liner in the pan ¾ of the way full with batter.
For the Streusel:
- Combine your sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a small bowl.
- Add in the butter. Then, add the flour to the mixture in small batches. Using your hands, work the batter until all of the ingredients are combined.
- Add the streusel to the top of your unbaked muffins.
- Bake the muffins for 23-25 minutes in the oven.
- Allow the muffins to cool down completely before adding the glaze.
To Prepare the Glaze:
1. Using softened cream cheese, beat the cream cheese together with the confectioner’s sugar and vanilla.
- Add milk, using one tablespoon at a time, until you’ve reached the desired consistency.
- Using a spoon, drizzle the glaze on top of all of your cooled muffins.
As you can clearly see, there are plenty of differences between preparing and baking muffins and cupcakes. In fact, after reading this you’ve probably noticed that they don’t really have too much in common at all! Now that you understand the differences between these two scrumptious foods, you should feel inspired to celebrate by baking some of these treats for your family! Maybe you could even try one of the new recipes you learned today!