You walk inside a bakery and ask for the muffin with the pink icing. The shopkeeper looks at you with utter confusion and says, “The cupcake ma’am?” You look down at the counter and read in big bold letters that it is the pink frosting cupcake and wonder how? Here’s to help you solve this dilemma.
A muffin is any quick bread that does NOT contain yeast and is in the shape of a cupcake. A cupcake is any cake batter mixed with the straight method or creaming method made into the shape of a cup. Cupcakes (traditionally) have frosting on top, while muffins have no frosting, but muffins can have a glaze on top. Many people think that the only difference is either frosting or no frosting, or that it’s “in a paper liner” or not, but that is a common mistake. Either one can be made with or without a paper liner; it’s just the baker’s preference.
Muffin batter CANNOT be baked like a sheet cake or round layered cake because it won’t bake properly.
Similarly a cupcake batter cannot be baked in a loaf. But, since both can be baked into a smaller shape, people often think they’re the same.
A humorous distinction made by many food critics is that, if you threw a cupcake against the wall, you would hear something of a ‘poof!’ If you threw a muffin, you would hear a ‘thud!’
You now know the basic distinction, so go out there and spread the knowledge on how well you know your cupcake from your muffin or vice-versa ;).
Image courtesy of our fan- Ms. Aishwarya Maurya.