Muffins versus Cupcakes

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mochafairy
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Muffins versus Cupcakes

Postby mochafairy » Thu Jul 31, 2008 12:51 pm UTC

My boyfriend and I were having a discussion on the muffin-cupcake spectrum: what exactly is the muffin cupcake spectrum and does it have more than one variable?

I’ve always thought that muffins were healthier versions of their cupcake brethren, but he was quick to point out chocolate muffins and the like. He’s always seen it in terms of size, muffins always being bigger than cupcakes.

So, I come to you. What is the muffin-cupcake spectrum?
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Re: Muffins versus Cupcakes

Postby PatrickRsGhost » Thu Jul 31, 2008 12:55 pm UTC

Muffins have bigger heads, and therefore more goody, than their cupcake cousins. Muffins are what cupcakes want to be when they grow up.

Muffins are an adult's cupcake.
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Re: Muffins versus Cupcakes

Postby hyperion » Thu Jul 31, 2008 1:01 pm UTC

Cupcakes are funsize muffins.
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Re: Muffins versus Cupcakes

Postby Bakemaster » Thu Jul 31, 2008 8:32 pm UTC

Cupcakes are typically frosted/iced and have a higher fat-to-starch ratio, ingredient-wise. You can easily make a muffin less healthy than a cupcake so that's not really a determining factor.
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Re: Muffins versus Cupcakes

Postby asad137 » Thu Jul 31, 2008 9:45 pm UTC

Size doesn't matter: I had some mini-muffins the other day that were clearly not cupcakes.

Bakemaster wrote:Cupcakes...have a higher fat-to-starch ratio, ingredient-wise.


I think this is the winner right here. The snarky answer is that cupcakes are made from cake batter while muffins are made from muffin batter. They are not the same, and I believe Bakemaster accurately describes the difference. I assume there could be some spectrum of muffiny-vs-cakey batters. It seems that muffins tend to have less fat in the batter and fewer eggs (leading to less fat and less protein, the latter of which will alter the texture and make muffins more crumbly than cupcakes).

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Re: Muffins versus Cupcakes

Postby hermaj » Fri Aug 01, 2008 1:02 am UTC

Yeah, I seem to remember one using more or less eggs than the other, and I think all my muffin recipes call for oil where all my cupcake recipes call for butter.

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Re: Muffins versus Cupcakes

Postby carpodoubt » Fri Aug 01, 2008 5:03 am UTC

I think you can make a muffin as cake like as you want really. I have definately had some muffins that tasted fattier than cupcakes. I think the main separator is the frosting.
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Re: Muffins versus Cupcakes

Postby Bakemaster » Fri Aug 01, 2008 5:19 am UTC

carpodoubt wrote:I have definately had some muffins that tasted fattier than cupcakes.

That's why I said "ingredient-wise" and not "nutrition-wise". In the context of baking, ingredients can be separated into general categories like fat, starch, sugar. Fat could mean lard, vegetable oil, shortening, butter, margarine—all of which have different nutritional fat content. Sugar could mean processed granulated sugar, raw sugar, brown sugar, honey. A cupcake made with a vegan butter substitute would likely have less dietary fat than a muffin made with lard, but it would still have a higher fat-to-starch ratio in the context of ingredients, where the vegan butter substitute acts as the fat in the recipe.
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Re: Muffins versus Cupcakes

Postby mochafairy » Fri Aug 01, 2008 6:31 am UTC

carpodoubt wrote:Do you go to CMU mochafairy because I was part of the same exact argument there


No, but I have a friend who does. I go to Purdue.


Bakemaster wrote:Cupcakes are typically frosted/iced


We hadn't thought of this...frosting/icing...i've heard of people scrapping the frosting off of their cupcakes, but never putting frosting on a muffin...

However, I have an awesome muffin recipe that has you put a a sugar coating ontop of the muffin.

Hmm...
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Re: Muffins versus Cupcakes

Postby Bakemaster » Fri Aug 01, 2008 2:22 pm UTC

Dunkin Donuts and a lot of supermarket bakeries also sprinkle coarse granulated sugar over the top of some of their muffins. The closest I've ever seen to a frosted/iced muffin, though, is a carrot or pumpkin muffin with a dollop or filling of cream cheese.
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