Homemade chocolate cupcakes muffins with white whipped butter cream and salted caramel. served with chopped dark chocolate on black ceramic plate on white table cloth. (Photo by: Natasha Breen/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
What's The Difference Between A Cupcake And A Muffin?
By Juliet Kahn
Nowadays, cupcakes and muffins exist in harmony, and it's safe to say that most people who love one also love the other, as they're similar in a number of ways. However, there are differences between these two sweet treats, which are both straightforward and complicated.
The most important distinction between cupcakes and muffins is that muffins are considered quick breads, which use a chemical leavener like baking soda or baking powder to rise, rather than time-consuming yeast. Quick breads like muffins use less sugar, rarely incorporate cake flour, and feature a coarser crumb and a denser texture than cupcakes, which are considered cakes.
Besides one being a cake and another being a quick bread, there are also smaller distinctions like frosting, which are generally featured on cupcakes and not on muffins. Conversely, muffins can often feature savory ingredients like cheddar cheese, jalapeños, bacon, and scallions, which are usually not found on a sweet frosted cupcake.