In my mind, I guess I've always felt a muffin is healthier than a cupcake, but I have to admit I've enjoyed a good number of cupcakes that are actually healthier than many muffins.
Turning to the good 'ole internet where any truth can be discovered, I found a definition that makes sense. According to a post on Seasoned Advice, the cupcake v. muffin question comes down to method...
From a technical point of view, muffins are made by the muffin method, making them small quickbreads. In the muffin method, the wet ingredients are combined in one bowl; and the dry ingredients are combined in another bowl. Then the two are quickly incorporated together with minimal mixing to avoid gluten development. This gives muffins a somewhat coarse crumb.
Cupcakes are small cakes, and are made by one of the traditional cake methods such as the creaming method, the reverse creaming method, the genoise method, the chiffon method, and so on. They tend to have a finer crumb than muffins.
9/9/13 by SAJ14SAJ
- Created in the muffin method = Muffins
- High in sugar and bringing a cake-like crumb = Cupcakes
- Frostingless = Muffins
- Glazed = Cupcake-like
- On the healthier side with pumpkin and some whole grains = Muffins