Muffins vs Cupcakes: what's the difference?

Spoiler Alert – they’re not the same!

As a foodie, I cringe every time I hear people loudly declare that cupcakes and muffins are basically the same. They are NOT! So, to make your life (and mine) easier here’s ‘The Dummies Guide’ to telling the difference between cupcakes and muffins.


The Cheaters Difference – Cupcakes have frosting while muffins usually have a light glaze or nothing at all on top. So, if there’s creamy fancily piped icing, its probably a cupcake.


The Baker’s Difference – cupcakes have a smooth batter, usually one that is well mixed, Muffins have a thicker denser batter that can be made just by throwing all the ingredients together.


The Healthy Person’s Difference – Muffins are usually thought of as ‘healthier’ but the bad news is that’s not necessarily true. Cupcakes are only more unhealthy because they’re usually sweet whereas muffins can be either sweet or savoury – which also explains why muffins are considered acceptable breakfast food.


The Temperature Difference – Take a bite. If it’s cold, its likely a cupcake. If it’s warm, it’s a muffin. Simple Dimple!

many muffin

The Duh! Difference – If you still can’t tell the difference stop and analyse. Cupcakes are basically cakes in a cup (duh!); a muffin is more like a quick bread.

be a cupcake

Moral of the story – Be a Cupcake in a World Full of Muffins

And if you really don’t care about the difference, that’s fine! If it tastes good, just eat it!

What would you pick – muffins or cupcakes…or both?

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