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Old 07.03.2012, 12:52
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Muffins vs. Cupcakes

Could somebody please tell me what the difference between cupcakes and muffins is except for the fact that cupcakes have fancy decoration and frosting? And why is there suddenly such a hype about cupcakes, even in Switzerland?
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Old 07.03.2012, 13:00
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Re: Muffins vs. Cupcakes

Muffin are about 3 times as big in the range of choclate or blueberry usually... cupcakes are small with decorations. There might be some differences in the ingredients but I'm no baker so can't really tell you

As for the hype, seems to have sprung up through the recent hard times, when people started experimenting at home, and all of these cupcake making ladies started making cupcakes at home and some thought it would be a good business venture and ta da!
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Old 07.03.2012, 13:07
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Re: Muffins vs. Cupcakes

I always thought that cupcakes were sweet (for dessert) and muffins were " healthy", with fruit or bran in them and were for breakfast.
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Old 07.03.2012, 13:07
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Re: Muffins vs. Cupcakes

Muffins (or more rightly in this context, American Muffins) are American and should, as such, be treated with suspicion. Cupcakes are English and are therefore above reproach. The consumption of just one cupcake will increase levels of civility within a 100 meter radius by up to ten percent. Studies have shown that not one of the rioters involved in last years riots in London and other cities had eaten a cup cake, (English) muffin or indeed crumpet that day. In Queen Victorias day cupcake eating was compulsory, there were no riots.

In conclusion
Muffins - wrong.
Cupcakes - right - gawd bless em.
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Old 07.03.2012, 13:09
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Re: Muffins vs. Cupcakes

Muffins are less sweet and more dense, like banana bread, lemon poppyseed or corn bread. These can be breakfast-y. They can also be savory.

Cupcakes are cake, fluffy and more sweet. These are purely dessert.

PS, cupcakes are not English. Sorry.
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Old 07.03.2012, 13:29
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Re: Muffins vs. Cupcakes

um. cupcakes have been around a long time http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cupcake.
i remember bringing them to school for my birthday (and i'm not THAT old!). they are in no way english, nice try though.
cupcakes are way sweeter than muffins, muffins have crunchy tops and have less sugar, if at all. cupcakes are smooth topped so that you can put icing.
actually, after reading the wiki link, it appears that switzerland (and the rest of the world) are a couple years behind...

and p.s, the cupcakes you will get in any store (including magnolia bakery for those who think they know) are crap compared to the deliciousness you can make at home on a smaller scale with a great recipe. the ones here in switzerland are really bad, if you know cupcakes.
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Old 07.03.2012, 13:30
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Re: Muffins vs. Cupcakes

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Muffins are less sweet and more dense, like banana bread, lemon poppyseed or corn bread. These can be breakfast-y. They can also be savory.

Cupcakes are cake, fluffy and more sweet. These are purely dessert.

PS, cupcakes are not English. Sorry.

what MM said. Muffins are more bread like. Cupcakes are, well, more cake like
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Old 07.03.2012, 13:47
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Re: Muffins vs. Cupcakes

I always asked myself what the difference in the defintion was too. So, thanks to all who enlighted me.

I also observed a new hype in cupcakes which is partially explainable by the fact that there little and cute. I have to admit that I have only had the doubtfull pleasere of tasting storebought cupcakes in the US so far. Even my kids thought that they were groce, so no explanation for the hype here.
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Old 07.03.2012, 13:59
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Re: Muffins vs. Cupcakes

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I always asked myself what the difference in the defintion was too. So, thanks to all who enlighted me.

I also observed a new hype in cupcakes which is partially explainable by the fact that there little and cute. I have to admit that I have only had the doubtfull pleasere of tasting storebought cupcakes in the US so far. Even my kids thought that they were groce, so no explanation for the hype here.
those small store bought cupcakes in the plastic containers can be quite gross. Especially if they aren't fresh...but you can find good ones. I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss them. Although, as most Europeans think American desserts are too sweet (a lot can be, that's why you scrape off most of the frosting!), you might not like even a "gourmet" one.

This place opened up last year (I think) in Munich. They are invading Europe
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Old 07.03.2012, 14:04
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Re: Muffins vs. Cupcakes

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what MM said. Muffins are more bread like. Cupcakes are, well, more cake like
My muffins aren't. And go to McCafe or starbucks- their muffins are far from being bread-like or healthy or anything. They are giant, too, whereas I have a normal muffin baking pan and they are the same size as cupcakes.
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Old 07.03.2012, 14:06
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Re: Muffins vs. Cupcakes

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Muffins (or more rightly in this context, American Muffins) are American and should, as such, be treated with suspicion. Cupcakes are English and are therefore above reproach....
Er, the English don't call them 'cupcakes'...so I think you're busted. They're called 'Fairy Cakes' in the UK because, you know, they have so many fairies over there.

As for the difference between muffin and cupcake...it's a bit tricky sometimes as muffins can be frosted and sweet like a cupcake and a cupcake can be sans frostings. It is largely determined by texture and by visual appeal. Cupcakes are cute, often highly decorated and often have a very rich cake underneath the window dressing. Muffins, even when frosted, are generally more quick bread-like in texture, e.g. more dense, and are like the ugly sister to the much more adorable cupcake. You can often get away with eating a 'muffin' for breakfast without being told you're a bad role model for you kids.
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Old 07.03.2012, 14:08
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Re: Muffins vs. Cupcakes

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My muffins aren't. And go to McCafe or starbucks- their muffins are far from being bread-like or healthy or anything. They are giant, too, whereas I have a normal muffin baking pan and they are the same size as cupcakes.
It's a marketing gimmick. Customers are more likely to eat a 'muffin' with coffee in the morning than an oversized cupcake. They're cupcakes.
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Old 07.03.2012, 14:19
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Re: Muffins vs. Cupcakes

after an exhausting google search, I found a site that supports the cake vs. bread theory

OK, it was the first site I clicked on.
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Old 07.03.2012, 14:24
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Re: Muffins vs. Cupcakes

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My muffins aren't. And go to McCafe or starbucks- their muffins are far from being bread-like or healthy or anything. They are giant, too, whereas I have a normal muffin baking pan and they are the same size as cupcakes.
Not bread in the yeasty bread sense. They are called "quick breads".

If you muffins are fluffy, then they are cupcakes! Just kiddin'. They can be whatever you want them to be. But ideally, you should send me some & I'll tell you.

The size doesn't really make a difference.
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Old 07.03.2012, 14:26
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Re: Muffins vs. Cupcakes

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Not bread in the yeasty bread sense. They are called "quick breads".

If you muffins are fluffy, then they are cupcakes!

The size doesn't really make a difference.
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Old 07.03.2012, 14:30
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Re: Muffins vs. Cupcakes

Interesting question Mc GreggorsDaughter... Thanks for the walk down memory lane . I have fond memories of my nana's cup cakes AKA butterfly cakes), which were always particularly buttery:

6 Oz (half a pound?) Butter
1C Sugar
3 Eggs
1-2 C Flour
1-2 tsp Baking Powder
(sorry can't recall exact amounts for these ingr, it's just a ball park indication.)

Butter and sugar is creamed until sugar has half 'dissolved'. Add eggs one by one, whipping very well each time. Flour and BP is folded in. Bake at 375 Fahrenheit for 20mins I think.

She then cut a wedge out, which she then sliced decoratively to place as "wings" on top of the generously sized whipped cream filling .

Muffins, to me, are made more out of whole grain ingredients and fruits, have less sugar and replace butter with oil.

Hmmm why am I hungry all of a sudden ...

Puddy
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Old 07.03.2012, 14:45
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Re: Muffins vs. Cupcakes

When each is made properly there is a big difference in a cupcake and a muffin but all the mass marketing has blurred this recently.

As pointed out already - a muffin is made with a quick bread recipe and cupcake following a cake recipe. The other difference that I don't think has been pointed out is that unlike a cupcake - muffins are even better when eaten warm - either heated up, toasted or fresh from the oven. And you can cut them in half and top with some jam or butter.

One of my favorite muffins is a recipe that you make with a box of raisin bran - the batter can sit in the fridge in a sealed container for days (recipe says weeks even) and you just scoop some out into muffin tins and bake a few at a time. you can have hot muffins every morning
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Old 07.03.2012, 15:07
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Re: Muffins vs. Cupcakes

You can't make smutty jokes about cupcakes; muffins, however...
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Old 07.03.2012, 15:21
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Re: Muffins vs. Cupcakes

Both muffins and cup cakes are so passé.
I understand from my d-in-law that the latest craze is Whoopie pies. As seen on CSI or somesuch american programme.
I expect Switzerland will catch up in about five years or so.

I'm sticking with fairy cakes and crumpets!
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Old 07.03.2012, 15:28
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Re: Muffins vs. Cupcakes

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Both muffins and cup cakes are so passé.
I understand from my d-in-law that the latest craze is Whoopie pies. As seen on CSI or somesuch american programme.
I expect Switzerland will catch up in about five years or so.

I'm sticking with fairy cakes and crumpets!

Whoopies on CSI? They're an East Coast thing... and Whoopie Pies are the best! I don't know if they'll catch on here, though, as you need a few things that aren't generally sold here (marshmallow fluff) and they weren't well received when I made a big batch of them for a school 'brunch'. Whoopies are the perfect kid treat, really, as the icing is on the inside of the cake and they're easy to eat while running around the playground (or elsewhere)

Actually, your DiL is also a bit behind the curve as whoopies were big two years ago, eclipsed by macarons which are now being replaced for a new fad, madeleines.
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