Thursday, January 28, 2010

Cupcakes versus Muffins

So what's the difference exactly? They both look the same. But do they taste the same? Are they siblings or merely related through paper liners?

Cupcakes first arrived on the scene in the late 18th century (Cupcakes, Chicago). 

The word "cupcake" first appeared in E. Leslie’s receipts, published in 1828. It comes as no surprise that the name most likely came from the measurement of ingredients in creating a cupcake - a cup each of flour, butter and sugar (much like the pound cake). Either that or some baker took one look at the small cup-shaped molds, applied simple human ingenuity and lo and behold, the cupcake was born.

Cupcakes can be made from any cake recipe. Use the exact same ingredients from your favourite cake recipe, divide the batter into cup liners, bake them babies, and voila - cupcakes.

Just like the cake, cupcakes are sweet (although there are many who experiment in using bacon and cheddar cheese in their renditions). What cupcakes are to the Americans, Fairy cakes are to the English. It's the same thing - tiny little cakes baked in paper liners topped with frosting of pretty colours.

Unlike cupcakes the muffin initially used yeast as a leavening agent resulting in a spongier and porous consistency, much like bread. Created by the English, muffins were originally served for breakfast with butter and jam. It is not a wonder why a lot of us confuse muffins for cupcakes seeing that it's also baked in similar paper cups.

A muffin is not a cake hence a muffin is not a cupcake. A muffin is bread presented in a small cup, or in other words, a "cupbread". 


Cupcake = Cake
Muffin = Bread

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