Difference Between Muffin and Cupcake

Main Difference – Muffin vs Cupcake            

All of us love muffins and cupcakes. We can guess which is which after taking a bite, but other than that, most of us are totally unaware of the difference between muffin and cupcake. The main difference between muffin and cupcake is that muffin is a miniature quick bread whereas a cupcake is a miniature cake.

What is a Muffin

Muffin is a miniature quick bread. Muffin is usually made with flour, eggs, butter, sugar, and milk. Instead of cake flour, muffins are made using all purpose flour. All-purpose flour can also be replaced with whole grain flours. This difference in the flour gives muffins a slightly dense texture. The butter used in the batter is also sometimes replaced with vegetable oil.

Muffins can be filled with a variety of ingredients such as chocolate chips, dried fruits, nuts, toffee, etc. Muffins can be sweet or savory. They are also considered to be healthier than cupcakes. This is why they are sometimes eaten at breakfast.

Another difference can be seen in their preparation. Making muffins is simpler and easier than making cupcakes. Muffin batter is only beaten briefly which helps it to remain lumpy. Another more easily noticeable difference between muffin and cupcake is their frosting. Muffins are not generally served with frosting.

Difference Between Muffin and Cupcake

What is a Cupcake       

Cupcakes are miniature cakes. It is simply baked and served in individual portions. So there is no difference between the cake batter and the cupcake batter. Cake flour, sugar, and butter are used for this batter. The soft and smooth texture of cupcakes is due to the cake flour. Cupcakes are always sweet in taste. They come in different flavors and type. Vanilla, chocolate, red velvet, chiffon, sponge, pound, etc. are some examples.

Cupcakes also have frostings and icings just like large cakes. Other cake decorations like sprinklers can also be used to decorate cupcakes. Cupcakes are usually eaten as snacks or desserts.

Another difference that can be observed in their preparation method is that cupcakes are beaten for a longer time than muffins. The mixing of ingredients results in a silky batter.

Main difference - Muffin vs  Cupcake

Difference Between Muffin and Cupcake 

Cake vs Bread             

Muffin is a miniature quick bread.

Cupcake is a miniature cake.


Muffins are made using all purpose flour.

Cupcakes are made using cake flour.


Muffins generally have no frosting.

Cupcakes generally have frostings.


Muffins can be either sweet or savory.

Cupcakes are always sweet.


Muffins are considered to be healthier than cupcakes.

Cupcakes are not as healthy as muffins.


Muffins can be served at breakfast or as snacks or desserts.

Cupcakes can be served as snacks or desserts.Difference Between Muffin and Cupcake - infographic

Image Courtesy:

“Cupcakes in a box” by Nate Steiner (Public Domain) via Flickr 

“More Muffins” by sling@flicker (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr 

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