Cupcakes aren’t Muffins!

There seems to be confusion about muffins and cupcakes.

If you pour cake batter into a muffin tin, you don’t get muffins! Authentic muffins are very different from cupcakes – the method, batter, finished texture, and nutritional content are all very different.

Note the sugar and fat content of my muffin recipes compared to typical cake batter:

MUFFINS (batch of 12)

  • Flour 275g
  • Sugar 75-100g (1¼–1¾ teaspoons/muffin)
  • Fat 100ml (90g) vegetable oil (1½ teaspoons/muffin)
  • 1 egg
  • Plus other ingredients such as milk, fruit, and oats.
  • Sugar and fat are low in proportion to the amount of batter. The muffins offer a well-balanced “package” of nutrients.
muffin batter  muffin

CUPCAKES (batch of 12)

  • Flour 175g
  • Sugar 175g (3 teaspoons/cupcake)
  • Butter 175g (3 teaspoons/cupcake)
  • 2 Eggs
  • Typical cake batters are dense in sugar and fat in proportion to other ingredients.
cupcake batter  cupcake

These muffin and cupcake batters are very different and produce different results. Click on the above photos to enlarge and compare.

Edinburgh’s Centre for Nutrition and Food Research at Queen Margaret College, after analysing the recipes in Muffins: Fast and Fantastic, concluded that the recipes were in line with guidelines for a well balanced diet and “all in all, muffins are a good alternative snack to confectionery or crisps, especially for children”.

But beware: not all muffins are created equal. When checking out muffin recipes from other sources, look carefully at the fat and sugar content. Many are just cakes dressed up as muffins.