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Cupcake vs. Muffin… the verdict is in.

October 14, 2009

pumpkin cupcakes

pumpkin muffin

So my personal verdict is in on the muffin/cupcake debate. I made pumpkin cuppies using my usual strawberry cupcake recipe, substituting pumpkin for strawberries and a 1/4 teaspoon each of nutmeg, allspice, and cinnamon. I added pumpkin pie spice to my usual vanilla cream cheese frosting and taDa! Pumpkin Cupcakes… delicious ones too! With my muffins, I thought it would be fun to use Diana’s Desserts basic formula for muffins: 2 cups flour, 2-4 tablespoons sugar, 2½ teaspoons baking powder, ½ teaspoon salt, 1 egg, ¼ cup oil, shortening or butter and 1 cup milk. I substituted 1 cup fresh pureed pumpkin for milk since pumpkin has plenty of moisture already. I also added a pinch each of nutmeg, allspice, and cinnamon to give my muffins that classic October taste. No frosting and no crumble (although in retrospect, I think a nice cinnamony crumble topping would have really made these muffins divine).

My conclusion: One obvious detail that popped up during my research that is the main difference between the cupcake and the muffin is that cupcakes are cake while muffins are technically quick bread. I found both cake and bread to be almost exactly the same in texture. They even looked identical before frosting. I found the muffins to be slightly more savory. The sweet was very mild and it finished with a soft salty taste that urged one more bite. The cupcakes were very moist (in fact, I had problems with them not sticking to their liner once they had baked), sweet and spicy and absolutely delicious. The cream cheese frosting was very compatible and only served to enhance the flavor.

Unfortunately, I never took side-by-side comparison pics with and without frosting so the pictures don’t connect too much but enjoy anyway!

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