{Introduction to Pastry} – Muffins vs Cupcakes – Everything you Need to Know

muffins vs cupcakes vs brioche

Who doesn’t love cupcakes?! These tiny desserts look amazing and are loaded with so much flavor! But let’s look more at the history behind these stunning desserts and what sets them apart from one another! It’s muffins vs cupcakes time!

Cupcakes, also known as fairy cakes, were first mentione in 1828 in E. Leslie’s book called “Receipts”. These miniature cakes were very convenient at that time because the ovens years ago were nothing like the ovens we know now and baking was hard to do without being able to control the temperature. For that reason, smaller cakes were easier to bake. Muffin tins were different too. Called gem pans, they were made from a hard, heavy metal which was heating slow but kept the heat for a longer period of time, leading to a quicker baking. Cupcakes at that time were a huge hit amongts children and that hasn’t changed nowadays either, right?! The only big difference is the wide range of available flavors and food coloring which makes them even more appealing to kids, but also grown-ups, although I don’t necessarily agree with chemicals in desserts.

Cupcake pans come in various sizes: small, medium and large and can be used either simple, greased, or with muffin papers or liners. I definitely prefer the muffin liners because not only the cupcakes are easier to remove from the pan once baked, but they also save me some time spent to grease the pan and wash off the grease afterwards. Paper liners are available in so many different colors and shapes and they are so much fun! Red, yellow, with hearts, stripped, with flowers, shiny and the list can go on – often the liners fit into a theme, depending where you are serving the cupcakes at so keep that in mind when baking muffins or cupcakes!

 Muffins  Cupcakes
Muffins are basically quick breads and can be either sweet or savory. Cupcakes are miniature cakes, often topped with frosting or glazed and decorated with sprinkles, chocolate or other sort of decoration.
 Muffins are made using the quickbread method – mixing the dry ingredients with the wet ones just until combined.  Cupcakes are made using the creaming method – mixing butter with sugar then adding the remaining ingredients in the order specified by the recipe – or the genoise method and so on.
 The batter is often lumpy. In fact, mixing the batter until smooth might mean overmixing and the result won’t be as good.  The batter is smooth and creamy, often flavored with delicate spices, like vanilla, lemon or orange.
 Muffins use less sugar and healthier ingredients, such as seeds, nuts, fruits, whole wheat bread, oatmeal etc.  Cupcakes are sweeter and they resemble a cake.
 Muffins can have a crisp, streusel topping.  Cupcakes never have a streusel topping as they are topped with whipped cream, buttercream or ganache most of the times.
Muffins are often served as a healthy snack or morning meal. Cupcakes are considered a dessert and they have no place in your morning meal.
Muffins can be stored for a longer period of time. Cupcakes can’t be stored as much time as muffins.

Don’t forget to check the Recipe Index for my favorite muffins and cupcakes recipes!


Cupcakes, muffins si briose – adesea se face o mare confuzie intre ele, insa sunt foarte diferite iar termenul general de briose folosit la noi nu e chiar corect, cu toate ca nu avem vreun alt termen care sa se potriveasca mai bine.

Se pare ca cupcakes-urile au fost mentionate pentru prima oara intr-o carte de retete in 1828. Reprezentau un desert usor de facut la timpul respectiv pentru ca gospodinele nu aveau cuptoare atat de precise ca astazi si sa mentina o anumita temperatura era foarte greu. Asa ca aceste tortulete mici se pretau foarte bine acestui tip de copt intrucat datorita marimii lor se coaceau repede. In plus, tavile atunci erau facute dintr-un material greu care retinea temperatura, ceea ce facea coptul mult mai usor. Astazi avem acces la cuptoare performante si o multime de tavi sub diverse forme sau marimi, astfel incat cupcakes-urile au devenit un desert des intalnit si un favorit al copiilor.

Insa mai ales la noi, oamenii tind sa faca o mare confuzie intre muffins, cupcakes si briose. Exista tendinta de a le numi general briose, ceea ce trebuie sa recunosc ca nu ma deranjeaza in mod deosebit intrucat nu avem vreun alt termen care sa le defineasca mai bine, insa as vrea sa se stie clar ca cele trei sunt foarte diferite ca textura, gust si decor.

 Muffins Cupcakes  Briose (Brioche)
Muffinsii nu au glazura. Cupcakes-urile sunt glazurate cu ciocolata, frisca, crema de unt sau ganache. Briosele (brioche) nu au nici ele glazura.
 Muffinsii sunt mai degraba mici painici rapide, dulci sau sarate. Cupcakes-urile sunt torturi in miniatura, mult mai dulci decat mufinsii.  Briosele se refera la un aluat de genul cozonacului, dulce, umed care necesita timp de crestere.
 Muffinsii sunt facuti folosind metoda painii rapide – ingredientele umede se amesteca cu cele uscate. Cu toate astea, nu e chiar o regula si veti intalni, inclusiv pe blog, si muffinsi facuti altfel.  Cupcakes-urile sunt facute dupa metoda alifierii, adica untul este mixat bine cu zaharul pana devine cremos apoi se adauga restul ingredientelor in ordinea ceruta de reteta sau dupa metoda genoise – ouale sunt mixate cu zahar apoi se adauga restul ingredientelor.  Brioche este un aluat dulce, bogat in oua si unt care necesita framantat si crescut.
 Aluatul pentru muffins este departe de a fi cremos. Dimpotriva, se recomanda ca aluatul sa nu fie mixat, ci pur si simplu amestecat rapid cu un tel sau o lingura doar cat sa incorporam ingredientele.  Aluatul cupcakes-urilor este fin, cremos, dulce, aromat cu vanilie, lamaie, portocala etc.  Brioche este un aluat cu drojdie si necesita framantat. Este insa un aluat mult mai hidratat decat un aluat dulce normal.
 Muffinsii pot fi dulci sau sarati si adesea contin ingrediente sanatoase, care aduc un aport de fibre, vitamine si minerale, precum seminte, fructe, nuci, alune si faina integrala.  Cupcakes-urile sunt simple, aromate cu vanilie, lamaie, portocala iar daca se adauga fructe, acestea sunt adesea piure – a se vedea cupcakes-urile cu dovleac.  Brioche contine adesea coaja de fructe confiate sau picaturi de ciocolata.
Muffinsii pot avea adesea un topping crocant. Cupcakes-urile nu au niciodata topping crocant. Ele sunt acoperite dupa coacere cu glazura – frisca, crema de unt sau ganache. Brioche este uns cu ou batut inainte de coacere si adesea acoperit cu zahar granulat pentru a obtine o suprafata lucioasa, usor crocanta.
Muffinsii sunt consumati adesea la micul dejun sau ca gustare sanatoasa. Cupcakes-urile sunt considerate deserturi si sunt servite ca atare, adesea inlocuind o felie de tort. Brioche se servesc la micul dejun daca doriti, exact ca un cozonac.

In incheiere, nu uitati sa verificati si Indexul de retete pentru retetele mele preferate de muffins si cupcakes.


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