Okay, I have to admit while researching the topic today, my stomach started growling. It’s not easy writing about cupcakes and muffins, while I’m trying to lose weight. I’ve already had my dietary intake for the day…but I digress.
What makes a cupcake, a cupcake? And what makes a muffin, a muffin? I didn’t really know, but since Susanna Hart, the heroine in my latest Desire owns and operates a home-based business called Sweet Susie’s I figured I needed to know.
Here’s a simple definition that made me smile: If you threw a cupcake against the wall, you would hear something of a “poof!” If you threw a muffin, you would hear a “thud!”
Originally, muffins were baked in “gem” pans made of cast iron. They were shaped like gemstones and usually had indentations that depicted the type of muffin it was. For instance, corn muffins would have corn indentations. But universally now, muffins and cupcakes are baked in muffin or cupcake tins, which are usually the same size and shape.
Cupcakes are light and airy, since in essence, they are little cakes. They are considered a dessert, especially when frosted. They come in sweet flavors, like vanilla, chocolate and red velvet. Butter and eggs usually make up the basic ingredients and cupcake batter is combined with an electric mixer. They are sweet, tender and rich and candy can be added to them to enhance the flavor. ( I want one now!)
Muffins are drier, denser in texture and are usually made with sugar and oil. Fruits and nuts can be added to muffins to enhance their flavor. Usually dry ingredients are mixed into the batter and gently blended. Muffins can be sweet, but can also be savory. It isn’t uncommon for a muffin to have bacon or cheese as a main ingredient. Two of Susie’s bestselling muffins are “Sweet and Sassy Caramel Apple Muffin”, and her “Cranberry and Cheese Muffin.” If sweet Susie and her adorable little charge, Ally don’t get Casey Thomas’s attention, the fabulous muffins will!
We come to think of muffins as “small breads.” And we come to think of cupcakes, as “small cakes.” Which is exactly what they are.
I have to thank my dear friend and Rita-nominated author, Robin Bielman for gifting me this wonderful book for my birthday last year. Cupcakes, Made Simple. I got some good ideas for recipes from this book, along with some fabulous pictures. Don’t you love to see WHAT the dessert/muffin is supposed to look like, so you know if you’ve baked it correctly?
Just to tempt your palate, here are the names of some recipes from the book: Banana and pecan cupcakes, mocha cupcakes with whipped cream, tropical coconut muffins, rose petal cupcakes, rocky road chocolate muffins (another one of Sweet Susie’s best sellers!) moist orange and almond muffins, lemon and raspberry cupcakes and double chocolate muffins. In the words of Rachel Ray – Yummo!
I love double chocolate muffins/cupcakes. But I will NEVER pass up an almond poppyseed muffin or a zuchinni muffin, made with zucchini from our garden. I think they are my very favorite. What’s your favorite muffin/cupcake? And if you could only have one, which would it be, muffin or cupcake?
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In REDEEMING the CEO COWBOY, I got to write about three of my favorite things, cowboys, kids and cupcakes!
And remember REDEEMING THE CEO COWBOY comes out in August, but is available forright now at a discounted price, 23% off!!