Posts Tagged ‘desserts’

Muffins & Cupcakes: Why they are different.

February 20, 2008

I found a lot of talk and misconceptions about the similarities and differences between a muffin and a cupcake online. Some say a muffin becomes a cupcake when there is frosting on it. Some say that cupcakes are smaller than muffins. That is incorrect, here is my take on it. Let’s conquer the cupcake first.

Cupcakes

  • A cupcake is essentially the same as a whole cake. It is simply baked and served in a portion to serve one individual.
  • It is usually frosted (like those in the photos above) and decorated. It is common to see it at birthday parties and weddings.
  • It is sweet and hence eaten mostly as a dessert or a sweet treat.
  • An un-frosted cupcakes does not equate to a muffin.
  • Butter is usually used in a cupcake recipe.
  • Conclusion: A cupcake is a cake.

Muffins

Source: Wikipedia

  • A muffin is one of the easiest things to bake (although I’ve had my fair share of failures, will give you tips to succeed in baking a muffin). It is simply mixing the wet and dry ingredients together and some recipes do not even require the use of an electronic beater or whisk.
  • It can be frosted or not frosted. For fruit muffins, I like to use a crumble on top (recipe in the next post).
  • It can be sweet or savoury and is mostly eaten during breakfast or tea.
  • A frosted muffin does not equate a to cupcake.
  • Oil is usually used in a muffin recipe.
  • Conclusion: A muffin is a type of bread (quick bread).

I hope this clarifies the difference between a cupcake and a muffin better. Watch out for my next post on my experience with baking muffins.

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Carrot Cakes, the medieval dessert.

February 4, 2008

In the Middle Ages, sweeteners were low in supply and costly. Hence, people used carrots to make sweet desserts – due to the ingredient’s easy availability. In the 1960s, the carrot cake became a dessert one would most likely find on a dessert menu in the United States.

I’ve only ever baked a carrot cake once using this recipe from Allrecipes. I halved this recipe (which serves nine) and I got a perfect squared-size cake. However, the cream cheese frosting in this recipe turned out too sweet. Anyone has a carrot cake frosting to share, that isn’t too sweet and ‘hardens’ a little for easy storage?

Anyway here’s a photo of the carrot cake that I baked. The only complaint was its overly sweet frosting. This super moist cake ranks really high on my list of favourite things to bake. I welcome all advice on baking carrot cakes.