Difference Between Cupcakes and Muffins
By Marc Gordon - March 18, 2022

Cupcakes and muffins are both tasty snacks and desserts with a similar shape. Most people notice that muffins don’t have a crisp top and that they can be extremely sweet, even when made with whole-wheat flour and fruit. Most of us wouldn’t consider cupcakes a typical breakfast. Still, we don’t hesitate to grab chocolate chip muffins dusted with crumb topping or crunchy sugar.

Table Summary

It contains frostingIt does not contain frosting
It contains more sugar than muffinsIt contains less sugar than cupcakes
Has a fluffy and light texture.It has a thick and dense texture
Almost always decorated with candies, sprinkles, etc.Muffins are not usually decorated.


Cupcakes are miniature cakes with a whipped icing sugar topping, a candy garnish, or another decorative element on top. Some cupcakes have a sweet filling, such as jam, icing, or compote, in the center of the cake. These single-serving sweets can be made using a regular cake mix; the only difference is the size of the baked items. Cupcakes are baked in tiny, individual cup-shaped wells in specialized pans, similar to a standard cake baked in a large pan.

A muffin is a single-serving quick bread that rises without yeast using baking soda or baking powder. These tiny, sweet fast pastries have a thicker texture than cupcakes and are usually sugary. Muffins can be eaten for breakfast, a dinner companion, or as a snack, depending on the mix-in ingredients.

Cupcakes VS Muffins

Apart from the noticeable difference that cupcakes contain frosting and muffins don’t, there are some differences between the two. For example, muffins and cupcakes have different mixing processes and batter consistency. Bakers cream butter and sugar together to make a smooth, fluffy batter for cupcakes. In addition, cupcake batter is beaten for far longer than muffin batter, resulting in an even distribution of air bubbles throughout the cupcake. On the other hand, Muffin batter is only lightly beaten and remains lumpy. This results in a denser baked item.