What exactly is a cupcake?

Anyone out there love making daily visits to Foodgawker?  I know Lenny does and so do I (even though they won’t accept any of my photos because they’re not good enough for them), we often send each other recipes back and forth.  So I was making my daily visit to Foodgawker this morning and I saw a post that said macaroni and cheese cupcakes.  I love mac and cheese and I clearly love cupcakes so I had to check out this post.  Once I got to the actual recipe I realized that it was just mac and cheese baked in a mini cupcake wrapper.  Not exactly a cupcake, but I’ll definitely give them props for trying.  And they would’ve been good for a party bite.

This got me thinking…what exactly do people consider cupcakes?  I’ve seen a lot of cupcakes that I’d consider more like muffins and vice versa.  I’ve also seen things like the mac and cheese cupcakes and lasanga cupcakes.  Are these really cupcakes?    I guess it all depends on your individual defination of cupcake but I can’t consider some of these things cupcakes.  I’m sorry, but mac and cheese in a cupcake wrapper is in no way shape or form a cupcake.  Where’s the frosting and pretty decorations?  That is definitely what makes a cupcake a cupcake.

As for cupcakes vs. muffins?  The main difference is that a muffin is any quickbread (mixed by muffin mixing method & does NOT contain yeast) that is in the shape of a cupcake. While, a cupcake is any cake batter mixed with the straight method or creaming method made into the shape of a cup. Cupcakes (traditionally) have frosting on top, while muffins have no frosting, but muffins can have a glaze on top.

I once heard from a wise source (okay, just some random baking blog I was reading) that if you throw a muffin against the wall it would make a “thud” but if you threw a cupcake against the wall, it would make a “poof” sound.  I think this is a pretty awesome distinction between the two but personally, I think a muffin is just the ugly stepsister of the cupcake, because come on, cupcakes are awesome.



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