Being a teenager, people often have really weird questions for me when I mention that I have a cooking blog. This usually includes, “Can you bring me some food please? Are you good? How do you have time for that?” But, one question that recently came up was, “What is the difference between a cupcake and a muffin?” I actually had no idea. Is a cupcake just a muffin with frosting on top? My brother, my dad and I had a long debate on this topic a few weeks ago and ultimately reached out to Mr. Google. While it is hard to get clarity around the exact difference, other than my brother’s suggestions that muffins just taste more ‘muffiny’, there are apparently a few significant differences. Muffins contain less sugar and butter than cupcakes and have a different mixing process than the typical “cream the butter and sugar together” that you will find in a cupcake recipe.
After completing this intense research, I realized that while I had baked lots of cupcakes in my life, I had never actually made a homemade muffin. I got to work. I decided to take the extra step and make them gluten-free as well. This batch of muffins was definitely better than the store bought muffins that I’ve tasted, and I thought the flavors and texture was AMAZING (especially for gluten-free). I’m looking forward to making more muffins in the future.
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, optional
1 3/4 cups Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour blend
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) soft butter
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons molasses or honey
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cup very mashed ripe bananas (about 2 medium bananas)
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan, or line the pan with papers, and grease the papers.
- Whisk together the baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, salt, cinnamon, and flour or flour blend. Set aside.
- Beat together the soft butter, sugar, and molasses/honey.
- Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl between additions.
- Add the dry ingredients to the mixture in the bowl in three parts, alternately with the mashed bananas, beating well between additions and scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl during this process.
- After everything is added, scrape the bowl again and beat at medium high speed for 30 seconds
- Scoop the batter into the prepared pan, mounding the cups almost. The batter will rise above the level of each cup; that’s fine. It should be around 12 muffins.
- Bake the muffins for 22 to 25 minutes, until the middle springs back when lightly touched. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes before removing from the pan. Best served warm.
(Courtesy of King Arthur Flour)