As I am reheating my favorite muffins this morning, I was recalling a conversation I had about whether my muffins are truly muffins or are they actually cupcakes in disguise. Of course this makes me laugh out loud.
If is is sweet, is it a cupcake, or is it still a muffin? Muffins or cupcakes, these are mine this morning. I am diving into a blueberry muffin as I type this.
But, that is what I am wondering. What defines a muffin?
Let's see what Merriam-Webster has to say on the subject...
muf·fin noun \ˈmə-fən\ : a quick bread made of batter containing egg and baked in a pan having cuplike molds .
Well it seems like it would fit, but would need further definition. Then what is a bread? Hmmm.
So, checking in with wikipedia.com "A muffin is an American English name for a type of bread that is baked in small portions. Many forms are somewhat like small cakes or cupcakes in shape, although they usually are not as sweet as cupcakes and generally lack frosting."
Well, I am on the fence now. True, I do not put frosting on my muffins. Although they are a tad bit sweet. Ok, lets see what Google has on the subject.
Oh my heavens, lets stay away from that urban dictionary. Seriously? Okay here is a great entry, The Joy of Baking.
thejoyofbaking.com say "The name 'Muffin' either comes from the French word 'moufflet', meaning a soft , or from the German word 'muffe' which is the name for a type of cake. Although there are two types of muffins: English and American, all the recipes on the site are for the American-style muffins.
What 'American-style' muffins means is that the muffins are made, not from a yeast dough like the English Muffin, but rather they use a chemical leavener (baking powder or baking soda). Maybe it would be better to describe them as a cross between a bread and a cake. American-style muffins can be further divided into two types: bread-like and cake-like. Each type has its own technique for mixing the batter. Less sugar and butter makes a bread-like muffin. A higher sugar and butter content makes a cake-like muffin. Once you determine which type of muffin you prefer, choosing recipes to try becomes easier. A basic muffin batter contains flour, sugar, baking powder/soda, eggs, a fat (liquid or solid), and milk (buttermilk, yogurt, sour cream). Often times fruit, nuts, chocolate, vanilla extract, spices, cornmeal, bran, oats are added to give the muffins flavor. Sometimes a streusel topping or glaze is used
The 'perfect' American Muffin is symmetrical with a domed top. The surface of the muffin should be bumpy and the volume of the batter should have almost doubled during baking. The muffin should feel light for its size and when cut in half its interior should be moist and tender with no tunnels. American muffins can be either sweet or savory and are traditionally served warm for breakfast. They are best eaten the day they are made or frozen."
Perfect definition. So, my muffins are indeed classified as a muffin. So my blueberry muffins and banana nut muffins are indeed cake-like muffins.
So, what is your favorite muffin to bake? It is cake-like or bread-like?