Monday, June 27, 2011

What is your favorite muffin to bake? Is is cake-like or bread-like?

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 "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. say "The name 'Muffin' either comes from the French word 'moufflet', meaning a soft bread, 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?


  1. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha, my friend, your's are cupcakes all the way. And they are GOOD! Mine vary more depending on my mood, but they are usually closer to bread than cake.

    The real question is whether or not you are sharing with the wee one? That might answer the cake or muffin question for you. hee hee


  2. Of course, I should add that I think you should just go with the last definition and call it a muffin. That way everyone can enjoy them!

  3. Interesting question! I think the best muffins are cake-like, with enough butter baked in them so that they are a bit crusty/crunchy around the top edge..... and of course eaten right out of the oven is a must (except for leftovers, like yours, of course!!)
    Enjoying your blog!

  4. I can't decide! Both - depending on the day and mood!
    Mary x

  5. I guess both?! That's a tricky one! I like my muffins dense as opposed to super light and fluffy like cakes. Maybe my muffins are more of a pound cake consistency? Less sweet though. All I know is, now I want a banana nut muffin to go with my coffee =P

  6. When it comes to muffins, I cannot discriminate :) I love them all!!!


  7. oh.. so nice post.)
    Love your blog.))

    I now spend a survey of bloggers with such questions.
    1. Why did you create a blog?
    2. For whom you taking him? Want to be popular?
    3. How long will it keep going?

  8. I like them all smothered, covered, filled, fruit, crusty top (all at once)

    favorite flavor of all time is still blueberry with a crumble top.

  9. You have a really delicious blog!
    blueberry and vanilla my favorites!

  10. HAHA! Oh man, gotta love That just made my night. I can't help you on the muffin/cupcake debate...I can only sit here and think of ways to sneak the example sentence from urbandictionary into a conversation.

  11. oh definitely cake like! I am a sweets girl and if i can get something, anything to have the texture of a cake or cookie I am all for it! This was such a fun post!

  12. I'm equal opportunity when it comes to muffins- or cupcakes. I love them all! :)


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