A cupcake is usually a thin square cake designed to only serve one individual, usually single, who can be served in a quite narrow cupcake tin, often made of plastic or aluminum. As with bigger cakes, icing and other decorating tools for cupcakes can be used. The name cupcake comes from the French word “cup” and “cake,” and the two words are often used interchangeably. Cupcakes are small and usually do not take up too much space, but there are many different varieties of cupcake that can be used in cooking or baking recipes.
Muffins, on the other hand, are another type of cupcake, a very thin layer of batter that contains various ingredients inside of it, such as eggs, butter, and sugar. Muffins can be found in many different flavors, from simple chocolate or vanilla to fruit flavors. The mixtures of these ingredients produce both moist and compressed batter, which is then baked into cupcakes, rather than a traditional round cake.
Another type of cupcake, although smaller in size, has come along recently and changed the way many bakers and cooks think of what a cupcake actually is. The first cupcakes were traditionally baked in liners, much like we do today. The liners were filled with water and set in the oven or broiler until the cake was cooked. At that point, the liners were removed, the cake was cooled and served. This type of cupcake would most likely not have a crust, but it could certainly be cut into blocks and used for baking breads, muffins, rolls, and cookies.
With the invention of cupcake cookbooks in the late 90s came a new innovation: frosting cupcakes. This allows a talented baker to create a wonderful looking dessert without having to use an actual frosting of some kind. Cupcakes can be frosted in the same fashion as cakes by using the same types of recipes, but instead of being baked in mugs or on paper cupcake racks, they are baked into real cupcake boxes, just like they will in a wedding reception or birthday party. They still must be baked at a temperature of over 300 degrees Fahrenheit, but since they are frosted, their appearance is that of a traditional cake. This frosting alternative has really been popular for the past few years, and with good reason.
It is very difficult to match the beautiful look of a freshly baked cupcake. When a batch of cupcakes is baked in an oven, each individual cupcake tends to take about three hours and thirty minutes to bake from start to finish, making the entire bake time about three and a half hours in total. Baking a regular cake takes much less time, but it is important to remember that baked goods do not maintain their freshness for nearly as long.
In addition to the beauty and uniqueness of cupcakes, there is also the benefit of muffins. Muffins are wonderful for any time of the day, and they are the perfect alternative to cakes when people are feeling a bit on the lazy side or simply do not want to spend too much time decorating. Muffins can be made ahead of time and frozen (sometimes overnight), so that they can be sent to the office or home for a breakfast that is nutritious and delicious. Muffin tops are usually made of sour cream or butterscotch.