'Nothing,' he said, explaining that when it comes to breakfast, Americans have a Puritanical inhibition. 'Muffins are just an excuse to eat cake for breakfast'
And as a bit of curiosity: We also noticed that there's a difference between the words when used in slang. While both words are used as a term of affection (say, to refer to a child or loved one), "muffin" also has a negative connotation--the term "muffin top" rather indelicately refers to "the phenomenon of overhanging flesh when it spills over the waistline of trousers or skirt in a manner that resembles the top of a muffin spilling over its paper casing." Owch.
- Oven temperature and baking time: the cupcakes were baked at 350 for 30 minutes, and the muffins were baked at 375 for 25 minutes.
- Mixing: With the muffins, our recipe said to mix until the dry ingredients were mixed with the wet, but not until smooth; with the cupcakes, we creamed the butter and mixed longer, until there were no lumps.
- Flour: There was significantly more flour in the muffin recipe.
- Sugar: No difference! Both recipes called for the same exact amount of sugar for a batch of 20.