I am stunned…

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A poll on All Things Cupcake, poses the question, Is a cupcake without frosting still a cupcake?

Right now, with 2 days left to vote, an astounding 59% say NO, Its a muffin!

Really???? Im shocked! Muffins have a distinctly different texture than cupcakes. How can a plain vanilla or chocolate cupcake, without frosting, be considered a muffin. I dont understand. According to my Grandma, who is the one who got me thinking about this, (As well as several people who told me I shouldn’t accept naked cupcakes as entries to Cupcake Hero, jerks!)

A muffin should crack on top when baked, a cupcake should not.”

And while I have surely had some cupcakes crack on me in the past, I do not think a naked cupcake = a muffin.

If you are one of the people who thinks a cupcake with frosting is indeed not a cupcake, but a muffin, SHOW YOURSELF! Please tell me why. I want to know the thoughts behind this statement.

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21 thoughts on “I am stunned…

  1. I remember reading somewhere that muffin batter is stirred with a wooden spoon until the ingredients are just combined. Cupcake batter is mixed thouroughly.

    I didn’t vote, but I definitely think a naked cupcake is still a cupcake.

  2. Calling an unfrosted cupcake a muffin is the silliest thing I ever heard of. The just combined thing is an excellent point… a muffin is a quickbread, a batter that you never want to over mix because it will get too tough and dense. A cupcake is, obviouslly, cake batter that was baked in a cup sized dish. If an unfrosted cupcake was a muffin, then a pound cake would be a rectangular, overly large muffin. An angel food cake would be a spongy muffin with a hole in the middle. The unfrosted layers of chocolate cake cooling on the rack would be flat muffins!

  3. sugarcube

    I never really gave much thought to the difference, but I will say if I was going choose between frosted and unfrosted. The frosted would win everytime. I also would like to add I have tasted cupcakes that have had the texture of a muffin, which is closer to cornbread with overly sweet icing that is suppose to complement the less sweeten cake. How about this cupcakes may use cake flour in the recipe and muffins generally use all-purpose flour…hmm–I hope there is an actual answer to this question, because now I will never look at muffins the same way.

  4. Jen- Thanks! I dont know where these anti-naked cupcake people are coming from! They will not show themselves.

    CB-I prefer frosting too, I think most do. But then there is my brother who will choose naked everytime.

    lemontartlet- Thats my point too. But apparently sooo many do not agree.

    sugarcube- I wish there was an actual answer too. I may do some googling and wiki’ing today and learn more.

  5. Dernit! If I could only get onto All Things Cupcake, I’d definitely vote that a naked cupcake is indeed a cupcake and not a muffin! But, the site seems to be too complex for my browser and tends to freeze me. Not a fun experience but sometimes worth if I just want to catch a glimpse at the first post.

    I agree with tartlet! Cupcakes are little cakes in a cup. I know I usually tweak my cake recipes to make cupcakes by trying to resolve ways of keeping the cupcake moist. There’s a lot more surface area relative to size and the cake can dry out. And the only muffin I make is a banana nut one from a bread recipe someone handed down to me ages ago. I’m perplexed. Frosting is usually an integral part of cupcakes, but I don’t think it’s exclusively inclusive.

  6. uhm- cause frosting is it’s own food group. duh.
    I personally don’t see the point in making a cupcake without glaze, icing, or frosting but I also don’t see the point in making a cupcake without chocolate, liqeuer, or chocolate.
    And if you call it a muffin I’ll assume there is something inherently healthy about it.
    So- was your brother dropped on his head as a child or something? What?!?! I’m just asking…

  7. bombshellwithin- I agree, and I dont see anyone who voted No, or who really disagrees stepping up. Hrmm. Its suspicious.

    TW- Actually, he was worse than dropped. He was born with his insides on the outside and his parents didn’t want him. He was given up for adoption and lived at the medical center for 4 months before my parents adopted him.

    You feel awful now dont you?? You do.. That was mean of me. Sorry, but its true.

    LOVE YOU DREW!

  8. well geesh- way to make me feel like crap. I almost feel bad for voting pro- frosting. Almost. Bwahahahahaha
    And kudos to your cewl parents. But it confirms my whole frosting premise. thankyouverymuch

  9. Have you ever looked at the book “500 Cupcakes?” Some of the things they call muffins, I’d call a cupcake. And some of the things they call cupcakes, I’d definitely call a muffin.

    What a dilemma!

  10. 500 Cupcakes really is both cupcakes and muffins. Didn’t get the book because I’d heard too many mixed reviews, but I did get the cupcake a day boxed calender that 500 Cupcakes put out. It was really cheap on sale at Barnes And Noble (it’s on sale right now) because the year started, and I figured what the heck!

  11. It’s all about texture, not frosting. A muffin is rustic; a cupcake is refined. It’s quick bread vs. cake. I’m all for frosting, but lets not discriminate against the baldies!

  12. And here I always thought that you could tell them apart because a muffin will at least pretend to be somewhat healthy and a cupCAKE is pretty upfront and honest: It’s a goodie. Not to mention that the texture is pretty distinct. I don’t think that I’ve ever had a hard time deciding which category the item I was eating belonged to. One of those “I know it when I see it” things. And while a naked cupcake does indeed seem a but incomplete, I have serious issues with saying that it somehow comes out of the oven naked & therefore a muffin but magically changes into a cupcake when you put some frosting-substance on it. And where does that leave glazed muffins? Is glaze no longer frosting??

  13. howtoeatacupcake- I do not have that cookbook, but maybe Ill check it out!

    lemontartlet- Okay, maybe I wont check it out. ha!

    Alicia- I love the baldies! Sometimes you just need cake. Like in the morning, so I dont feel guilty for eating a cupcake first thing.

    Ritsumei- Im really not sure anymore. Everyone has their own opinion. I guess I am just shocked so many would say a cupcake MUST have frosting.

  14. familiabencomo

    OK, as a mother of 2, I bake cupcakes A LOT out of necessity, not just because I want to devour a little bit of heaven. Icing becomes an ugly, sticky monster when a room of 20 four & five year olds are eating cupcakes and the teachers then says, “Let’s thank Mrs. B for the treats with a group hug!” Imagine all of these little faces covered in icing coming at you for a hug – it’s frightening! I do add chocolate chip to the batter to ease my selfish guilt of wanting to stay clean. I know the poll isn’t “scientific” or “conclusive,” but I now worry that I’m disappointing these little tikes….. Even worse, I’m starting a trend of disappointment b/c several of the other moms have started to skip the icing as well.

  15. Colleen

    I dont understand how people can say a naked cupcake is anything but….well….a cupcake!! All cupcakes are baked naked. The frosting is just some decoration on top for those who love the sweet stuff. I do, I honestly am drawn to a beautifully frosted cuppicake but hey! I am also the first one to eat them fresh from the oven, naked as the day they were baked!!!! I also like to eat muffins, naked, with streusel, with glaze, with a yummo dollop of cream cheese frosting. I bake every day on a regular basis these two items and there aint no confusion here, a cupcake is a cupcake and a muffin is a muffin. They are completely different things so I would say those who voted to say theyre the same must show themselves bravely or slink away in disgrace :)

  16. Morgan

    I asked my sister that same question yesterday morning! She told me to go back to bed…

    I think it’s a muffin… I guess…. Yes, the texture is different but still, is there a significant difference?

    I thought about this because my little sister only like cupcakes without icing. So I thought, ‘Is it really a muffin?’

    I still don’t know, though…

    Lotsa love!
    -Morgan ♥

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