Muffin? Cupcake?

Posted 2009.03.31 9.21 in Pointless Blather

So I was on my way to work this morning, when I grabbed a coffee and a blueberry muffin.  The muffin was really sweet and yummy, and then it hit me – what’s the difference between a muffin and a cupcake?

They are both similar in shape and size. They both tend to wear little pleated paper skirts. Unless I miss my guess, both can be made in a ‘muffin tray’. And both come from the oven. So what is the determining factor that one is a muffin and the other is a cupcake?

My first thought was that the latter has frosting and the former does not.  But then, I realize that this is probably not a definitive basis for classification.  I am certain that I have seen things advertised as muffins, yet which bear frosting. 

What is it?

What Is It?

So then I think, if it’s not something obvious then maybe it’s something internal, genetic.

Although my understanding of biology is somewhat shaky, I have read somewhere that one determining factor of whether two things are the same species or not, is if they can mate and have viable offspring. So if a muffin and a cupcake can couple and produce an offspring that itself is fertile, that means that muffins and cupcakes are the same thing. Now I’ve never seen a mufcake or a cupfin (that I know of) but absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Cupcakes and muffins do not generally associate with each other, due to social pressures. One is a breakfast food and the other is desert. It’s like the Hatfields and McCoys, they aren’t allowed to fraternize with each other.

Now, before I go kidnapping cupcakes and muffins to start some twisted pseudo-scientific cross-breeding programme, I think I will try and explore a few more less-crazy options. I’m thinking, the experts at Get Frosted! may be able to help shed some light on the classification.

In the meantime, I will continue my own daily research. I know they make chocolate muffins… if I can locate a bran cupcake, that may confirm my suspicions.

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