When people find out I have a bit of an… obsession with dessert, and that I'm a pastry school graduate, they often have burning questions. They vary, but there's one that comes up again and again: What's the difference between a cupcake and a muffin?
A lot of people think that a muffin is just an excuse to eat cake for breakfast (and that's also true), but there is a difference. Namely, that cupcakes are generally frosted while muffins are not, muffins can have fruit and cupcakes generally don't, but probably most importantly, muffins are made with liquid fat – oil or melted butter or margarine, while cupcakes are made with solid fat – butter, margarine, shortening. That is why muffins tend to have a heavier, denser crumb, while cupcakes are lighter and airier.
But, rules are made to be broken. So I made these muffins – since they're made with melted butter (which you could sub for oil if you want) and then I iced them. Take that rulebook! Breaking the law has never been so tasty.
Iced Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Muffins
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, melted
1/4 cup milk
2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup rolled oats
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup chocolate chips
Whisk the eggs and sugar together until combined. Add in the vanilla, butter and milk, and keep whisking until smooth. Add the flour, oats, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and chocolate chips and stir to combin.
Divide the batter among 24 greased or paper-lined cups. Bake on 350 F for 15-17 minutes, or until test done. Let cool.
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon milk
Mix together the butter and sugar, making sure no lumps of sugar remain. Add in the vanilla and milk and stir to combine, until a smooth, glossy mixture forms. Add more sugar for a thicker mixture and more milk for a thinner one. Pour a tablespoon over each cupcake. Let set for 10 minutes.
Melt a handful of semisweet chocolate, then place in a small plastic bag and snip a small whole at the tip, then drizzle over the cupcakes. Let set, and enjoy!