What’s the difference between a muffin and cupcake? A sweet treat like this one might hover on the border of being a cupcake flavor-wise, but what really divides muffins from cupcakes is their chemical makeup and preparation style.
Muffins, which are small quick breads, tend to rely on vegetable oil for their fat content. Their dry ingredients and wet ingredients are mixed separately, then incorporated all at once until they’re just blended to avoid gluten activation so they have a crumbly texture. Muffins can be sweet or savory, ranging from chocolate chip to bacon cornbread.
Cupcakes, which are small cakes, rely mostly on butter for their fat content. Cupcake batter is normally prepared by creaming butter and sugar together, then adding other wet ingredients like eggs and flavorings before finally incorporating the flour to activate the gluten and yield a fluffier, less crumbly texture. While cupcakes tend to be sweet, anyone who’s watched an episode of Cupcake Wars on Food Network knows that all sorts of savory ingredients have appeared in cupcakes in more recent years.
These muffins combine the great flavor friends of peanut butter, banana, and chocolate. They’d be perfect with a bit of peanut butter smeared on them, but they’re also delicious without any further enhancements.
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup very ripe mashed bananas (about 3 small bananas)
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1/3 cup peanut butter
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup milk chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two muffin tins with paper liners; this recipe yields about 20 muffins.
In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
Add the bananas, milk, peanut butter, vegetable oil, and egg all at once, using a fork to mix until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
Using a two-inch cookie scoop, drop scoops of batter into prepared muffin tins, filling about 1/2 to 3/4 full.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until tops are light golden and a cake tester comes out clean.
Serve warm or cool.