Is a Muffin Pan the Same as a Cupcake Pan?

Cupcakes and muffins are two of everyone’s favorite sweet items. They typically contain the same kind of ingredients. But the actual difference between a cupcake and a muffin comes down to the recipe, method, and baking time.

Is a muffin pan the same as a cupcake pan?

Even though most people think they are the same, a muffin pan is different from a cupcake pan. Their main difference is their sizes, since a muffin pan is usually much more prominent with broader cavities, and a cupcake pan is smaller and does not have wider cups. However, you can use them both interchangeably.

If you are wondering if a muffin pan and a cupcake pan are the same. Continue reading to learn about the difference between a muffin and a cupcake pan.

In this guide, we’ll look in detail at what you can use if you do not have a muffin pan or liners and can you bake muffins in a cupcake pan.

Is a Muffin Pan the Same as a Cupcake Pan

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Can I Use a Muffin pan for Cupcakes?

You can use a muffin pan for baking the cupcakes. Both pans can be interchanged, but they still have distinct differences. There is a wider space between the cups of a standard muffin pan. 

The non-stick surface of the muffin pan also prevents muffins from sticking when baked without liners. Muffin pans have deep, straight cups instead of regular muffin pans, which have shallow cups.

The following points should be considered when using a muffin pan for cupcakes.

1. Shape & Size of  Muffin Pan:

Choosing a cupcake pan is easier and more flexible but pans designed especially for muffins are slightly different.

  • Broader spacing between the cups
  • The non-stick coating in the cups as muffins baked without any liner
  • Sometimes, they are shallow lips around the cup to get round and attractive tops.
  • Tweaked to make it more muffin-friendly

2. Quantity of Batter:

You can overfill the cups for muffins to get crispy edges after baking, but for cupcakes, you must fill the liner with not more than ¾ of the cup.

3. Use of Muffin Pan:

One of the main differences lies in the usage of the pan. When baking cupcakes, liners are essential, but you do not need them when baking muffins, though you should grease the cups of muffin pan first.

Muffin Pan vs Cupcake Pan

A standard muffin pan has wider spaces between its cups. Additionally, it’s non-stick, so muffins baked without liners do not stick. Unlike a regular muffin tin with shallow cups, a muffin pan has deep, straight cups.

A muffin pan and a cupcake pan are different, but you can use them interchangeably. We have listed some of the differences below.

Muffin PanCupcake Pan
Muffin pans are typically larger and have deeper cups. Its cups have a broader spacing.Cupcake pans are comparatively shallower, with smaller cups. 
They usually have straighter walls.They typically have a tapered bottom. 
A muffin pan can hold ⅓ more batter than a cupcake pan.A cupcake pan typically holds less batter than a muffin pan.
Typically, they are made of metal.Generally, they are made of non-stick or silicone material.
Muffin pans have more cavities. Cupcake pans come in various sizes and shapes.
A muffin pan is usually oven-safe up to 500 degrees F.A cupcake pan is oven-safe up to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. 
You can use a muffin pan for baking sweet and savory items (such as quiches).You should only use cupcake pans for making sweet items.

What Is The Difference Between A Muffin And A Cupcake?

Cupcakes and muffins are favorites among dessert lovers when served with coffee or tea. There are several differences between a cupcake and a muffin. A cupcake is typically sweeter and has frosting. However, muffins are considered healthy due to their mix-ins containing chocolate chips and nuts.

You can make a muffin and a cupcake with nearly the same ingredients, but that does not mean they are the same. In reality, the only difference between the two is the different recipes, methods, and instructions provided below.

A muffin uses nut flour, wheat flour, and oat flour.A cupcake uses all-purpose flour.
A muffin has a comparatively lower sugar content than a cupcake.It contains a high quantity of sugar. 
You will need to use a liquid fat for muffins, such as vegetable oil.You use butter for making cupcakes.
Muffins are healthier.Cupcakes are not considered healthy because of their high sugar content.
The muffin batter needs to be beaten for a short time because it should be lumpy.The fluffy and smooth batter for cupcakes can get after beating sugar and butter for some time.
In the case of muffins, you need to fill the cup with batter to get the crunchy top muffin. It would be best never to fill the cup with batter when making cupcakes. You should fill only ⅓ to ½ of the cup and leave enough room for the batter to rise. 
You should top the muffins up with a thin glaze and sugar. You can top cupcakes with creamy frosting.

What Material Is Used To Make Muffin Pans?

The muffin pans are made of silicone, cast iron, aluminum, and stainless steel. Further, the muffin pans may also have a coating of Teflon or other coating materials. In the past, muffin pans made of galvanized steel were popular.

What Material Is Used To Make Cupcake Pans?

The cupcake pans are usually made of silicone or non-stick material. However, cupcake pans made of aluminum and steel are also available. However, you can select a muffin pan or cupcake according to your requirement or what you bake most of the time. 

Read Also: 7 Simple Steps to Fix Sticky Cupcakes

What Can You Use Instead Of A Muffin Pan? 

The answer to these questions is that you can make muffins without a muffin pan or liners as long as you have something to hold the muffin batter in shape inside the microwave. You can use mason jar lids, clean tin cans, oven-proof mugs, ramekins, and flat ice cream cones to make muffins without a muffin pan or liners. 

How To Make Muffins Without A Muffin Pan Or Liners?

In addition to this, you can place silicon paper, butter paper, parchment paper, and aluminum foil (or DIY liners) liners on a baking pan instead of a muffin pan. You may need to use multiple liners for one muffin to make it sturdy enough to hold muffin batter.

Additionally, you can bake the muffins as a cake or loaf in a skillet or baking pan to make muffins without a muffin pan. Also, you may use an electrical muffin maker if you do not have a muffin pan. 

Also, you can bake eggs in a muffin pan without using any liners. Simply grease the pan with cooking spray, oil, or butter. Then, crack the eggs into the pan, being careful not to break the yolks. Bake the eggs at a moderate temperature until they are cooked to your preference.

Can You Make Muffins In A Cupcake Pan?

You can bake muffins in a cupcake pan, but the method to fill the cups is different. In the case of muffins, you need to overfill the cup because you require a crisp edge tomb top after baking that makes it a muffin.

On the other hand, you cannot overfill the cup when making cupcakes. Instead, it would be best to fill the cup to ⅓ to ½ of its capacity.

What Are The Best Muffin and Cupcake Pans?

The muffin and cupcake pans come in different sizes, such as Mini (1 inch), Standard (2 inches), and Jumbo (2.5 inches). The number of cups varies between 4 and 24 cups. High-quality pans consist of steel, carbon steel, aluminized steel, silicone, silicone-lined steel, and steel-lined silicone.

The pan must have a non-stick coating and be heat-safe. Most pans are moderately priced and affordable. You must look into the specification to ensure that you are not compromising on quality. 

Best Muffin Pans

Muffin pansPriceWhere We Found It
1. Rachael Ray Non-Stick Muffin panSee Price on
2. G & S Non-Stick Muffin PanSee Price on
3. Silicone Muffin Pan SetSee Price on

Best Cupcake Pans

Cupcake pansPriceWhere We Found It
1. Wilton Perfect Non-Stick Cupcake PanSee Price on
2. Amazon Basics Nonstick Cupcake Baking PanSee Price on
3. CAKETIME Cupcake PanSee Price on

Final Thoughts

Most people think that muffin pans and cupcake pans are the same but distinct. They have different structures as muffin pans are more significant and broader, but cupcake pans are smaller. However, you may use them interchangeably.

Furthermore, the muffin and cupcake may have the same ingredients, but the technique and process of making them are different.

If you are interested in buying the best bakeware products and accessories for the kitchen, be sure to visit my Recommended Products Page (click to see my page), Which includes all of my top picks by category.

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