Muffins=Cupcakes! Don’t Be Fooled by Breakfast

Muffins have the same nutritional makeup as cupcakes

I've been saying this for a while now to my clients.  They don't quite believe me.  Those muffins you grab with your coffee have a similar nutritional content to cupcakes.  You're really just fooling yourself into thinking those blueberries are doing you any good. Here's a comparison of a chocolate cupcake vs. a blueberry muffin.   I used Starbucks as the source but you can get pretty much the same thing no matter where you go, so don't just blame Bucky's ... Chocolate Cupcake
  • 92 grams total weight
  • 310 calories
  • 90 calories from fat
  • 39 grams of sugar
  • 3 grams of dietary fiber
  • 4 grams of protein
Blueberry muffin
  • 101 grams total weight
  • 380 calories
  • 19 grams of fat
  • 28 grams of sugar
  • 5 grams of protein
Do you notice a lot of differences?  NO! The cupcake is actually a little bit smaller in size and has less calories! So the next time you're standing in line at the coffee shop and that muffin is calling out to you just think cupcake.  Would you really eat a cupcake for breakfast? What do you think? Lisa

About Lisa Johnson

Lisa Johnson here. I've been a personal trainer since 1997, a Pilates instructor since 1998 and the owner of Modern Pilates since 1999. I'm hoping to give you some good ideas to get or stay in shape with a healthy dose of humor and reality. Thanks for joining me.

11 Responses to Muffins=Cupcakes! Don’t Be Fooled by Breakfast

  1. Diane September 21, 2010 at 11:37 am #

    Great post!

    The gradual journey of the muffin from health food to junk food has been so subtle that it’s not surprising how many people still think of them as a ‘healthy’ option. Originally muffins had way less sugar, more fibre, more whole grain, more actual fruit.

    But I don’t need to tell you that ;-)

  2. Tara Burner September 21, 2010 at 1:09 pm #

    not surprising sadly
    just like people who think frozen yogurt is healthy…like go to Menchie’s get a huge container of frozen yogurt then add on candy toppings, etc. etc… but all they ‘see/hear’ is “yogurt” so it must be healthy!
    same goes for cupcake vs muffin… muffin ‘sounds’ healthier
    though like Diane said originally muffins were made differently..healthier…

  3. Diane September 21, 2010 at 2:07 pm #

    Ugh! Don’t get me started on the ‘yogurt is healthy’ rant-wagon! I constantly see ‘health foods’ which are plugged as being yogurt-coated but the coating is just sugar really, with a tiny bit of culture, and plenty of transfat. Makes me want to throw things.

  4. Lisa Johnson September 21, 2010 at 8:35 pm #

    Diane & Tara I’m with you on the frozen yogurt. Maybe that should be another post down the line.

    Diane, I have my grandmother’s recipe book from 1932 and the muffins are completely different! I should post one on True Food Movement :-)

  5. Carrie September 30, 2010 at 12:33 am #

    I love how Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf has started to put their nutritional information on the card in the display case for all their baked goods. It’s hard to play dumb when you order an item, it’s right there in front of you.

    Although when I was there the other day I spent so long reading all the information, the employee couldn’t believe that I didn’t actually order something. After reading the calorie counts, I can’t imagine wanting to order something.

    I’d LOVE to see the 1932 muffin recipe. So curious!

  6. Lisa Johnson September 30, 2010 at 5:53 am #

    Wow, at 1,932 calories you’ve got some major portion control issues … :-)

  7. JANET HUDSON October 8, 2010 at 12:45 am #

    First off, by and large you are correct when you say muffin= cupcake these days. I always tell my readers and clients be aware of portion control, and with everything, especially diet, do in moderation. The photo you chose (mine) to advertise your story is a very healthy muffin- less than 200 calories and vegan to boot. Here is the recipe…since you used my photo, I think it is only fair to post my recipe:

    1/3 cup raw sugar
    1/4 cup vegetable margarine
    Egg Replacer for 1 egg
    2 1/2 cup cake flour
    4 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 cup soy creamer or rice milk
    1 tsp vanilla
    11/2 cup blueberries

    1/2 cup raw sugar
    1/3 cup flour
    1/2 tsp cinnamon
    1/4 cup vegetable margarine

    Combine muffin batter thoroughly, fill muffin tins ( lined or unlined) a little more than 1/2 full – top with some streusel- bake at 350 degrees 15-20 minutes or until golden.
    Makes 15.

    Be healthy.

  8. Lisa Johnson October 8, 2010 at 7:48 am #

    Janet! Thanks! This is actually awesome and I totally appreciate it. You also get the honor of being the first recipe posted on this blog. :-) I did choose the picture because it looked so beautiful and was aware you were a healthy eater. You’re also the first flickr person who’s responded to my blog. Thank you for not being too upset and contributing here.


  9. lorrie October 28, 2010 at 7:56 pm #

    thanks for opening my eyes to that although they are made at the coffee shop and they seem healthy i only have 1 a week with coffee which is also once a week

  10. Lisa Johnson October 28, 2010 at 9:39 pm #

    Lorrie, probably once a week is fine, just think of it as a cupcake, not a healthy muffin and maybe eat only half. :-) This is one of those “stealth” calorie things …

  11. Angella June 7, 2017 at 1:24 am #

    Wow, at 1,932 calories you’ve got some major portion control issues … :-) I want to say that this post is awesome, great written and include almost all
    important info. I really love this post

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