There is really a lot of difference. Cupcakes are made from a cake recipe. Created to be light and airy. Muffins are a flavored quickbread. There is a great difference in the preparation and basic ingredients.
Sometimes it does seem like a muffin might just as well be a cupcake, they have so much sugar, fat & calories. The principle difference would be the frosting. However, I've had cupcakes with a sprinkling of powdered sugar or a sweet crumb topping instead of frosting. Usually, cupcakes are a sweet dessert and muffins are more substantial and eaten instead of bread at a meal.
i think everyone forgot... cupcake usually puff up not far from the edge of the wraper and can be iced; while muffins can or can't have wrapers and puff up to look like a mushroom. plus cupcakes most commonly are chocolate, vanilla and rarely have any chocolate chips or fruit pieces (may have a filling though) and muffins can have chocolate chips or fruit pieces etc.
Batter and dough also cupcakes are frosting either powdered sugar or cake frosting and muffins are not so much sugar and usually have things like blueberries, strawberries, or a berry or nut inside of the muffin. Thank you.
Muffins are much BIGGER and don't have any decorations like frosting or icing, They're healthier than Cupcakes. Cupcakes are much smaller and they have frosting or icing and has all kinds of decoration, They're very sweet than Muffins.
Well I know that muffins are mixed very lightly and cupcakes you mix till all moist. I 've frosted muffins to , (Try it) Also, it don't matter what time you eat them. But, I could go for one of each right now, Perkins any one?