Mini-muffins are simply muffins that are smaller than standard sized muffins, and are typically produced using the smallest muffin tins on the market. The average mini-muffin weighs in at about 1 ounce (25 grams), and a standard serving consists of two muffins. These small sized treats are often compared to mini cupcakes, though unlike cupcakes they are usually not covered in icing. If a topping is used, it is more often in the form of a glaze. Bits of fruit or candy may be added to the muffin mix prior to baking in order to enhance flavor.
Many commercial food vendors that specialize in baked goods offer pre-packaged mini-muffins, however, unlike jumbo and standard sized muffins, these smaller versions are usually not available for purchase as a single serving. In most cases, they must be purchased by the dozen. Mini-muffins are usually available at most grocery stores and bakeries, and some restaurants offer them as breakfast menu item.
A freshly baked mini-muffin very much resembles a cupcake, and though both require the use of flour, butter, sugar and eggs, that is pretty much where the similarity ends. Muffins have a texture and density that is much heavier than that of a cupcake, which is usually light and fluffy. In addition, muffins typically have high, rounded tops, while cupcakes are flatter to allow for a thick coating of icing. Muffin tops are usually left unfrosted or are drizzled with a clear glaze.
The density of muffins make them ideal for adding fruit, nuts, and candies, because the heavier the bread, the firmer it will be. Most any type of fruit or candy can be added to a muffin batter, so variations and available flavors are numerous. Some of the most popular types of mini-muffins include chocolate chip, blueberry, and strawberry. For those who are diet conscious, sugar-free versions are available that are made with artificial sweeteners.
Making mini-muffins is fairly simple, and even those with little baking experience should have few problems turning out a batch. As long as the proper ingredients and utensils are on hand, baking these treats is typically just a matter of deciding on the desired type of muffin, then following a simple recipe. A wide variety of muffin recipes can usually be found in cookbooks, food magazines, and online. Common utensils needed for baking muffins include a mixer, mini muffin tins, and measuring spoons and cups. Some recipes call for the use of cupcake liners to help reduce the risk of sticking.