Cakes Vs Cupcakes Batters

It can be easy to assume that cake and cupcakes are made from the same ingredients with the same method.  However, there is a lot of debate about this. 

On the surface, the batter for cakes and cupcakes is the same, but there are some differences.  If you are wondering if you can make your favorite cake recipe into cupcakes, read on.  

What’s The Difference Between Cakes And Cupcakes?

The main, obvious difference between cakes and cupcakes is the size of the finished product.  However, it isn’t just the pan size that makes the difference.  There are slight differences in the batter and presentation.  Some of the differences are laid out below. 

Tools And Time

Cupcakes are baked in cake tins that are separated into small compartments that hold a couple of tablespoons of batter.  You can bake directly in these compartments or line them with paper cases.  Cupcakes have a shorter baking time of around 15 minutes.

Cakes are baked in bigger cake tins and take between half an hour to an hour to bake depending on the ingredients and type of cake.  

Serving Size

Cupcakes are designed to be a single serving size.  Cakes on the other hand are supposed to be shared among multiple people for multiple servings.


Cupcakes are generally topped with frosting, sprinkles, and other decorations.  Cakes can also be decorated with all of these things, however, they can also be decorated with fondant, marzipan, or rolled in chocolate.  

Is There A Difference Between Cupcake Batter And Cake Batter?

There is a difference between the cake batter that is used for cupcakes and cakes.  The main difference comes down to the ratio of ingredients that you use.  Both types of batter need sugar, eggs, butter, flour, and baking powder. 

However, when you are making cake batter, you will need to use more flour and sugar.  When you are making cupcake batter, you will need to use more butter and wet ingredients to increase the moisture content.  

Is Cupcake Batter Thicker Than Cake Batter?

Cupcake batter and cake batter are extremely similar in consistency because they use the same ingredients. 

However, because of the different ratios of ingredients cake batter is thicker than cupcake batter depending on the type of cake that you are making.  This is mostly caused by the extra dry ingredients that are used in the batter.  

You can also choose to adjust the consistency of your batter. If your cupcake batter is too thin, you can make it thicker by adding more flour. If you want a thinner batter, you can add more milk or water to it. Note that thicker batter tends to give a cake more rise.

Is Cake Mix And Cupcake Mix The Same?

As a general rule, cake mixes and cupcake mix are the same things. In fact, most store cake mixes state that they can be used to make cupcakes. Most cupcake recipes make a denser cupcake due to the increase in the amount of wet ingredients.

However, if you make cupcakes with box mixes you will end up with a fluffier cake than with cupcake batters. As far as using a box mix for a cake recipe or cupcake recipe, you will end up with a delicious treat to eat.

Cakes Vs Cupcakes Batters

Can You Use Cake Batter To Make Cupcakes And Vice Versa?

As we have mentioned, because the combination of sugar, flour, eggs, butter, baking powder, or baking soda is the same for both types of batter, it is possible to use cake mix to make cupcakes and vice versa.

If you only have a cake recipe available you can use it to bake cupcakes or a sponge cake. The same goes for cupcake mix which can make a beautiful layer cake and cupcake.

Because the cake recipe can be used interchangeably, you can use any leftover batter for baking cupcakes for a sweet dessert.

Just remember that the cupcakes in the cupcake tins will require a shorter baking time at the same temperature. Similarly, if you have leftover cupcake batter, you can make little cakes in ramekins.

Which Is Better, Cake Or Cupcakes?

The answer to this question comes down to personal preference. If you prefer a slice of layer cake to muffins or cupcakes, then you will prefer cakes made with cake batter.

If you prefer cupcakes decorated with different frosting flavors, icing, or whipped cream, you will prefer cupcake mix. You might prefer a cake recipe with actual batter, made in cake pans, or a cupcake mix made in cupcake tins.

Other than personal taste and texture preference, cupcakes are often easier to store than cake. This is because the cake needs to be stored in a single box or tin to keep the cake layers fresh.

How To Convert Cake Into Cupcake

If you have made a delicious cake but want to convert it into cupcakes for easier presentation or storage, you can do this. Simply take a cookie cutter and cut some small circles from your cake.

You can add some frosting and sprinkles on top to make them look prettier. With that being said, it is easier to just bake cupcakes in the first place using cupcake tins.

Which Is Easier To Bake, Cake Or Cupcakes?

If you are new to baking or want to make sure you have beautiful cakes for a special event, you might wonder which option is easier. In general, cupcakes are easier to bake than cake.

This is because you are baking a smaller amount of batter and the heat can reach all of it at once. This results in a more even bake.

With that being said, the main differences between cake and cupcake baking is the baking time and batter volume.

Final Thoughts

Cakes and cupcakes are incredibly similar when it comes to baking. It is possible to follow a cake recipe to make cupcakes, even down to the amount of baking powder you need. The result will always be a delicious, fluffy, baked dessert.

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Kathryn Sewell

Hi! I'm Kate and I have been baking and cooking for as long as I can remember. I like to share the most interesting tips and recipes I try here on What Kate Baked for you to enjoy. If you have a favorite recipe you'd like to share send it over on social.

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