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Muffin vs. Scone: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on January 14, 2024
A muffin is a soft, cupcake-like quick bread usually sweet and often containing fruits or nuts, while a scone is a denser, often lightly sweetened or savory, biscuit-like pastry, typically served with tea.

Key Differences

Muffins have a softer, cake-like texture and are typically made with ingredients like flour, eggs, butter, sugar, and baking powder. Scones have a denser, crumbly texture, often made with similar ingredients but less sugar and more butter, sometimes incorporating cream.
Muffins are generally sweeter and can include a variety of mix-ins like fruits, nuts, or chocolate chips. Scones are less sweet, sometimes savory, and may include raisins, cheese, or herbs.
Muffins are often enjoyed as a standalone snack or breakfast item. Scones are traditionally served with tea, commonly accompanied by clotted cream and jam.
The batter for muffins is usually mixed until just combined and baked in a muffin tin. Scones are made from a dough that is shaped into rounds or wedges and baked on a sheet.
Muffins are a popular breakfast item in the United States, while scones are closely associated with British tea culture.

Comparison Chart


Soft, cake-like
Denser, crumbly


Generally sweeter, with fruits or nuts
Less sweet, often savory


Standalone snack or breakfast
Traditionally with tea, cream, and jam


Mixed until just combined, baked in tins
Dough shaped, baked on a sheet

Cultural Association

American breakfast item
British tea culture

Muffin and Scone Definitions


Baked in individual portions in a muffin tin.
He filled each cup of the muffin tin with batter.


Traditionally served with tea, especially in Britain.
Afternoon tea isn't complete without scones and jam.


A small, soft, cake-like quick bread.
She enjoyed a blueberry muffin with her morning coffee.


Can be lightly sweetened or savory.
The cranberry scones had a pleasant, light sweetness.


Often sweet, containing fruits, nuts, or chocolate.
The chocolate chip muffin is a favorite among kids.


A biscuit-like pastry, denser and less sweet than muffins.
She served fresh scones with clotted cream at tea time.


Can be savory, with ingredients like cheese or herbs.
She made savory muffins with cheese and spinach.


Often contains raisins, cheese, or herbs.
The cheese scones were a hit at the brunch.


Popular as a breakfast or snack item.
Grabbing a muffin on the go is a convenient breakfast.


Shaped into rounds or wedges before baking.
He cut the scone dough into wedges and placed them on the baking sheet.


A small, cup-shaped quick bread, often sweetened.


A small, rich, biscuitlike pastry or quick bread, sometimes baked on a griddle.


An English muffin.


(Utah) Yeast bread dough, deep-fried and served with honey and butter or with a savory filling.


A small, rich, pastry or quick bread, sometimes baked on a griddle.


Frybread served with honey butter spread on it.


The head.


To hit on the head.


A cake, thinner than a bannock, made of wheat or barley or oat meal.


Small biscuit (rich with cream and eggs) cut into diamonds or sticks and baked in an oven or (especially originally) on a griddle


What's a traditional way to serve scones?

With tea, along with clotted cream and jam.

Can muffins be savory?

Yes, they can include ingredients like cheese or herbs.

What makes muffins soft and cake-like?

The use of ingredients like eggs and baking powder.

What is a scone?

A denser, biscuit-like pastry, can be sweet or savory.

Are scones sweet?

They can be lightly sweetened or savory.

How are muffins different from bread?

Muffins have a softer texture and are sweeter.

How are muffins typically served?

As a standalone snack or breakfast item.

What is a muffin?

A small, soft, cake-like quick bread, often sweet.

Is a muffin a type of cupcake?

No, they're similar but muffins are less sweet and not frosted.

What's a popular mix-in for muffins?

Fruits like blueberries or bananas.

Are scones a type of bread?

They're a type of quick bread, similar to biscuits.

What occasions are muffins good for?

Breakfast, snacks, or casual gatherings.

Do scones contain yeast?

Typically no, they're made with baking powder.

Can scones be made with cheese?

Yes, cheese scones are a popular savory option.

When are scones traditionally eaten?

Often at afternoon tea or brunch.

Are scones hard to make?

They require some technique but are generally straightforward.

What gives scones a crumbly texture?

Higher butter content and less sugar.

What's the best way to eat a muffin?

Often enjoyed warm, sometimes with butter.

How do you eat scones?

Typically cut open and served with cream and jam.

Can you make muffins without eggs?

Yes, there are egg-free and vegan muffin recipes.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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