Crumpets vs. English Muffins

by L
(United States)

So what IS the difference between crumpets and English muffins? Is there a difference at all? And when are they traditionally eaten?

In England, crumpets and English muffins are eaten for breakfast, brunch and as a treat at teatime. Both can take sweet or savoury fillings. Both are made from flour, milk and yeast.

But the end results are quite different.


Crumpets © Monkey Business Images | Dreamstime.comFor crumpets, flour, yeast, salt and milk are mixed as if you're making pancakes.

After resting the batter for a while to activate the yeast, the crumpets are cooked in a frying pan or griddle pan - again, similar to pancakes.

Crumpet or English Muffin Rings are used to hold the batter while the crumpets cook.

This helps keep the shape, and also make nice thick crumpets. While they cook, the yeast in the batter bursts, opening channels or holes in the top - and so giving the crumpets their typical appearance.

Check out this recipe for crumpets and ideas on what to do with them.

English Muffins

English Muffins © Monkey Business Images |
English Muffins, on the other hand, are more like flat bread rolls.

The ingredients are mixed into a dough and left to rise. The dough is then rolled out into flat round muffins, but rather than bake them in the oven, muffins are also cooked in a ring, in a frying pan or griddle.

To serve, they are split round the middle and buttered, or halved and toasted and served with scrambled or poached eggs on top.

Check out this recipe for English muffins.

Hope you find them tasty and have fun making them.

Comments for Crumpets vs. English Muffins

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English Muffins
by: Anonymous

Is this site American, or aimed at Americans? I am English and we never ever call a crumpet a muffin or a muffin a crumpet because they are completely different. English muffins are best toasted before spreading with whatever takes your fancy. Same for crumpets, but be careful of overload as it will sink through the holes in the crumpet and ooze out on to the plate. Unfortunately you do not see many English muffins in the shops in the Uk as they have been overtaken by American muffins (cakes!). Now I am going to have a look at the various sections on the left of this page to see what gems are there about England!

Comment from Sue:

The site is English, but many of our visitors are from overseas, hence the discussion. You're quite right that (for us) muffins and crumpets are impossible to confuse. But not everyone is so lucky, ne?

Muffins that resemble crumpets
by: Andrew

I knew an English lady who was born before and then lived through the war years. She recalled, as a child,seeing muffins sold in London (maybe on the street)that were very close in appearance to crumpets. While the two pictures posted here show both are round and somewhat flat, they are not similar enough for that comparison to be made.

If you take a look at the garden scene in the 1952 Asquith film "The Importance of Being Earnest", Jack and Algy are eating muffins. These are quite thin and could be a candidate for the type I am referring to. However I have not been able to find any information extant on such a species.

Comment from Sue:
Hi Andrew,
I would say that it's not the size and shape that matters in this debate, but the texture of the finished product. Crumpets have lots of holes in them and - when untoasted - are rather rubbery. Muffins are more a cross between a bread roll and cake. To my mind and tastebuds, they are each a completely different animal.

by: Anonymous

sue is more correct than most people when discussing this esp re 'rubbery' - at least the photos are correct - they are VERY different in taste and texture - love both though

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