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Crumpet vs English muffin: what’s the difference between these two small round breads? Here’s what you need to know (plus recipes).

Crumpet vs English muffin

Crumpet vs English muffins: what’s the difference? These two small round breads are about the same size and use similar ingredients: but they’ve got some major differences. Are they both cut in half? Are they both English? Here’s what you need to know about these popular breads: and a few recipes if you’d like to try your hand at making them at home!

What are crumpets?

A crumpet is a traditional English round bread made with flour, milk, and yeast and cooked on a griddle. The surface of a crumpet has delicate round holes, bubbles from the yeast that rise to the surface during cooking. They’re often served topped with butter, jam, clotted cream, or honey as a traditional tea time snack. They’re popular in the UK and other former British territories like Canada and Australia.

What are English muffins?

An English muffin is a small, savory round bread that’s served cut in half and toasted. Despite the name, it was actually invented in America! A British immigrant named Samuel Bath Thomas invented the English muffin in 1894 in his New York bakery. He first called it the “toaster crumpet,” so it’s a variation on the popular bread he was used to in the UK. It caught on as a more elegant version of toast, and is a popular American breakfast item to this day.

English muffin
English muffins are thicker than crumpets and are sliced in half for serving

Crumpet vs English muffin: what’s the difference?

Here’s a breakdown in the similarities and differences between these two round breads:

  • Size and shape: A crumpet and English muffin are both round breads cooked on a griddle that are about 3 inches in diameter. A crumpet is thinner than an English muffin and has delicate round holes on the top. An English muffin is thicker and the top is solid; it’s served cut in half.
  • Origin: A crumpet is a traditional English bread eaten as a breakfast or tea time snack. It’s popular in the UK and former British territories like Canada and Australia. An English muffin was invented in America by a British immigrant (so Americans saw it as an English-style muffin). It’s a popular American breakfast item.
  • Way it’s served: Both crumpets and English muffins are toasted before serving. A crumpet is served with butter, jam, clotted cream, or preserves spread on top of the crumpet. An English muffin is always sliced in half, then topped with butter, peanut butter, or other toppings. The English muffin is also popularly used as the bread for an American breakfast sandwich.
Crumpets vs English muffins
Crumpets are thinner than English muffins; the yeast makes delicate bubbles on the surface

Recipes for crumpets and English muffins

You can make both crumpets and English muffins at home: and they’re extremely tasty homemade! Of course, you can also find them easily at major grocery stores (in America, look for crumpets in the frozen or refrigerated section). Both breads are a fun project and take about 2 hours to complete. Go to:

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Crumpets vs English muffin

Crumpets vs English Muffins!


Ingredients

Scale

For the crumpets

  • 125 grams (1 cup) bread flour
  • 125 grams (1 cup) all purpose flour
  • 1 cup cup lukewarm water, divided
  • 1 cup lukewarm milk (or oat milk for vegan**)
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Equipment: Non-stick English muffin rings / crumpet rings*

For the English muffins: 

  • ¾ cup warm milk
  • 2 teaspoons yeast
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups (280 grams) all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup whole wheat flour (35 grams)
  • Cornmeal, for rising
  • Equipment: 3-inch biscuit cutter

Instructions

  1. For instructions on how to make crumpets, go to How to Make Crumpets.
  2. For instructions on how to make English muffins, go to How to Make English Muffins.

Keywords: Crumpet vs English muffin, crumpets vs English muffins

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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7 Comments

  1. Basically, they are the same. Who cares about origins of a food eaten? So what if one my be smaller & thinner than the other. They are both a form of bread or roll type of food. To try and explain what a “crumpet” is to someone in America, it is easier to say it is very similar to the English muffin. They are both eaten at breakfast or as a snack. They both can be eaten with butter & jam or whatever. I’ve never put peanut butter on a muffin…ever. Plain or with butter or jelly for me. Clotted cream is something I guess we Americans don’t use, which is probably just as well considering we already eat enough fatty foods.

    1. A crumpet is NOT a bread roll, nor anything like one! It is not any kind of ‘roll food’ either! It is about 15mm thick with a flat, light brown bottom, and is round with a diameter of around 10cm. The top is full of little holes and until it is toasted it is white.

      English muffins are American! They were ‘invented’ by a British person in New York. I’ve never seen one in England. I know they have holes in the middle, but they don’t have them on the outside like crumpets, and need to be split.

      Crumpets, which are a competely different texture from bread and are slightly springy, are in England – indeed, in the UK, generally eaten at teatime, and not for breakfast. Many people are entirely happy with crumpets and butter – I like butter and Marmite on mine. The butter (and whatever else) is put directly on top of the toasted crumpet – there’s no need to split them.

    1. The following is from bakerpedia.com. English muffins are different from American muffins. They are thought to have originated in Wales from “Bara Mean,” a yeast leavened baked cake in the 10th Century. An Englishman named Samuel B. Thomas introduced these muffins to the US when he first opened his bakery shop in New York.

      Introduced vs invented? An easy mistake. The great news is is not the point of the post. On that, a huge thank you to Alex and Sonja for posting. I was looking today for a quick comparison and chose their entry from the choices google brought up. Why? Their site is always informative and the recipes superb. Isn’t this why we all wound up here? ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  2. Where did you ever get the idea that “english” muffins are cut in half?

    Might be a US serving idea, but everywhere else in the world, they’re served whole, just like crumpets, w/ butter and preserves on top.

    Please stop propagating US cooking & dietary norms as “how to”. You’re not the center of the world, and really, the US is 90% a gastronomical disaster! I’ll give you pulled pork, and some tex mex … Maybe even San Francisco Chinese … But everything else is bastardised from another culture.(NY and Chicago “Italian” would be perfect examples.

    If you want to talk indigenous flatbreads, and maybe Elk recipes ….

    1. Why the open hostility its food eat it the way you like.
      And as to why American food is such a hodgepodge of nationalities is because the US is a hodgepodge of nationalities.
      Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some english muffins to slice in half and that I fully plan on spooning a little tomato sauce that I made which as a twist I decided to add a touch of yellow curry powder to, and before I use it I’m going to add a little pimenta moida, that I’m then going to cover in some jack and cheddar cheese, and then put some chopped linguiça, on some and a some garlic, mushrooms, and spinach on the others.
      Why because I have 3 english muffins and two competing ideas for what to do with them, so I said why not both? And in one fell swoop I have violated food from all but 2 of the continents.
      Why because I’m Norwegian, I’m living in the US, and I don’t think rules and food necessarily go together!
      Join me in about 10 hours when I fully intend on eating basically breakfast sausage fried rice, and using sriracha on it with some fried pita bread!
      Anarchy! Chaos! Women fainting in the streets! Societies will collapse! It will be the end of the world as we know it! Satan will rise! The sky will turn to fire and your nose will fall off!
      Either that or its just food, eat it or don’t, no one actually cares, besides yourself apparently….