In my oh so humble opinion muffins are generally a poor substitute for cupcakes. There are a few exceptions, however. In particular, these muffins which are made from the leftover Thanksgiving cranberry sauce (recipe here) are quite tasty, even if they are rather healthy. If you know you want to do these muffins, just double the sauce recipe to make sure you have leftovers.
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups cranberry sauce (recipe here)
2 cups flour
1/2 cup whole milk
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a muffin tin or line the cups with paper liners. Use a mixer to cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar and mix. Add the eggs, vanilla, baking powder, and salt and mix. Add in the cranberry sauce.
With the mixer running at low speed, add 1/2 of the flour, then 1/2 of the milk, and mix. Repeat with remaining flour and milk. Continue to mix just until combined. Fill the muffin cups 3/4 full with the batter. Sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar over the tops of the muffins and bake until golden brown and risen, 25 to 30 minutes (a toothpick inserted in the middle should come out clean). Let cool in the pan at least 15 minutes before turning out.