Fairy cakes are small buttercakes made by the creaming method and often topped with colored icing. American muffins are a cross between a scone and a fairy cake, but bigger. They are made with a thick batter mixture rather than a dough and are raised with baking powder. American muffins are not as sweet or as rich as fairy cakes.
American use the term 'English muffins', to describe what the English call crumpets; however, the authentic traditional English muffin is different and uses dough made from strong white flour and yeast cooked on a griddle or hot plate. The muffin is torn apart when cooked and eaten immediately with sweet or savory toppings.
American muffins are both quick and easy to make and they are best eaten the day they are baked.