What's the Difference: Sponge Cake, Pound Cake, Gateau, Genoise

Different Kinds of Cakes

Sponge cake is known for a subtle flavor that pairs well with hot beverages. It has a very light texture, so it's a popular teatime snack and has a reputation for being healthy (in context, of course).

Pound cake is graced with a rich, buttery flavor, good on its own but decadent with fruit and nuts. Its dense texture is thanks to heavy-handed proportions of whole eggs and butter, which pack each slice with moist mouthfuls of fat and calories.

Though gâteau is a spongelike cake, the ingredients combine to form a doughlike composition that can end up resembling (and even substituting for) a heavy pastry. It has a rich flavor and is laden with fat and calories due to butter and eggs.

Génoise has a dry texture and delicate flavor that are well suited to other snacks. On its own, it's a fairly light cake, but be wary of the fillings and buttercreams that are usually part of a package deal.

Is your mouth watering yet? It will be soon, since the next page discusses how each cake is used (and eaten).

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