Sponge Cake vs Pound Cake: What’s the Difference

While both delightful, Sponge and pound cakes offer distinct textures and ingredients. Sponge cakes are renowned for their spongy, fluffy, and light texture, achieved through beaten egg whites, and consist of eggs, sugar, and flour with minimal fat. In contrast, pound cakes are denser and moister, owing to a higher butter content, and are made using a traditional recipe that incorporates equal parts of butter, sugar, eggs, and flour. These differences in texture and ingredients give each cake a unique appeal, making them suitable for various occasions and tastes. So, to discover the difference between sponge cake and pound cake, keep reading!

Sponge Cake vs Pound Cake

Also Read: Pudding vs Custard: Which Will Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth?

Overview Of Sponge Cake vs Pound Cake

AspectSponge CakePound Cake
TextureLight, spongy, and fluffyDense, moist, and tender
IngredientsEggs, sugar, flour, minimal fatButter, sugar, eggs, and flour
LeaveningBeaten egg whites, sometimes baking powder or sodaCreaming butter and sugar, minimal baking powder or soda
FlavorSubtle and neutralRich and buttery, slightly sweet
UseIdeal for light, layered cakes and dessertsSuitable for slicing, often served on its own or with simple toppings
Traditional RecipeFat-free or minimal fatNamed after equal parts of butter, sugar, eggs, and flour
VersatilityClassic, timeless flavourClassic, timeless flavor

What is Sponge Cake?

A sponge cake is a type of cake known for its light, fluffy, and airy texture. It is characterized by a delicate and spongy crumb, which gives the cake its name. Sponge cakes are often used as a base for various desserts and can paired with a wide range of fillings and toppings.

Popular Sponge Cake

Here are some popular names for sponge cakes:

  1. Victoria Sponge Cake
  2. Genoise
  3. Chiffon Cake
  4. Angel Food Cake
  5. Japanese Cotton Cheesecake
  6. Ladyfingers
  7. Savarin
  8. Battenberg Cake
  9. Lamingtons
  10. Sponge Fingers

How is Sponge Cake made?

Sponge cake is made by whipping eggs, sugar, and flour to create a light and airy texture. Here’s a basic recipe for making a sponge cake:


  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (120 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)


Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour two 8-inch (20 cm) round cake pans or line them with parchment paper for easy removal.

Sift the Dry Ingredients: In a bowl, sift together the flour and, if desired, the baking powder and salt. Sifting helps to aerate the flour and remove any lumps.

Whip the Eggs and Sugar: Add the eggs and granulated sugar in a separate mixing bowl. Use an electric or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment to beat the eggs and sugar quickly for about 5-7 minutes or until the mixture becomes pale, thick, and triples in volume. It should leave a ribbon-like trail when the beaters are lifted.

Fold in the Dry Ingredients: Gently fold the sifted dry ingredients into the whipped egg and sugar mixture. Use a spatula, and be careful not to deflate the batter. If desired, add vanilla extract for flavour.

Divide and Bake: Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans. Smooth the tops with a spatula.

Bake: Place the cake pans in the preheated oven and bake for approximately 20-25 minutes, or until the cakes are golden brown, spring back when lightly touched, and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Cool: Remove the cakes from the oven and let them cool in the pans for a few minutes. Then, remove them from the pans and transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Also Read: Purin vs Flan: Discovering the Origins and Differences of These Popular Global Desserts

What is Pound Cake?

A pound cake is a type of cake that is known for its dense, moist, and rich texture. It is characterized by its buttery flavour and tender crumb. The name “pound cake” originated from its traditional recipe, which called for equal parts of four essential ingredients: butter, sugar, eggs, and flour, each weighing a pound, hence the name “pound cake.” Modern recipes use smaller quantities of these ingredients while preserving the cake’s dense, buttery nature.

Popular Pound Cake

Here are some popular names for pound cakes:

  1. Classic Pound Cake
  2. Butter Pound Cake
  3. Lemon Pound Cake
  4. Vanilla Pound Cake
  5. Chocolate Pound Cake
  6. Almond Pound Cake
  7. Cream Cheese Pound Cake
  8. Marble Pound Cake
  9. Orange Pound Cake
  10. Blueberry Pound Cake

How is Pound Cake made?

Pound cake is a classic and straightforward cake, known for its rich buttery flavor and dense, tender crumb. Here’s a basic recipe for making a pound cake:


  • 1 cup (2 sticks or 226 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups (400 grams) granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 3 cups (360 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)


Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 325°F (160°C). Grease and flour a standard 10-inch (25 cm) bundt pan or a 9×5-inch (23×13 cm) loaf pan.

Cream the Butter and Sugar: In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the softened butter and granulated sugar together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. This process usually takes about 3-5 minutes.

Add the Eggs: Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Make sure each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next one. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Mix in the Dry Ingredients: Whisk the flour and salt together in a separate bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the butter and sugar mixture, mixing on low speed until just combined. Be careful not to overmix; stop as soon as the flour disappears. If using vanilla extract, add it now and mix briefly.

Transfer to the Pan: Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula.

Bake: Place the pan in the preheated oven and bake for about 60-75 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the top is golden brown. Baking times may vary, so start checking for doneness around 60 minutes.

Cool: Allow the pound cake to cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes. Then, remove it from the pan and transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely.

Serve: Once the cake has cooled completely, you can slice and serve it. Pound cake is delicious on its own or with powdered sugar, a simple glaze, or your favourite fruit topping.

Also Read: Custard vs Ice Cream: Exploring the Differences Between Custard and Ice Cream

What is the Difference Between Sponge Cake vs Pound Cake?


The main difference between sponge cake and pound cake lies in their ingredients. Sponge cake does not contain any butter or oil, relying solely on the air incorporated into the batter for its rise. Pound cake, however, includes a substantial amount of butter, giving it its rich flavour and dense texture.


Sponge cake is light and fluffy, with a delicate and moist texture. It is known for its ability to absorb flavours and syrups. Pound cake, on the other hand, has a denser and firmer texture with a tight crumb. It is moist and crumbly, with a rich and buttery mouthfeel.


Sponge cake has a subtle sweetness and a neutral flavour profile, allowing it to pair well with various fillings and toppings. Pound cake, on the other hand, is rich and buttery with a more pronounced sweetness.


Due to its light and absorbent nature, sponge cake is often used in layered cakes and desserts like tiramisu. It can also be soaked in syrups or liqueurs for added flavour. Pound cake, with its denser texture, is a popular choice for simple everyday cakes and can be enjoyed plain or with a simple glaze.

Also Read: Margarine vs Butter: Which is Better for Your Health?

Final Comment

Both sponge cake and pound cake have their own unique characteristics that make them beloved by cake enthusiasts. Sponge cake is light and airy, while pound cake is rich and dense. The two choices depend on personal preference and the desired texture and flavor. Whether you prefer the delicate and moist sponge cake or the dense, buttery pound cake, there’s no denying that both have a special place in baking.

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