Sponge Cake vs Pound Cake: How Are They Different?

Tulip Chocolate

Sponge cake and pound cake: they’re similar but not exactly the same. Don’t feel ashamed if you don’t know this though, we know there are so many types of cakes to keep track of! However, whether you’re baking for yourself or your bakery business, it’s good to have this knowledge of the differences between sponge cake vs. pound cake, so you can have more confidence in serving them to your special someone or customers. Let’s dive right in:

The Ingredients

The ingredients

First, let’s get down to the most essential thing: what they’re made of. Sponge cake is basically a foam cake, comprises egg, sugar, and flour as its primary ingredients. On the other hand, pound cake is classified as butter cake. It uses the same three main ingredients as sponge cake, but with the crucial addition of butter. Chocolate powder can be added to both types of batter to make a chocolate sponge cake or chocolate pound cake.

Fun fact: it’s a common misconception to think that a pound cake derives its name from how the cake itself weighs a pound (approx. 450 gram), but it came from how it is traditionally made from one pound of each of its four primary ingredients. 

The Preparation

While most of the primary ingredients, equipment, and oven temperature requirements are the same, there are differences in the specifics of preparation between sponge cake vs. pound cake. The sponge cake has a high egg to flour ratio, and leavening is achieved by beating air into the whole egg or the egg white instead of using a raising agent like baking powder. In contrast, pound cake prioritizes the butter to be whisked initially with the flour, and relies on a raising agent for the leavening. 

The Texture

The texture

This is probably the most obvious difference between sponge cake vs pound cake. Sponge cake is very light and fluffy, which is achieved by beating the whole egg with sugar and flour. It is sponge-like in terms of its bounciness, hence the name. Because of this texture, it’s also great to be used as a base cake material because it can soak up additions well (just like a real sponge!). In contrast, pound cake is dense and a bit heavy. The more butter used, the heavier the cake would be.

The Flavor

Sponge cake has a relatively mild and subtle taste, with its fluffiness achieving the sensation of melting in your mouth. On the other hand, butter cake has a rich taste and feels more filling, mostly thanks to the butter. Which one tastes better? It’s all subjective, obviously, as well as the context of their serving…which brings us to:

The Best Situation to Serve

The best situation to serve

Due to its airy texture, it’s harder to cut sponge cake into neat even pieces. Therefore, butter cake is perhaps more suitable to be served on occasions like a birthday party, where it can be shared among many people. On the other hand, sponge cake is perfect if one craves something lighter (and with fewer calories!) to be enjoyed alone, perhaps as a casual snack to be enjoyed with a cup of tea or coffee.

Congratulations, you’re now the expert (in theory at least) on sponge cake vs. pound cake! Now, it’s time to start baking these delicious cakes and think about how you can improve the basic recipe to make the treat even more delightful. For instance, you can top the cake with chocolate syrup or our ready-to-use chocolate ganache for an elevated result. You can also use other chocolate ingredients from Tulip Chocolate to get that tasty creamy chocolate flavor on your sponge cake and pound cake. We have a wide range of choices on our product page to find out more high-quality chocolate products.

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