Angel Food Cake vs. Pound Cake: What’s the Difference?

angel food cake vs pound cake

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If you like cakes, you may have asked what distinguishes pound cake from angel food cake. These two kind of cakes are often offered at celebrations including weddings, birthday parties, and family get-togethers. But how do their components, textures, and flavors vary from one another?

In this article, we’ll examine the key distinctions between pound cake and angel food cake as well as the history and varieties of each. We will also address some often asked issues concerning these cakes, such as whether the same pan may be used for both.


The quick response is no. Pound cake and angel food cake vary from one another. Based on the ingredients and baking techniques used, they fall under many kinds of cakes.

A kind of butter cake, pound cake has a fat (often butter or oil) and a leavening ingredient (such baking soda or powder). Butter cakes have a flavorful, moist, and dense texture. Typically, they are cooked in bundt or loaf pans.

Since angel food cake is a kind of sponge cake, it doesn’t have any fat or leavening. Instead, the air bubbles that help the cake rise are produced by whipping egg whites. The texture of sponge cakes is airy, light, and fluffy. Typically, they are cooked in tube pans with bottoms that can be removed.


Let’s examine the many sorts of cakes in relation to their baking processes so that you may better comprehend the differences between pound cake and angel food cake. Butter cakes, sponge cakes, and flourless cakes are the three basic types of cakes.

Cakes in butter

Butter or oil, together with baking soda or powder, are the two ingredients used to make butter cakes. The eggs are added one at a time after the fat and sugar have been creamed till light and fluffy. Finally, add alternating amounts of liquid (such milk or water) and flour to the mixture.

Butter cakes have a flavorful, moist, and dense texture. Various flavors, like vanilla, chocolate, nuts, fruits, spices, etc., may be added to them. Several instances of butter cakes include:

Pound Cake

The most basic and traditional kind of butter cake is the pound cake. Its original recipe, which asked for one pound of flour, butter, eggs, and sugar, gave rise to its moniker. It may be made in a bundt pan or a loaf pan.

The crumb of pound cake is delicate and strong, and it can withstand cutting well. Typically, it is served either plain or with icing or a glaze. Sour cream pound cake, cream cheese pound cake, lemon pound cake, marble pound cake, etc. are a few examples of pound cake varieties.

Layer Cake

Butter cake that is made in round or square pans and piled with frosting or filling in between the layers is known as a layer cake. Because layer cake utilizes more liquid and less fat than pound cake, it is lighter and softer.

Layer cakes may be topped with whipped cream, fruits, sprinkles, almonds, and other goodies. Layer cakes include, for instance:

  • Yellow cake is a straightforward vanilla layer cake that goes well with any icing or filling.
  • Chocolate cake is a layer cake with a chocolate taste that may be served with chocolate filling or icing.
  • crimson velvet cake is a layer cake with a crimson hue, a light chocolate taste, and cream cheese icing.
  • Carrot cake is a layer cake with cream cheese frosting that is topped with shredded carrots and spices.
  • A layer cake with coconut flakes and coconut icing or filling is referred to as coconut cake.

Sponge Cakes

Without any fat or leaveners, sponge cakes are formed. In order to produce the air bubbles that cause the cake to rise, they use whipped eggs or egg whites. After beating the eggs until firm peaks form, carefully mix in the sugar and flour.

The texture of sponge cakes is airy, light, and fluffy. Various flavors, such lemon juice, orange zest, almond extract, and others, may be added to them. Sponge cakes include, for instance:

Angel Food Cake

An egg-white-only sponge cake called angel food cake utilizes no yolks at all. It is sometimes referred to as snowdrift cake or white sponge cake. The cake rises without collapsing because it is cooked in a tube pan with a detachable bottom, which helps it adhere to the edges.

The texture of angel food cake is very soft and spongy, melting in your tongue. Typically, it is served either plain or with fruit or whipped cream. Chocolate angel food cake, marble angel food cake, pineapple angel food cake, etc. are some varieties of angel food cake.


When making a sponge cake called a génoise, entire eggs are used instead of egg whites. It is sometimes referred to as French sponge cake or sponge cake. It may be divided into layers and cooked in either a circular or square pan.

Genoise has a dry, crisp crumb that may take on flavor and moisture from syrups or liqueurs. It is often used for lighter than American-style butter layer cakes, European-style layer cakes. Examples of cakes made using genoise include:

  • Opera cake: Opera cake is a kind of layer cake made of delicate layers of genoise sponge cake soaked in coffee syrup and layered with coffee buttercream and chocolate ganache.
  • Black forest cake: Layers of chocolate genoise cake are soaked in cherry liqueur and filled with whipped cream and cherries to make a black forest cake.
  • Tiramisu: A dessert made of layers of mascarpone cheese cream and ladyfingers (a sort of genoise) that have been soaked in coffee.


Egg whites and yolks are both used in biscuits, a form of sponge cake, but they are whisked separately. The flour is added after the egg yolks and sugar have been whisked till thick and pale. After beating the egg whites until firm peaks form, fold them into the yolk mixture.

The moist, delicate crumb of a biscuit may be rolled or moulded into a variety of shapes. Roulades, jelly rolls, and Swiss rolls are among of the common recipes that incorporate it. Desserts made using biscuits include the following:

  • Buche de Noel: A roulade with chocolate buttercream within and a log-shaped decoration.
  • Strawberry shortcake: A delicacy called strawberry shortcake is made out of layers of biscuit, whipped cream, and strawberries.
  • Charlotte: A dessert in which fruit or custard is placed in a mold coated with biscuit fingers.

Chiffon Cake

A form of sponge cake called chiffon utilizes both egg whites and yolks, as well as oil and baking powder. Baking powder aids in the cake’s rise while the oil gives it a soft, moist texture. The baking powder and liquid (such as water or juice) are added after the egg yolks have been beaten with the oil, sugar, and flour. After beating the egg whites until firm peaks form, fold them into the yolk mixture.

While more aromatic and moist than angel food cake, chiffon cake has a crumb that is light and airy. It may also be cooked in round or square pans, although it is often made in a tube pan with a detachable bottom. It may be served either plain or with icing or glaze. Chiffon cakes come in several forms, like:

  • Lemon chiffon cake: a chiffon cake with lemon zest and juice flavoring and lemon glaze on top.
  • Orange chiffon cake: a chiffon cake with orange juice and zest flavoring and an orange glaze on top.
  • Chocolate chiffon cake: A chiffon cake with cocoa powder flavoring and chocolate icing is known as a chocolate chiffon cake.

No-Flour Cakes

Flour and other starches are not used to make flourless cakes. For structure and texture, they depend on eggs, sugar, and other components. Cakes made without flour have a thick, dense, and moist feel. The recipe will determine whether they should be baked or not.

Baked Cake Without Flour

A mixture including eggs, sugar, and other ingredients (such as chocolate, almonds, cheese, etc.) is baked in a pan to create baked flourless cakes. They often have a creamy or fudgy middle with a thin crust on the exterior.

For those with celiac illness or gluten allergy, baked flourless cakes are often gluten-free. Examples of baked cakes made without flour include:

  • Flourless chocolate cake: The ingredients for a flourless chocolate cake are melted chocolate, butter, eggs, and sugar. Its taste and texture are sumptuous and rich.
  • Cheesecake: Cream cheese, eggs, sugar, and various flavorings (such as vanilla, lemon, etc.) are used to make cheesecake, a flourless cake. Its texture is smooth and creamy, and other fruits and sauces may be added on top.
  • Almond cake: A flourless cake composed of ground almonds, eggs, sugar, and other flavors (such as orange, lemon, etc.) is known as an almond cake. It may be glazed or coated with powdered sugar and has a moist, nutty texture.

Unbaked Cake Without Flour

A combination of eggs, sugar, and other ingredients (such as cream, gelatin, chocolate, etc.) is chilled in a mold to create unbaked flourless cakes. They often have a silky, smooth feel.

Unbaked sweets that don’t need to be baked in the oven are often flourless cakes. These are a few instances of unbaked flourless cakes:

  • Mousse cake:  A flourless, unbaked cake created of whipped cream, eggs, sugar, gelatin, and other flavors (such as chocolate, coffee, etc.) is known as a mousse cake. It may be topped with whipped cream or chocolate shavings and has a light, fluffy texture.
  • Icebox cake: whipped cream or pudding are sandwiched between layers of cookies (such as Graham crackers, wafers, etc.) to create an unbaked, flourless cake known as an icebox cake. The cream solidifies and the cookies soften as it is chilled.


Although it may be tempting, it is not a good idea to use the same pan for both pound cake and angel food cake. The right pan should be used since pound cake and angel food cake need distinct baking techniques.

A tube pan with a detachable bottom is required for angel food cake so that it may adhere to the edges and rise without falling. The tube in the middle aids in heat distribution and keeps the cake from drying out. You may remove the cake from the mold without damaging it thanks to the removable base.

A loaf pan or a bundt pan that can support the weight and form of pound cake is required. While the Bundt pan provides the pound cake a ring shape and a beautiful pattern, the loaf pan offers the cake a rectangular form and a golden crust. The pound cake won’t cling to the pan as much thanks to the non-stick coating or greasing.

If you bake pound cake in an angel food cake pan, you risk getting a soggy, undercooked cake that crumbles when you attempt to take it from the pan. If you make angel food cake in a loaf pan or a Bundt pan, you risk having a thick, dry cake that doesn’t rise well and adheres to the pan.

In order to get the greatest results, it is thus important to utilize the proper pan for each form of cake.


Since their histories and ingredients are distinct, pound cake and angel food cake also have separate beginnings. An overview of how these cakes came to be may be seen here:

Pound Cake is a Northern European delicacy.

In the 18th century, pound cake first appeared in Northern Europe. It was an easy and cost-effective method to use up extra butter, eggs, and sugar that were readily accessible at the time. The original recipe asked for one pound of flour, butter, eggs, and sugar, thus the name “pound cake.”

The higher classes loved pound cake, which they consumed as a dessert or as a teatime treat. It was also exported to other nations, including France, where it was known as gâteau de ménage or quatre-quarts (four quarters). Pound cake was brought to America by European immigrants, who modified it to suit their tastes and local ingredients.

The Angel Food Cake in America

The 19th century saw the American development of angel food cake. The ability to produce sugar, flour, and baking pans in large quantities was made possible by advancements in technology and ingenuity. The religious revival movement, which supported morals and chastity, had an impact as well.

Only egg whites, sugar, and flour were used to make angel food cake, giving it a white tint and airy texture. It was seen as a morally upright and heavenly dish in contrast to the wicked and unholy pound cake. It was also cost-effective and useful since it made use of egg white leftovers that would have otherwise been thrown away.

The middle class became a big fan of angel food cake, giving it as presents and enjoying it on special occasions. Additionally, it was modified for various geographical and cultural contexts by adding spices or chocolate in the batter or by serving it with fruit or cream.


Both pound cake and angel food cake are separate sorts of cakes with unique compositions, textures, tastes, origins, and applications. They may be consumed in a variety of ways and are both delectable and adaptable treats.

You may discover a variety of recipes online or in manuals that will satisfy your sweet need, whether you favor the dense and moist pound cake or the airy and fluffy angel food cake. To make your own special cakes, try with various versions and toppings.

We really hope that this blog article has given you additional information about these two kind of cakes and their distinctions. I appreciate you reading.

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