Baking – the difference between genoise sponge and victoria sponge


Just wanted to find out the differences between Genoise sponge and Victoria sponge. In particular, I was interested to find out which one turns out softer.

Here are the 2 recipes for comparison.

Genoise sponge –

Victoria sponge –

The Victoria sponge recipe has you mix the egg white (albumen) mixture separately from the yolk mixture and then fold them, while the Genoise sponge has you beat the eggs whole. I was under the impression that the Victoria sponge method would turn out a much softer sponge because of how much air is worked into the whites. Is that true?

Best Answer

If I recall correctly the differences are slight, but significant.

  • Both have a subtle, delicate flavour with an exceptionally light texture.

  • The Victorian is usually regarded as the healthier, lighter of the two, but I believe this is mostly due to the Génoise usually being rendered as a layer cake with a lavish buttercream filling, though if I remember right it can also be used as a base for madeleines and ladyfingers. The Victorian can be baked thin and carefully rolled with cream for Swiss rolls.

  • The main difference is the Victorian slices disorderly and 'crumby' while the Génoise retains its form neatly.
  • Both are accompanied well by, and are traditionally served with hot beverages namely tea and coffee.

The Italian creation is undecidedly the more complex one to prepare.

You're right about separating the egg whites and beating them separately aerating the mixture further, but I'm not certain if it would make a noticeable difference in case of sponge cakes but I'd love it if someone could comment on this.