Genoise V Sponge

Decorating By Claire138 Updated 15 Jul 2014 , 5:18pm by enga

Claire138 Posted 2 Mar 2011 , 6:54pm
post #1 of 22

Does anyone know the difference between genoise cake and sponge cake? I've been asked to make a genoise cake but can't find out what it is specifically, basically it sounds like a sponge cake but maybe firmer which I then think maybe is a pound cake?
(Hope this makes sense)
If anyone knows and has a good recipe I would love to know! Thanks

21 replies
cakeyouverymuch Posted 2 Mar 2011 , 7:07pm
post #2 of 22

First hit on Google with search terms Genoise sponge.

Claire138 Posted 3 Mar 2011 , 5:17am
post #3 of 22

Thanks, but I'm actually wondering if they are replaceable with one another. I've never made a genoise cake before so would like to make pound cake instead (I can't really work out the difference, it seems it has to do with the eggs?) do you think I can?

FromScratchSF Posted 3 Mar 2011 , 6:01am
post #4 of 22

Genoise is a very NOT sweet cake that gets all it's flavor from the syrup you put in it after you bake it. Not uncommon to have one soaked in an alcohol syrup like rum or brandy and served with a light whipped cream, creme fresh, meringue, or a meringue buttercream. I wouldn't use your typical crusting icing, the sweetness would kill the point of making a genoise.

Sponge cake has no fat in the recipe. The Cake Boss calls all his cakes "sponge" but he's actually totally wrong. If there is fat like butter or oil it's not a classic sponge. Think angel food cake with whole eggs (instead of egg whites), more flour, less sugar.

Pound cake is equal parts butter, flour, sugar, egg with some liquid.

From the Cake Bible:

"Genoise is a European sponge-type cake which differs from American sponge in that it contains butter to partially tenderize and flavor it and much less sugar. Even when syrup is added to flavor it, it's still less sweet then a sponge cake though a lot more moist. With a generous amount of syrup it's moist without being wet.

Pound cake: 12% liquid, 22% egg, 22% flour, 22% sugar, 22% fat.
Genoise without syrup: 0% liquid, 46% egg, 23% flour, 23% sugar, 8% fat.
American Sponge: 4% liquid, 45% egg, 20% flour, 31% sugar, 0% fat"

I think if your customer is asking for a genoise, you should probably try and make one, I suggest the recipe in the Cake Bible.

Good luck!


Claire138 Posted 3 Mar 2011 , 6:14am
post #5 of 22

Thanks Jen, I don't have the cake bible & there is no way it will arrive in time for when the cake is needed, this is what I got when I googled it:, is this the recipe you were talking about?

(Thanks for all the info re the cakes)

FromScratchSF Posted 3 Mar 2011 , 6:29am
post #6 of 22

The link Cakeyouverymuch posted is the exact recipe, yes.


Claire138 Posted 3 Mar 2011 , 6:42am
post #7 of 22

I will give it a try!


Claire138 Posted 3 Mar 2011 , 6:46am
post #8 of 22

Another question Jen, Can I use smbc on this? she wants a raspberry flavored cream with it and I love the texture of smbc so want to use it or does it need a more liquidy type of filling due to the density of the cake?

FromScratchSF Posted 3 Mar 2011 , 7:01am
post #9 of 22

You should be fine with SMBC. You just have to use a syrup with the cake. It will hold up much like a tres leches where it will absorb the liquid but still hold it's shape. I would skip torting though in favor of making 3x 1" layers and only trim the top crust so the liquid absorbs easier.

tmac670 Posted 3 Mar 2011 , 7:12am
post #10 of 22

Claire138 Posted 5 Mar 2011 , 7:54pm
post #11 of 22

Thanks for all the replies, I will try this tomorrow & see how it goes........

Claire138 Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 10:57am
post #12 of 22

Ok, so the few times I tried to make the genoise it failed spectacularly! I do not want to waste any more ingredients (the rate I'm going I'm looking at zero return), my question now is, if you had to choose between a sponge cake or pound cake which is the most likely comparison with a genoise? I'm thinking the pound cake but would like the thoughts and advice of fellow CC'ers.

sugarandstuff Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 11:43am
post #13 of 22

If you use the Wilton butter yellow cake recipe, it is very similar to a genoise.

Claire138 Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 4:48pm
post #14 of 22

Thanks, I'll try that one.

Thanks to everyone for your (collective) help.

cakeyouverymuch Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 5:03pm
post #15 of 22

Here is an excellent series of article on the differences between the various kinds of cakes.

FromScratchSF Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 5:12pm
post #16 of 22

You can make one, but a pound cake is the exact opposite of what your client has asked for. If you can't get the genoise, try making an Angel food cake, it's sweeter then a genoise but is closer in texture and can hold syrup like a genoise.

If not your best bet is stick with a classic American butter cake, or sorry to say, maybe admit this is a cake you don't make and refer them to someone that does.


Claire138 Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 5:19pm
post #17 of 22

Thanks cakeyouverymuch, I had actually seen that article but English is not my first language (to read or write - I use spell check when typing) & I could not understand the whole thing.
Thanks again Jen (I thought it was the most similar as when she described what she wanted plain and dry-ishI immediately thought of pound cake - I'm not even sure if she knows what she wants as genoise is a bit of a generic term to use for a cake here so I will ask her if she wants to try the yellow cake recipe and if not I will recommend she goes elsewhere), I will tell her I am unable to make the genoise and will try the wiltons recommendation from sugarandstuff.
Really appreciate the help.

Claire138 Posted 8 Mar 2011 , 11:49am
post #18 of 22

Sugarandstuff - Thanks so much, I made it this morning and it is wonderful! So happy to add this to my list.

deepcakeness Posted 24 Mar 2013 , 10:31pm
post #19 of 22

This is the best genoise recipe I've tried very easy and well structured for even a beginner... Hope this helps in the future..

My Ro cake Posted 26 Apr 2014 , 7:26am
post #20 of 22

I think Genoise recipe often includes butter while Sponge does not. Sponge needs to be simpler in taste and texture to emboss or lift the flavor of the other layers or easier to mix with cream. The cream is fat enough so it will be better to mix the layer of cream with a sponge than a genoise 

Julycious Posted 15 Jul 2014 , 4:29pm
post #21 of 22

Here's the best recipe I've found in a book.

The differences between sponge and genoise is the beating of the eggs.

For the Genoise you beat the eggs on a boiling water cauldron.

Sponge, you beat them cold.

I hope this help's you.


July, from Montreal, Quebec, Canada.



4 eggs
140g sugar (white sugar)
40g butter
140g all-purpose flour


Follow carefully all these steps, to be successful.

1)     * Sift the flour in a bowl

Break the eggs one by one in a stainless bowl (that goes above a cauldron with water. In French it’s called a Bain-marie)

Pour the sugar on the eggs while stirring.

*Put the stainless bowl on the cauldron with boiling water and star to stir

continue until the mixture has thickened (55 to 60 celcius, temperature still bearable to your finger)

*Pull the stainless bowl out of the cauldron and star whipping with the electric mixer until cold.

3)       Melt the butter in a small bowl. Put 2 spoon of the egg mixture into another small bowl and stir in the melted butter.

4)       *Then pour in the flour, in the stainless bowl, raising the batter with a spatula, then add the butter mixture while gently stirring.


I’m not sure, but I think you can bake two 8’’ pan at 325. It cooks quickly, so watch it.

Hint: This genoise batter, particularly light, can be be kept in the freezer, once cooked, wrapped in saran wrap (clingfilm).


You can add vanilla extract or zest to your batter.


Like a sponge cake, If you don't want it to be dry, sprinkle it with some vanilla mixed with water or like some people, rum.

enga Posted 15 Jul 2014 , 5:17pm
post #22 of 22

Genoise is a sponge or foam type cake. Foam or sponge cakes rely on air (beaten into the egg whites or yolks) as the leavening to make them rise. Angel food cake does not have butter, genoise and some American sponges do but they are still considered sponge or foam type cakes.

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