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 - http://eugeniekitchen.com/chocolate-swiss-roll/

Victoria sponge - http://utry.it/2013/11/decorated-coffee-swiss-roll-with-step.html

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?

  • I'm not an expert at these things, so I had a look at the wikipedia articles as well as a couple recipes and promptly got very confused about exactly what each is supposed to be. Could you describe or link to the methods you're asking about, just to be sure?
    – Cascabel
    Jan 13, 2015 at 23:40
  • @Jefromi: I've edited the question with 2 recipes that I saw
    – Divi
    Jan 16, 2015 at 7:51
  • All the recipes for Victoria sponge cake I've seen use baking powder (or self-rising flour instead of all-purpose flour). Almost all of the recipes for Genoise sponge cake I've seen do NOT use baking powder. May 22, 2022 at 19:35

4 Answers 4


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.


You posted this a year ago, but I think the other difference is that the genoise is heated while beating the eggs, while the other spongecake is not.

  • Good call! That is certainly a difference in the recipes. Welcome to Seasoned Advice!
    – Jolenealaska
    Feb 23, 2016 at 7:10

Both the Genoise and the Victoria can be made by various tweaks to their individual methods but the real difference is very simple. Genoise sponges are made without fat.Consequently, the Genoise has a much shorter shelf life due to the lack of fat.


By aerating almost any application of baking that calls for such method, the end product is almost always going to be more delicate if done properly.

Here are a couple of tips I learned in Culinary school on how to beat egg whites:

  • Use clean utensils (of course right).

  • let the egg whites come to room temperature (OR you can let a blow torch "lick" the outside of the bottom of the mixing bowl while the machine is running to raise the temperature of the stainless steel bowl or glass to body temperature, 'No hotter', this is how confident experienced professional bakers do it).

  • Once you start to whip the egg whites, don't stop unless to briefly check the consistency of the product (soft, medium, or hard peaks).

  • use can also use a 1/2 tsp. to 1 tsp. of cream of tartar to every 5 to 10 oz. (weight) of egg whites, to help facilitate the whipping process as well as the structural integrity of the final product.

  • If you are trying to incorporate sugar, at approximately the halfway point of whipping the egg whites (this will take experience to know when this is) add the sugar "slowwwly" (literally a light dusting along the sides of the mixing bowl as the machine runs until almost the end of the process).

  • Also by the way, each egg white of a large egg should weight just about 1 oz. (weight) and the yolk is about 0.66 oz. also weight.

Now to help answer your question:

In school I also learned a saying called "Mise en place" which in French (depending on the dialect) means: "Everything in it's place." I say this because, before you invest all your undivided attention into the process of whipping those egg whites. You are going to want all of your other processes/tasks/steps in the recipe to be complete and ready (in their place) preserving as much of the whipped egg whites as possible.

Next and probably the most important (if you're already skilled at whipping egg whites) is; the process of folding the whipped egg whites into the other part of your recipe.

Here is a link to www.craftybaking.com that explains how this is done.

I hope some of this information is useful and helps you out in the baking department.

  • 2
    I think the question wasn't written as clearly as it could've been (so I fixed it up some) but the OP was trying to ask about the difference between these methods, not how to successfully accomplish them. So the first sentence of your answer does indirectly address that (it indicates which one should be more delicate) but the rest of it is about how to successfully make the recipe, which while useful, wasn't really part of the question. So in terms of answering the question, you only have an indirect answer - might want to edit.
    – Cascabel
    Mar 23, 2015 at 23:58
  • You might also want to search around for a question about beating whites, or a question about folding, to find a better place for all this advice. (If you can't find one, post one!)
    – Cascabel
    Mar 23, 2015 at 23:58
  • 3
    This answer doesn't even mention the two types of cake the question is about... I'm glad you're here and willing to share your knowledge but I feel you regularly fail to actually answer the question that's asked, preferring to spout semi-relevant facts that don't actually answer the question.
    – Catija
    Mar 24, 2015 at 3:44
  • Sorry just trying trying to help, I will try harder to keep my advice more relevant to the context of the question at hand.
    – Chef_Code
    Mar 24, 2015 at 16:36

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