Difference Between Cake and Gateau


Main Difference

The main difference between Cake and Gateau is that Cake is a special dessert made of flour, sugar, and eggs, whereas Gateau is a sponge cake with creamy icing or fruit filling.

Cake vs. Gateau

The cake is a dessert served on ceremonies and special events; on the other hand, the gateau is a type of cake that is spongy. The word cake originated from the English Language; on the contrary, the gateau originated from French. The ingredients of the cake are flour, eggs, sugar, and baking powder, while the recipe of gateau does not include a leavening agent.

The substitution in layers of cake are of nuts, candies, and cocoa. The layers of the gateau fill with fruits and ganache. Cake has one or more layers; on the other side, the gateau has several layers. The processing of cake is easy. The processing of the gateau is complex. The cake needs less time, whereas gateau takes more time. The cake is less fancy as compared to the gateau. Cake has more shelf life. Gateau has a shelf life of one day or even some hours.


Comparison Chart

The cake is a sweet dish made for special occasionsGateau is a sponge cake
English languageFrench
Flour, eggs, sugar, and leavening agentFlour, eggs, sugar, and no leavening agent
One or moreSeveral
Simple needs less timeComplex needs more time
Frosting or icingIcing or filling
211 cal/57 g240 cal/57g

What is Cake?

The cake is a unique sweet dish served on occasional events like birthdays, ceremonies, anniversary, etc. The ingredients to bake a cake include flour, sugar, butter, egg, oil, and leavening agent. The leavening agent used is baking powder. Candies, dried or fresh fruits, or cocoa adds as a substitution in layers of cake. The word cake derives from an Old Norse word “Kaka.” The cake was originally a modified form of bread. The difference was in their shapes. The cake was round, whereas bread was horizontal in shape.


The flour used for the cake has a low content of protein. It possesses a specific ratio of gluten as well. The cake is decorated with icing or frosting. Icing is a thin covering of sugar or egg whites used for apex of cakes. The frosting is a thick covering of butter or cream. The process of cake making is simple, needs less energy and time for its preparation. The shelf life of cake is higher as it can serve for two days after its baking.

Cake has many varieties, which vary in the ingredients added or removed. Some of the varieties include sponge cake, butter cakes, chiffon cakes, chocolate cake, coffee cakes, cheeses cakes, and yeast cakes. Cakes vary according to the occasions also, thus called as special occasion cakes. These cakes include Wedding cakes, Halloween cakes, Christmas cakes, Birthdays cakes, and Mooncakes.

What is Gateau?

The other name of the gateau is foam cake or sponge cake. Gateau is a French word that means “sponge cake.” Its ingredients include flour, eggs, and sugar. The eggs are beaten well to create a better protein trap, as it is the base of its production process. The eggs act leavening agents; hence baking powder use is less. Sponge cakes are the earliest cakes, without the addition of yeast. However, in some sponge cakes, butter is also used as an ingredient.

Gateau is a fancy cake with several layers and plenty of icing or filling. Its layers may consist of fruit filling, ganache, and mousse. The baking of the gateau needs time and more effort. Its production is not an easy process. The fruit dressing is more significant in sponge cake; therefore, it spoils in a day. Fresh fruits have less shelf life. People should eat it on its manufacturing date.

The types of gateau include black forest gateau, coffee gateau, strawberry cream gateau, and chocolate cream delight. A white sponge cake produces with only eggs whites, named as angel food cake. Genoise is a sponge cake, baked in Italy and France. In its recipe, the whole eggs are battered to make it thick. After the addition of flour, it is baked and frosted according to desire.

Key Differences

  1. The cake is a dessert defined as the modification of bread, whereas the gateau is a fancy cake.
  2. The word cake has its origin in the English language, while the gateau is a French word.
  3. The cake includes flour, eggs, butter, sugar, leaving agent, and oil as its ingredients; on the other hand, the gateau recipe consists of flour, eggs, sugar, and no leavening agent.
  4. Cake has more than one layer on the flip side; the gateau has several layers.
  5. The baking process of cake is easy, needs less time and effort; on the other hand, the baking process of gateau is complex, serves more time and effort.
  6. Cake’s decoration is with a thick layer of butter or cream, whereas the gateau is rich with a thin glaze of sugar or fruit filling.
  7. The cake is less attractive; conversely, the gateau has more charm and preferred over cake.
  8. Cake provides 211 calories in 57g of the slice; on the other hand, the gateau supplies 240 calories in the same amount.
  9. The cake does not spoil on the day of manufacture, while, gateau spoils readily in a day.


Cake and Gateau both are desserts. The Cake is a ceremonial sweet dish, substituted with the layering of dried fruits, nuts, or cocoa. Gateau is a fancy and delightful dessert, rich with icing and fruit filling.

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson