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Pound Cake vs. Yellow Cake — Health Impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Article author photo Elen Khachatrian by Elen Khachatrian | Last updated on July 26, 2023
Medically reviewed by Astghik Baghinyan Article author photo Astghik Baghinyan
Pound cake
vs
Yellow cake

Summary

Pound cake's ingredients are the same as yellow cake's, except they do not contain as much chocolate. Yellow cake provides slightly more calories and fat when compared to pound cake. 

Pound cakes are much richer in almost all vitamins, especially B-complex vitamins. Specifically, pound cakes provide 4 times more Vitamin B1, as well as 3 times more Vitamin B2 and Vitamin B5. On the other hand, yellow cake contains 7 times more Vitamin E and 15 times more Vitamin K.

When it comes to minerals, yellow cake is richer, containing more iron, copper, and less sodium than pound cake.

Introduction

This article will discuss the main differences between yellow cake and pound cake. We will focus on the nutritional value and health impact of these cakes.

What's the Actual Difference?

Classic yellow cake is made from salt, flour, eggs, sugar, milk, butter, vanilla, and chocolate. It has a vanilla flavor and a tender and fluffy texture. 

Pound cake's ingredients are the same as yellow cake's, except chocolate. It has a sweet and buttery taste and a dense, velvety texture.

Nutrition

The nutritional differences here are depicted for commercially prepared, butter pound cake and commercially prepared yellow cake with chocolate frosting.

The serving sizes for both are usually one piece. One piece of individually wrapped pound cake is 49 grams, while one piece of yellow cake is about 64 grams.

However, to keep the comparison between the two simple, we will sometimes refer to 100-gram servings of each in this section. 

Macronutrients and Calories

As can be seen from the macronutrient comparison charts below, pound cake and yellow cake have similar compositions. The predominant macronutrients in both are carbs, making up about 55% of the entire composition.

Macronutrient Comparison

Macronutrient breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains more Protein +58.2%
Contains more Water +15.6%
Contains more Other +13.3%
Contains more Fats +27.1%
Equal in Carbs - 55.36
5% 14% 54% 26%
Protein: 5 g
Fats: 13.96 g
Carbs: 53.64 g
Water: 25.87 g
Other: 1.53 g
3% 18% 55% 22%
Protein: 3.16 g
Fats: 17.75 g
Carbs: 55.36 g
Water: 22.38 g
Other: 1.35 g
Contains more Protein +58.2%
Contains more Water +15.6%
Contains more Other +13.3%
Contains more Fats +27.1%
Equal in Carbs - 55.36

Calories

Both pound cake and yellow cake are very high in calories

Per 100-gram serving, pound cake provides 353 calories, while the same serving of yellow cake provides only slightly more, 379 calories.

Fats

The yellow cake contains slightly more fat than the pound cake. 

Per 100-gram serving, the yellow cake contains 18 grams of fat, while the pound cake contains 14 grams of fat.

Carbohydrates

Both yellow cakes and pound cakes are considered high-carb foods

Yellow cake has 55.36g of carbs per 100g, and pound cake contains 53.64 carbs per 100g. If you have diabetes or you're controlling your blood glucose levels, be mindful of eating these cakes.

Fiber

The amount of fiber in yellow cake is slightly higher than in pound cake. It contains 1.5g of fiber per 100g, while pound cake contains 0.6g per same serving.

Vitamins

The vitamin content of pound cake is richer than that of yellow cake.

Pound cakes provide more B-complex vitamins than yellow cakes. Specifically, pound cakes provide 4 times more Vitamin B1, 3 times more Vitamin B2 and Vitamin B5, and 2 times more Vitamin B3 and folate. Moreover, it also contains some amounts of Vitamin B12, which is completely absent in yellow cake.

On the other hand, yellow cake contains 7 times more Vitamin E and 15 times more Vitamin K.

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" charts below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food.
:
Contains more Vitamin A +826.9%
Contains more Vitamin D +300%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +302.3%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +167.7%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +101.9%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +193.9%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +∞%
Contains more Folate +90.9%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +∞%
Contains more Choline +277%
Contains more Vitamin E +592.3%
Contains more Vitamin K +1376.5%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 15% 14% 24% 0% 44% 58% 31% 30% 9% 32% 45% 36% 5%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 2% 90% 6% 0% 11% 22% 15% 10% 0% 17% 0% 10% 63%
Contains more Vitamin A +826.9%
Contains more Vitamin D +300%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +302.3%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +167.7%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +101.9%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +193.9%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +∞%
Contains more Folate +90.9%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +∞%
Contains more Choline +277%
Contains more Vitamin E +592.3%
Contains more Vitamin K +1376.5%

Minerals

Yellow cake has more minerals than pound cake. It contains more iron, copper, and less sodium than pound cake.

The amount of copper is 2 times higher in yellow cakes when compared to pound cakes.

Both provide similar amounts of phosphorus, zinc, potassium, and selenium.

Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" charts below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food.
Contains more Calcium +46.9%
Contains more Iron +37.2%
Contains more Magnesium +150%
Contains more Potassium +25.5%
Contains less Sodium -17.8%
Contains more Copper +278.6%
Contains more Manganese +101.8%
Contains more Selenium +18%
Equal in Phosphorus - 138
Equal in Zinc - 0.42
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 15% 56% 6% 60% 14% 50% 12% 14% 15% 28%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 10% 77% 15% 60% 17% 41% 12% 53% 29% 33%
Contains more Calcium +46.9%
Contains more Iron +37.2%
Contains more Magnesium +150%
Contains more Potassium +25.5%
Contains less Sodium -17.8%
Contains more Copper +278.6%
Contains more Manganese +101.8%
Contains more Selenium +18%
Equal in Phosphorus - 138
Equal in Zinc - 0.42

Glycemic Index

The GI of pound cake is 54, whereas the GI of yellow cake is unknown. However, both cakes are high in carbs, so it is better to avoid too much consumption.

Acidity

One way to understand the acidity of foods is through their potential renal acid load (PRAL) value, which shows how much acid or base the given food produces inside the organism. 

Based on our calculations, the PRAL values of yellow cakes and pound cakes are 1.8 and 3.7, respectively, meaning both values are acidic.

Health Impact

Both cakes are high in carbs, calories, and sodium. According to research, consuming highly processed foods high in simple carbohydrates may harm heart health and affect your blood sugar levels (1).

Article author photo Elen Khachatrian
Education: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Last updated: July 26, 2023
Medically reviewed by Astghik Baghinyan

Infographic

Pound cake vs Yellow cake infographic
Infographic link

Fat Type Comparison

Fat type breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains less Saturated Fat -17%
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +138.9%
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +38.3%
43% 27% 30%
Saturated Fat: 4.811 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 3.02 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 3.419 g
33% 41% 27%
Saturated Fat: 5.793 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 7.214 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 4.728 g
Contains less Saturated Fat -17%
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +138.9%
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +38.3%

Carbohydrate type comparison

Carbohydrate type breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains more Starch +103%
Contains more Lactose +115.3%
Contains more Maltose +57.1%
Contains more Sucrose +19%
Contains more Glucose +72%
Contains more Fructose +87.9%
34% 60% 3%
Starch: 17.36 g
Sucrose: 30.68 g
Glucose: 0.75 g
Fructose: 0.33 g
Lactose: 1.27 g
Maltose: 0.33 g
Galactose: 0 g
18% 76% 3%
Starch: 8.55 g
Sucrose: 36.51 g
Glucose: 1.29 g
Fructose: 0.62 g
Lactose: 0.59 g
Maltose: 0.21 g
Galactose: 0 g
Contains more Starch +103%
Contains more Lactose +115.3%
Contains more Maltose +57.1%
Contains more Sucrose +19%
Contains more Glucose +72%
Contains more Fructose +87.9%

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the rightmost column. It displays the amounts side by side, giving a clearer understanding of the difference.
Pound cake Yellow cake
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in Cholesterol ok
Lower in Glycemic Index ok
Lower in Sugar ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Rich in vitamins ok
Lower in price Equal
Rich in minerals Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Pound cake Yellow cake Opinion
Net carbs 53.04g 53.86g Yellow cake
Protein 5g 3.16g Pound cake
Fats 13.96g 17.75g Yellow cake
Carbs 53.64g 55.36g Yellow cake
Calories 353kcal 379kcal Yellow cake
Starch 17.36g 8.55g Pound cake
Fructose 0.33g 0.62g Yellow cake
Sugar 33.36g 39.22g Pound cake
Fiber 0.6g 1.5g Yellow cake
Calcium 47mg 32mg Pound cake
Iron 1.48mg 2.03mg Yellow cake
Magnesium 8mg 20mg Yellow cake
Phosphorus 140mg 138mg Pound cake
Potassium 149mg 187mg Yellow cake
Sodium 377mg 310mg Yellow cake
Zinc 0.43mg 0.42mg Pound cake
Copper 0.042mg 0.159mg Yellow cake
Manganese 0.11mg 0.222mg Yellow cake
Selenium 5µg 5.9µg Yellow cake
Vitamin A 241IU 26IU Pound cake
Vitamin A RAE 70µg 7µg Pound cake
Vitamin E 0.65mg 4.5mg Yellow cake
Vitamin D 34IU 6IU Pound cake
Vitamin D 0.8µg 0.2µg Pound cake
Vitamin B1 0.173mg 0.043mg Pound cake
Vitamin B2 0.249mg 0.093mg Pound cake
Vitamin B3 1.615mg 0.8mg Pound cake
Vitamin B5 0.485mg 0.165mg Pound cake
Vitamin B6 0.036mg 0mg Pound cake
Folate 42µg 22µg Pound cake
Vitamin B12 0.36µg 0µg Pound cake
Choline 65.6mg 17.4mg Pound cake
Vitamin K 1.7µg 25.1µg Yellow cake
Tryptophan 0.041mg Pound cake
Threonine 153mg Pound cake
Isoleucine 0.204mg Pound cake
Leucine 0.397mg Pound cake
Lysine 0.198mg Pound cake
Methionine 0.117mg Pound cake
Phenylalanine 0.239mg Pound cake
Valine 0.249mg Pound cake
Histidine 0.117mg Pound cake
Cholesterol 66mg 16mg Yellow cake
Trans Fat 0.192g 1.313g Pound cake
Saturated Fat 4.811g 5.793g Pound cake
Omega-3 - DHA 0.007g 0g Pound cake
Omega-3 - EPA 0.001g 0g Pound cake
Omega-3 - DPA 0.005g 0g Pound cake
Monounsaturated Fat 3.02g 7.214g Yellow cake
Polyunsaturated fat 3.419g 4.728g Yellow cake
Omega-6 - Eicosadienoic acid 0.004g 0.004g
Omega-6 - Linoleic acid 2.895g 3.999g Yellow cake
Omega-6 - Gamma-linoleic acid 0.015g 0.026g Yellow cake
Omega-3 - ALA 0.372g 0.474g Yellow cake
Omega-6 - Dihomo-gamma-linoleic acid 0.008g 0.001g Pound cake

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Pound cake Yellow cake
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet ok
Low Calories diet ok
Low Glycemic Index diet ok

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Vitamins & Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score

The summary scores indicate the extent to which this food can fulfill your daily vitamin and mineral requirements if you consume 3 servings, consisting of 100 grams of each (an approximation of 3 serving sizes).
Vitamins Daily Need Coverage Score
26%
Pound cake
19%
Yellow cake
Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score
26%
Pound cake
34%
Yellow cake

Comparison summary

Which food contains less Sodium?
Yellow cake
Yellow cake contains less Sodium (difference - 67mg)
Which food is lower in Cholesterol?
Yellow cake
Yellow cake is lower in Cholesterol (difference - 50mg)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
Yellow cake
Yellow cake is lower in glycemic index (difference - 54)
Which food is lower in Sugar?
Pound cake
Pound cake is lower in Sugar (difference - 5.86g)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Pound cake
Pound cake is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 0.982g)
Which food is richer in vitamins?
Pound cake
Pound cake is relatively richer in vitamins
Which food is cheaper?
?
The foods are relatively equal in price ($)
Which food is richer in minerals?
?
It cannot be stated which food is richer in vitamins. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information.

References

All the values for which the sources are not specified explicitly are taken from FDA’s Food Central. The exact link to the food presented on this page can be found below.

  1. Pound cake - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/172704/nutrients
  2. Yellow cake - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/174944/nutrients

All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000-calorie diets.

Data provided by FoodStruct.com should be considered and used as information only. Please consult your physician before beginning any diet.