What is the differences between pastel and bizcocho?
Just a little curious because my family uses the word "Bizcocho" when they talk about cake but in the lesson they used the word pastel.
It's a regional thing. Pastel is the most common in Mexico, but in Puerto Rico bizcocho is more common. As a matter of fact, my wife and I had lunch two weeks ago with a couple from Puerto Rico and we discussed this very thing. I asked them if they wanted cake (pastel) and they told me "we don't call cake pastel. We call it bizcocho. So we had bizcocho for dessert.
I think they are virtually interchangeable, though if dictionary entries are any indication, pastel might be the more common of the two. Perhaps bizcocho is more common in Puerto Rico?
The only difference I can see definition wise is that bizcocho may be more plain, or a more specific kind of cake: sponge cake or lady fingers. That's according to the Collins Spanish Dictionary. But that may not agree with your real-world experience!
Pastel seems to be the general word for cake.
cake a n 1 (large) tarta f , pastel m , torta f (LAm) , (small) pastel m , queque m (LAm) , (sponge, plain) bizcocho m , pan m dulce