Homemade Ladyfingers

Ladyfinger cookies and a glass of milk

Pete Scherer 

Prep: 25 mins
Cook: 17 mins
Total: 42 mins
Servings: 15 servings
Yields: 30 ladyfingers
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
88 Calories
1g Fat
17g Carbs
2g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 15
Amount per serving
Calories 88
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 2%
Cholesterol 37mg 12%
Sodium 50mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 17g 6%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 10g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 1mg 3%
Calcium 8mg 1%
Iron 1mg 3%
Potassium 24mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

A little like cake Legos, ladyfingers are the fun and flexible building blocks of many tasty desserts. Unsurprisingly, the flavor and freshness of homemade ladyfingers are better than store-bought. Luckily, this one-bowl method is quick and easy. Once you make these ladyfingers, this recipe will become part of your standard baking repertoire. Like other favored recipes for things like biscuits, pie crust, and chocolate chip cookies, this recipe will be there for you on the many occasions that call for something special but not too elaborate.

Ladyfingers are a kind of sponge cake. Whipping air into eggs and sugar creates a foam, giving the final product a light, delicate texture. Because egg whites can hold a lot more air than yolks, most recipes call for separating the eggs. This recipe leaves the eggs whole, calling instead for heating the egg and sugar mixture to 160 F before whipping. By employing this innovation you’ll lose a little volume but save substantial time and effort. The resulting ladyfingers are as light and delicious as anyone could want and they’ll most likely be getting a good soak anyway, so you won't miss the extra work of the standard method.

One of our favorite ways to enjoy these ladyfingers is to crumble a few over plain Greek yogurt with fresh berries. Of course, these little beauties are also perfect for tiramisu as well as all manner of icebox cakes, cream pies, parfaits, or simply served on their own with tea or coffee.

Ingredients

  • 3 large eggs

  • 2/3 cup sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

  • 1 lemon, zested

  • Powdered sugar, for dusting

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Prepare two half sheet pans lined with parchment paper.

  2. Place a medium mixing bowl over a pot of simmering water. Add the eggs, sugar, and salt.

  3. Whisking constantly over the pot of simmering water, raise the temperature of the egg mixture to 160 F. This should take no longer than 5 minutes.

  4. Transfer the warmed eggs to the bowl of a stand mixer. Whip on high until quadrupled in volume with stable, soft peaks.

  5. Remove the bowl from the mixer. Add the flour, cornstarch, and lemon zest. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold to incorporate.

  6. Transfer the batter to a large piping bag fitted with a half-inch round tip. Pipe the batter onto the sheet pans in roughly three rows of five 1x3-inch ladyfingers per pan (for a total of about 30 cookies).

  7. Using a fine-mesh strainer, generously dust the ladyfingers with powdered sugar.

  8. Bake the ladyfingers in the preheated oven for about 12 minutes.

  9. Remove the ladyfingers to a cooling rack. Cool and serve.

How to Store and Freeze

  • Ladyfingers are best served the day they are made or frozen for later use. Store the cooled ladyfingers in a sealed container for up to a week.
  • To freeze, wrap in plastic wrap and add to a freezer bag or airtight container and freeze for up to a month. Defrost before use.

Tip

Depending on the size of your piping bag you may need to pipe the batter in batches.

Are Lady Fingers Soft or Crunchy?

Ladyfingers are a type of spongecake piped into long cylinders similar to the shape of fingers. They tend to be spongey and light on the inside and lightly crisp on the outside. Some ladyfingers are more like cookies in texture and are crisp throughout.

Do You Use Hard or Soft Ladyfingers for Tiramisu?

What type of ladyfingers are used for homemade tiramisu is a matter of personal taste. Soft ladyfingers will readily soak up any liquid and will become super soft. Hard ladyfingers should be soaked for longer and will retain more of their texture in the finished dish.