Homemade Ladyfingers

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Create homemade ladyfingers that will make your family say: Where did you get them? And proudly respond, I made them from scratch!

a stack of ladyfingers on a round marble board with a pink napkin in the foreground and a small sieve in the background.

Homemade ladyfingers are a far more delicious option than anything you can buy at the store. It’s easy to make with a few simple ingredients you probably already have in your pantry.

I will guide you through the process with plenty of tips to help you make professional-looking ladyfingers that you can use to create delicious desserts such as tiramisu, Charlotte cakes, trifles, and more.

ladyfingers on a cooling rack with a napkin in the foreground and a sieve in the background.

Ingredients

This ladyfinger recipe requires classic ingredients. Here’s the list with a few notes for some of them.

ladyfingers ingredient list

For you information:

  • Adding cornstarch to the batter helps absorb moisture, reducing the spread.
  • The dusted powdered sugar helps the ladyfingers rise and spread less.

How to make ladyfingers?

The recipe is easy. Here’s an overview with step-by-step photos. 

With an electric mixer or stand mixer, whisk the egg whites, adding the sugar gradually, until stiff peaks.

After beating the egg yolks with vanilla extract, gently fold them into the meringue using a spatula without deflating the meringue.

ladyfingers in process with a whipped meringue in a bowl on the left side on the image and the batter with egg yolks on the right side.

Add the sieved flour and cornstarch and gently fold with a spatula.

ladyfingers in process with a sieve with flour above the bowl of the batter on the left side on the image and the final batter is shown on the right side.

Transfer the batter to a piping bag fitted with a round tip and pipe your ladyfingers.

Dust generously the tops with powdered sugar.

ladyfingers in process with the batter piped on a baking sheet on the left side of the image and the same batch of ladyfingers dusted with powdered sugar on the right.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden brown and not sticky to the touch.

Get all measurements, ingredients, and instructions at the end of this post.

Tips

  • Make sure your bowl and whisk attachment are clean and free of any traces of fat. To clean them, lightly dampen a paper towel with lemon juice and gently wipe them.
  • To separate the eggs easily without breaking, separate them when they are cold since the egg yolk is firmer. However, for better whipping, it is better to have the egg whites at room temperature. If possible, separate the eggs while they are cold and allow them to sit for 20-30 minutes to reach room temperature.
  • Carefully separate the eggs to keep the whites and egg yolks distinct. Avoid any trace of yolk in the egg whites. My advice: use small bowls to separate one egg at a time. Then, add the egg white to the mixing bowl, then move on to the next egg. It will avoid ruining everything if you accidentally miss separating the yolk from the egg white for the next egg.
  • For a stable meringue, start mixing at a low speed and gradually increase it, avoiding starting at high speed from the start. High speed will create large bubbles, making the meringue less stable.
  • Measure the flour correctly: adding too much flour will dry the batter, and your ladyfinger cookies won’t be light and airy.
  • Sift the dry ingredients; it will prevent lumps.
  • Dust generously the tops of the ladyfingers with powdered sugar. The sugar will dissolve; that’s normal, so don’t add more powdered sugar.
  • Work in batch, and dust the second batch with powdered sugar only once it’s time to bake.
  • Don’t let the batter rest for an extended period of time. A batter with meringue should be used as soon as possible.
  • To prevent the baking paper from moving, simply stick it by applying a small amount of batter to each corner.
  • Adjust the baking time according to the size of the ladyfingers and your oven. Each oven is different.
a ladyfinger cookie cut in half to show the texture, placed above a ladyfinger. There are a stack of ladyfingers in the background.

Variations

  • replace the vanilla extract with almond extract.
  • add lemon zest or orange zest to the flour for a citrus taste.
  • fancy chocolate ladyfingers? Remove 1 tablespoon of flour and replace with 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder.

FAQ

How to store homemade ladyfingers?

They’re best freshly baked. Any leftover? Store them in an airtight container at room temperature for a week. Keep in mind that these finger biscuits tend to absorb moisture quickly and soften.

Can we freeze them?

Yes, you can for up to one month. When fully cooled, place them on a baking sheet lined with baking paper and place them in the freezer. Once frozen, it will prevent them from sticking together, then place them in an airtight container.

Why are my ladyfingers flat?

  • You may under-whip the meringue.
  • You may deflate the meringue when adding the other ingredients. Be gentle when folding.
  • Your flour hadn’t been measured correctly. Use a scale to avoid it.

Why do my ladyfingers deflate after baking?

  • You may under-bake the ladyfingers.
  • Ensure not to deflate the batter when adding the flour.

Are ladyfingers supposed to be soft or crunchy?

Typically, ladyfingers have a soft, sponge texture. Some people describe them as “sponge finger biscuits”. However, adjusting the baking time can yield a crispier result according to your preference.

Which desserts can I make using ladyfingers?

  • Tiramisu
  • Charlotte
  • Trifles
  • Shot or jar desserts
  • They’re delicious on their own or with a cup of tea!
a charlotte cake made with homemade ladyfingers on a cake board with plates and spoons in the background.

Try these recipes next:

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Homemade Ladyfingers

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 10 minutes
  • Total time: 25 minutes
  • Serves: 22

Learn to make homemade ladyfingers with tips to ensure sweet success.

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 100 g (1/2 cup) fine sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 85 g (2/3 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 15 g (2Tbsp) cornstarch
  • powdered sugar for dusting

Method

  • 1)

    Preheat the oven to 180C (350F), fan off.

    Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Prepare a large piping bag with a 10-12 mm (1/2 inch) round tip (I use Wilton 1A). Sieve the flour and cornstarch and set aside.

    Separate the eggs, placing the egg whites in a large bowl, and set aside the yolks in a separate bowl.

  • 2)

    Whisk the egg whites at a low speed with an electric or stand mixer until they foam. Then, gradually add the sugar in three additions, increasing the speed slightly after each. Note: Do not add the next sugar portion until the previous addition has been fully incorporated.

    Continue whisking until stiff peaks. The meringue should be glossy smooth and hold its shape, but not be overly firm.

  • 3)

    Then, beat the egg yolks in their bowl. Add the vanilla extract and stir.

    After beating the egg yolks, gently fold them into the meringue using a spatula. Make sure to incorporate the egg yolks gently without deflating the meringue.

  • 4)

    Add the sieved flour and cornstarch and gently fold with a spatula, lifting the batter well to ensure it is evenly mixed and free of lumps.

  • 5)

    Transfer the batter to the piping bag. Work in batch: On ONE of your lined baking sheets, pipe 7.5cm (3-inch) fingers in rows, about 2.5cm (1 inch) wide, leaving about 4 cm (1.5 inches) apart on. Note: to prevent the baking paper from moving, simply stick it by applying a small amount of batter to each corner.

    Set aside the pastry bag with the remaining batter.

  • 6)

    Dust generously the tops of the ladyfingers with powdered sugar. It is normal for the sugar to dissolve, so don’t add more powdered sugar.

  • 7)

    Bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden brown and not sticky to the touch. Don’t overbake; the ladyfingers should be soft and moist.

  • 8)

    While the first batch is baking, pipe the second batch. Wait to dust the second batch with powdered sugar until the first batch is fully baked, and you’re ready to put the second tray in the oven.

    Note: the batter should not be left standing for hours. A batter with meringue should be used as soon as possible.

  • 9)

    When the ladyfingers are baked, carefully remove them (they stick a bit to the parchment paper) and allow them to cool completely on a cooling rack. Place them in an airtight container as soon as they’re cooled.

Notes

– US/UK standard Baking Spoons:  teaspoon: 5ml / tablespoon: 15ml / cup: 240ml

– Store any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 1 week at room temperature

– Scroll back to read tips, variationsstep-by-step photos and FAQ within the blog post that you might find helpful.

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