Homemade ladyfingers are quite easy to make. To make things even easier, I take this recipe and spread it out onto a prepared 1/2 sheet tray. This way you don’t need a piping bag or tip. You can cut squares using a knife, or cut with biscuit cutters to fit whatever shape you’d like to use.
Ladyfingers are served with many different types of desserts. They are soaked in espresso and masala for Tiramisu. Additionally, they can be used in cakes like Charlotte Royale, or as a simple and delicious side for ice cream.
How to Make Ladyfingers
Homemade ladyfingers are made using a batter that requires whipping egg yolks and whites separately. This provides a light and airy structure for the cake that puffs up when baking.
Next, flour is sifted into the whipped egg yolks and sugar, and then the whites are gently folded in, providing you with a light batter that can hold its shape. Holding its shape is crucial if you decide you want to pipe individual cookies. Traditional cake batter would spread out too much.
To Pipe or Not To Pipe?
Up to you! If you like the look of the individual cookies, or you plan to use them for a Charlotte Royale, you’ll want to pipe the cookies. A plain tip, often a No. 5 or 10mm, is the tip of choice.
If you are using a specialty dish, such as a round pie plate, or square appetizer cup, it may make more sense to cook as a single layer. For example, a cake pan or sheet pan can be used, and then shapes can be cut with a knife or cutter.
Another thing to note is that round cake pans could also be filled 1.5″ tall and then layered onto a cake stand. No further cutting needed! The world is your oyster my friends. It all depends on what type of dessert you want to make.
Other Uses for Homemade Ladyfingers / Sponge Batter
Use this sponge as a base, and between your layers of sponge, fill with a soft filling like: custard, whipped cream, lemon curd, caramel, or chocolate sauce. Then consider something with a solid texture like crumbled oreo cookies, fresh berries, or chocolate shavings. Additionally, consider lightly soaking the sponge in a flavored liquor like cognac, or kahlua and coffee, frangelico, etc. depending on your flavor profile.
Frozen Layered Dessert
Like ice cream cake. Use this sponge as the base and middle or top layer. Between, add in layers of ice cream, crumbled cookies, caramel or fudge sauce. Top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings or crumbled hard caramels!Print
Homemade Ladyfingers or Sponge Cake
Homemade Ladyfingers might have a few steps, but they are well worth the effort! This is a great batter to have in your recipe repertoire, as you can use it for so many things from specialty tortes to tiramisu to cakes!
This recipe is adapted and inspired by Bo Friberg’s The Professional Pastry Chef.
- Prep Time: 15
- Cook Time: 8-25
- Total Time: 25-40
- Yield: 1/2 Sheet Tray, or 160 Cookies 1x
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Baking
4 ounces (115g) Bread Flour
6 Eggs, Separated
6 Ounces (170g) Granulated Sugar (measure, then divide roughly into thirds)
1/4 tsp Lemon Juice
3 ounces (85g) Cornstarch
- Preheat oven to 425 F (if baking individual cookies), or 400 F if baking in a 1/2 sheet pan or 2 8″ or 9″ cake rounds.
- Whip the egg yolks with one third of the granulated sugar until a pale yellow color. About 3-4 minutes on high speed of a mixer. Reserve and set aside in a new bowl so that you can use your mixer bowl for the egg whites.
- Add egg whites in clean, dry mixing bowl and whip on the lowest speed until slightly foamy. Then add in one third of the sugar and the lemon juice. Turn the mixer up to a medium speed until frothy (about 1 minute) and then turn to high speed to mix until about tripled in volume (2 more minutes).
- Then gradually add in cornstarch and last third of sugar. Keep whipping on high until stiff peaks form (roughly 3-4 minutes).
- To your mixing bowl, gently fold in your reserved egg yolks and sugar mixture, and slowly fold in your sifted flour.
If piping, pipe onto a Silpat or parchment on a cookie sheet and pipe desired shape and size of cookie. Typically cookies are 2 inches long. Bake for 8-9 minutes until golden brown. Store in an airtight container.
If making a single layer using cake pans or a 1/2 sheet tray, pour batter evenly between 2 cake rounds, or onto 1 1/2 sheet pan and try to even out the top. You can very gently shake the pans to try to get the batter to settle, but don’t shake too much or you’ll ruin the air bubbles. Bake for 25-30 minutes, turning the pan halfway through. The top should be golden and the edges will pull away slightly. You can also stick a toothpick in the center, and once it comes out clean, remove from oven.
Let cool completely before cutting or shaping.
For a chocolate variation, substitute 30g (1 ounce) cornstarch with 30g (1 ounce) cocoa powder. Sift this in with the flour.
This recipe is adapted from The Professional Pastry Chef by Bo Friberg.
Keywords: Dessert, Cake, Elementary Recipe, Sponge, Ladyfinger, Ladyfingers, Cookie, Cookies, Batter