The Boastful Baker

because every cook praises her own broth

Don't even think about making a trifle without baking these first.

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Ladyfingers for the orange trifle

Since I’ve written a couple of blog posts about the trifles I’ve made with homemade ladyfingers, I figured it was time to post the only ladyfingers recipe I’ve ever used.

I’ve never bought pre-made ladyfingers at the store so I really can’t tell you how much better they are. But I assume they’re better. In my opinion, pretty much everything tastes better homemade.

I’ve made them from scratch for the last 5 or 6 years. They require very basic ingredients and are really easy to make as long as you own a good electric mixer.

If you’re nervous about using a pastry bag, don’t be. If you’re using this in a trifle, they don’t have to be all that pretty…they just need to taste good. If you don’t own a pastry bag, that’s okay too. Use a Ziploc as instructed in the recipe below.

I own a pastry bag and tips but for this particular recipe, I’ve started using the pastry tip in a Ziploc. All of the batter fits in a single Ziploc and doesn’t squirt out the top as it often does when using a real pastry bag.

I’d like to give the proper source for this recipe but I can’t. I copied it from a magazine or printed it from the internet years ago and didn’t write down the source at the time. I kinda-sorta-maybe think it was Epicurious. Maybe. All I know is that I happened upon this recipe and thought I’d give it a try. Little did I know that it would turn out to be a fantastic ladyfingers recipe that I would use again and again and again.

Use these in any recipe calling for ladyfingers or sponge-cake cookies. I use them in trifles instead of the heavy pound cakes often prescribed. If you want to make tiramisu at home, make it with these. See the trifles I made with them here and here. And the tiramisu I made here.

Ladyfingers for the orange trifle

Ladyfingers

(Sponge-Cake Cookies)

Makes about 4 dozen cookies

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Sift together the flour and salt. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the egg whites on high speed until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue beating until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in 1/4 cup of sugar and continue beating until the whites will hold a 2-inch peak. Transfer beaten whites to a large bowl.
  4. In the same bowl used to beat the whites (the bowl does not need to be washed first), beat the egg yolks and the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar on high-speed until very thick and light-colored, about 5 minutes.
  5. Fold 1/4 of the yolk mixture into the whites. When almost incorporated, fold the rest of the yolk mixture into the whites.
  6. Fold the flour into the mixture.
  7. Prepare a pastry bag with a fairly large plain tip (about 1/4-inch) or place the batter in a large plastic freezer bag and cut off one corner so that the hole is 1/4 inch in diameter. Pipe the ladyfingers onto the prepared cookie sheet in strips about 5 inches long and 1 inch apart.
  8. Bake about 10 minutes, rotating the sheet front to back halfway through the baking time. When done, the ladyfingers should be golden brown. Remove the ladyfingers, still on the parchment, to a wire rack.
  9. Pipe remaining batter onto a fresh sheet of parchment, slide onto cookie sheet, and bake.
  10. When all cookies are baked and cooled, remove them from the parchment and store in an airtight container.

3 Comments

  1. These look perfect. I should try baking them from scratch – tks for sharing!

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this — I’m so excited about making the trifle now! :))

  3. mmm, these look lovely. i’ve always wanted to make my own ladyfingers (i’ve been sitting on a recipe for a raspberry tiramisu for years now, because i can’t bring myself to use store-bought cookies). this is just the kick i need.

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