Whether you call them ladyfingers, savoiardi, sponge biscuits, boudoirs, or any of its other many monikers, these delicate piped sponge cakes hold up beautifully in desserts like tiramisu. While it may seem fussy to make ladyfingers, unlike their store-bought counterpart that typically comes firm and dry, freshly baked ladyfingers have a delicately crisp exterior and soft, chewy interior that make them the perfect accompaniment to a hot cup of coffee.
Ladyfingers are piped sponge cakes that can be eaten on their own, but are often used in desserts such as tiramisu or in trifles. They are noted to have gotten the name “ladyfingers” from their long, slender appearance, compared to the likes of, well, a lady’s fingers.
Ladyfingers are made from just a handful of ingredients — eggs, granulated and powdered sugar, vanilla, cream of tartar, flour, cornstarch, and salt. The egg-based sponge cakes don’t have any chemical leaveners, but rather get their lift from whipped egg whites.
How to Make the Best Ladyfingers
The trick to making a good ladyfinger lies in the technique. In short, egg yolks and whites are whipped separately and folded together, dry ingredients are folded in, the mixture is piped onto baking sheets, and baked until golden around the edges. In order to make ladyfingers that don’t fall flat (literally), I have a few tips and tricks to help.
Ladyfingers can be stored in an airtight container for up to 10 days.