Ladyfingers: Part 1

“Fetch me that Ottoman, and prithee keep your voice low, said the Emperor; and steep some lady’s-fingers nice in Candy wine”.

Those were the words of John Keats in his poem, ‘The Cap and Bells.’ I like Ladyfingers. They are delicate, pillowy, vanilla, and lightly sweet. I have had them crispy and spongy and I enjoy either one. The crispy version is wonderful to dip in hot tea and the spongy, perfect for all kinds of layered desserts. I remember my mom using ladyfingers in her desserts. They were the sponge kind. It wasn’t until I moved to Europe that I had the crispy type and I was hooked. I think I ate a whole package myself the first time I purchased them. But I have never thought to make my own until now. A little search sent me to the Joy of Baking’s web site for a wonderful version of this cookie. The instructions were precise and very detailed. They are a bit of work and I messed a few bowls and utensils, uttered a few “ughs”, then turned out a beautiful, tender cookie. I did not get the stated 54. I produced 31. I think piping this type of thin batter takes some practice. The end result was wonderful. The ladyfingers added such a freshness to the dessert. The Joy of Baking is a wonderful site that I will have to spend more time studying.

One wonders what will become of this. Doth one?

Note- And you thought I was so smart quoting Keats. I’m a science geek, I bombed English Lit. I read that quote on Joy of Baking. I will now hang my head in shame.

Update- If you are visiting from Food Gawker, welcome! I’m Robin Sue, stay a while and look around. You can now view Part 2 of Ladyfingers and see the delicious Blueberry Charlotte that these Ladyfingers were used. If you like my blog go ahead and become a subscriber. You may also be interested in the following dessert posts:

Cookie Dough Cupcakes
Peanut Butter Bars
Grilled Saturn Peaches In Praline Sauce À La Mode
Push Pops
My Dulce de Leche Recipes


  1. Rindy R
    Posted July 23, 2008 at 6:48 AM | Permalink

    Robin – You are quite a woman to produce such a lovely little lady!

  2. noble pig
    Posted July 23, 2008 at 9:52 AM | Permalink

    I have an English degree and a science degree and I still can’t quote Keats…don’t feel bad. LOL!

  3. That Girl
    Posted July 23, 2008 at 1:16 PM | Permalink

    There’s only one thing I use lady fingers for, and since these aren’t dipped in espresso and marsala I am completely clueless 😉

  4. michelle @ TNS
    Posted July 23, 2008 at 1:47 PM | Permalink

    homemade lady fingers – whoa!

    i’m with that girl, i never use ’em for anything other than tiramisu.

  5. Kate
    Posted July 23, 2008 at 4:55 PM | Permalink

    ::laughing:: I’m the lit geek. I bombed at science and I still count on my fingers. Now I’m hanging MY head in shame.

    Homemade lady fingers … now that’s impressive.

  6. Grace
    Posted July 23, 2008 at 6:43 PM | Permalink

    who is this keats? 🙂

    i’m excited to see where you go with this–nicely done!

  7. j*amy
    Posted July 23, 2008 at 8:06 PM | Permalink

    mmm! my mum uses lady fingers for trifle. however, they are not homemade. i’ll have to let her in on these ones!

  8. _ts of [eatingclub] vancouver
    Posted July 23, 2008 at 9:15 PM | Permalink

    Um, is this going to be a Charlotte?

  9. Robin Sue
    Posted July 23, 2008 at 11:27 PM | Permalink

    Rindy R- Thanks, I produce lovely little boys too.

    Noble pig- English and science? Why!

    That girl- nope these are not dipped…

    michelle @TNS- these are for something else…

    Kate- I am glad to know that I am not the only one who still counts with their fingers (and toes)

    Grace- and what is candy wine?!

    j*amy- we will forgive her for not using homemade!

    ts of [eating club]- Ding ding ding ding! You quessed correctly. But which flavor, the plot thickens….

  10. Jeanine
    Posted July 25, 2008 at 9:58 AM | Permalink

    Wonderful job on those ladyfingers. That is dedication! 🙂

  11. Robin Sue
    Posted July 26, 2008 at 7:07 AM | Permalink

    Jeanine- Thanks the photos on your blog are beautiful!

  12. organic mom
    Posted August 4, 2008 at 12:53 PM | Permalink

    I always thought it was a special pan. now that i know it is piped I think i will be making this in about 30 minutes. Thanks for all your tips, i love you site.

  13. Anonymous
    Posted June 8, 2009 at 3:27 PM | Permalink

    Hi! This among a lot of your recipes caught my eye, but the this one inparticular becuase the Cgharlotte Helena id a cake on my final practicum in culinary school THIS wednesday, so I know this comment is a little late to your post. I just wanted give you a shortcut for the bottom layers of the cake. You dont have to pipe a million lady fingers and then fit them in the bottom like a puzzle piece. You can pipe the lady finger batter in a spiral ring shape and cook it the same way and then trim it to fit your cake ring 🙂 hope this helped for the next time you make this. It looks soooo yummy

  14. Robin Sue
    Posted June 8, 2009 at 4:33 PM | Permalink

    Anon- Now why didn't I think of that -as I slap my head! Thanks for the tip, this is the great thing about blogging, I learn so much more from the readers. I appreciate the time you took to write this out for me. Cheers! Good luck on the practicum!

  15. Cassandra
    Posted May 1, 2012 at 6:14 AM | Permalink

    “Candy wine” aka wine from Candia (Crete). Related to Malmsey/Malvasia.

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