Homemade Ladyfingers

5 from 6 votes
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Learn how to make ladyfingers from scratch using a simple mixing and piping technique. Use these cookies to make tiramisu, trifles, cakes, and more!

Homemade ladyfingers recipe.

Recipe Science

  • Beating eggs and sugar together incorporates air, creating a foam that gives the ladyfingers their light, spongy texture when baked.
  • Folding flour gently into the egg mixture helps maintain the air bubbles trapped during whipping, which is crucial for achieving an airy structure.
  • Baking at a precise temperature quickly sets the airy structure, ensuring they are light and dry, ideal for absorbing coffee in desserts like tiramisu.

Why It Works

You can’t make a tiramisu recipe without ladyfinger cookies. I’ll show you step-by-step how easy it is to make them at home using simple ingredients that you already have in your pantry. This ladyfingers recipe is versatile for your next gourmet dessert or to enjoy dipped in coffee or tea.

Whole eggs give a light and airy consistency, perfect for soaking up liquid like espresso. The key is whipping the yolks and whites separately, then folding them with sugars and flour to make a pipable batter. Depending on how long you bake them, you can get a softer, spongy cake-like texture or a dry and crisper texture. Bakers choice!

Ingredients You’ll Need

Ingredients needed to make this ladyfingers recipe.
  • Sugar: Adds sweetness and crispness to the cookies.
  • Powdered Sugar: Prevents the batter from spreading too much. Also added as a sweet garnish to the cookies.
  • Eggs: The egg white and egg yolk are divided. The whites help create a voluminous meringue for a light and crisp cookie. The yolks add richness and a golden color to the batter.
  • Salt: The salt helps stabilize the egg whites so that once it becomes foamy, no moisture seeps out.
  • Flavor: Vanilla extracts bump up the sweet baked aroma of the cookies.
  • Flour: Use sifted all-purpose flour to create the structure for the ladyfingers.

See the recipe card below for all ingredients and measurements (US and metric).

Ingredient Substitutions

Here are simple ways to switch up the flavor for your next batch of homemade ladyfingers:

  • Flour: Use gluten-free flour if there are dietary restrictions.
  • Extracts: Instead of vanilla, try almond extract, coconut, banana, or peppermint.
  • Flavor: Add matcha green tea powder or cocoa powder to flavor the cookie more intensely and change the color. Start with a teaspoon, adding more as needed.

How to Make Ladyfingers

Step 1: Preheat the Oven

Set the temperature to 350ºF (177ºC) and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Lightly coat with cooking spray to prevent sticking.

Mixing egg whites and salt in a stand mixer.

Step 2: Whip the Egg Whites

Use a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment to whip the egg whites with a pinch of salt until very soft peaks are formed.

Adding a mixture of granulated sugar and powdered sugar into a mixer bowl.

Gradually add a mixture of granulated and powdered sugar, then mix on high until stiff peaks form.

Making meringue foam in a stand mixer.

Pro Tip: You need to make a meringue to create ladyfingers with a light and airy texture. I use a similar technique when making lemon meringue pie. The sugars add sweetness to the cookie and help create a glossy, thick foam that doesn’t deflate quickly.

Mixing egg yolks, vanilla, and sugar in a bowl.

Step 3: Whip the Egg Yolks

Combine the egg yolks with vanilla extract and granulated sugar.

Pale yellow batter dripping off the whisk attachment of a stand mixer.

Whip the mixture until it thickens and becomes pale yellow, which indicates that air has been incorporated. The process takes about 5 minutes at medium-high speed.

Egg yolks add richness and golden color to each ladyfinger. Otherwise, when baked, the texture will be like a crispy white meringue cookie that melts in the mouth with no chew.

Combing the egg yolk mixture with the egg white mixture.

Step 4: Make the Batter

Combine the whipped egg whites and yolk mixture in a large bowl. Sift the flour on top, which will aerate it, making it easier to incorporate.

Folding flour into a bowl with egg mixture.

Gently fold everything together, making sure there are no pockets of flour.

Ladyfinger cookie dough batter in a large bowl.

Pro Tip: Avoid aggressive mixing, as you don’t want to deflate the air from the whipped eggs.

Person piping ladyfinger batter into strips on a parchment paper lined sheet pan.

Step 5: Pipe the Batter into Strips

I use a large piping bag and a 1/2-inch plain tip. Pipe the batter into 3-inch long and 1-inch wide strips on a large baking sheet with parchment paper. They should be at least an inch apart.

Raw ladyfinger dough strips on a baking sheet sprinkled with powdered sugar.

I can get 24 per tray. To prevent spreading, sprinkle powdered sugar on the unbaked piped batter. It will dissolve into the wet batter, and that’s okay.

Freshly baked ladyfinger cookies cooling on a wire rack.

Step 6: Bake the Cookies

Baking at 350ºF (177ºC) to gently cook the batter while quickly setting the structure. Bake time determines how soft or hard the ladyfingers will be.

  • For a soft texture: Bake until the surface dries, but the cookie bounces back when touched, about 10 to 14 minutes. It will be pale yellow with a sponge cake-like consistency.
  • For a crisp texture: Bake until more golden in color and stiff to the touch, about 16 to 18 minutes. I prefer this texture for the best soaking ability in desserts like tiramisu.

Leave the cookies on the warm tray for 5 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool to room temperature. After cooling, dust the ladyfingers with powdered sugar for a more attractive appearance.

Person dipping a ladyfinger into a cappuccino.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are ladyfingers?

They are delicate Italian biscuit cookies, also known as savoiardi. It’s made using whipped eggs, sugar, and flour for a light and spongy texture. The long shape of the sponge fingers looks like the hands of a lady, hence the name, lady fingers.

Are ladyfingers crunchy or soft?

Typically, the texture is crunchy. This makes for a dry cookie that can soak up a lot of liquid to flavor a dessert, like an espresso for tiramisu. Homemade ladyfingers can be baked less so that the centers are softer.

How long can I store ladyfingers?

Storing the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature will keep them for 3 to 5 days. The longer they sit, the more moisture is absorbed, making them softer. They can be stored in a resealable plastic bag and frozen for up to 2 months.

What are ways to use ladyfingers?

Make different tiramisu flavors like coffee, matcha, lemon, egg nog, or strawberry. Layer them in a trifle, cups, or parfaits with whipped cream and fresh berries. Use them in ice cream cakes for a quick, easier sponge cake layer.

How do I prevent flat ladyfingers?

It’s like making whipped cream. Don’t over-whip; it will become grainy and clumpy, making it hard for the egg proteins to trap air. Always sprinkle the cookies with powdered sugar before baking, as the cornstarch within and the moisture-wicking ability of the sugar prevent the ladyfingers from spreading out into a flat pancake when baked.

Serve This With

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Ladyfingers (Savoiardi)

Learn how to make ladyfingers at home using a simple batter mixture and piping technique. Use them for tiramisu, trifles, cakes, and more!
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time50 minutes
Servings 48 cookies
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian

Ingredients 
 

  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar, plus more for dusting
  • 4 large eggs, white and yolks separated
  • teaspoon table salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour

Instructions 

  • Preheat the Oven – Set the oven racks to the upper-middle and lower-middle positions. Preheat to 350ºF (177ºC). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and lightly coat with cooking spray to prevent sticking. Set aside.
  • Whip the Egg Whites – In a small bowl, combine ¼ cup granulated sugar and 2 tablespoons powdered sugar, and set aside. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites and salt on high speed (setting 10) until very soft peaks form, about 30 to 45 seconds. Reduce to medium speed (setting 5), then gradually add the sugar mixture.
    Increase the speed to high (setting 10), and whip until glossy, stiff peaks form, about 30 to 45 seconds. Carefully transfer the whipped egg whites to a large bowl and set aside.
  • Mix the Egg Yolks – In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the egg yolks, vanilla, and ¼ cup of granulated sugar at medium-high speed (setting 8) until thick and pale yellow, about 5 minutes.
  • Make the Batter – Pour the egg yolk mixture into the bowl of egg white mixture. Sift the flour on top, then gently fold it in with a spatula until combined.
  • Pipe – Fit a pastry bag with a ½ inch plain tip. Pipe the batter into 3-inch long and 1-inch wide strips, about 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheets, about 24 per tray. Use the remaining 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar to sift over each strip.
  • Bake the Cookies – Bake both trays for 10 minutes. Switch and rotate the trays, and bake until the edges of the cookies are golden brown, about 6 to 8 minutes. Cool the cookies on the trays for 5 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. If desired, dust with more powdered sugar.

Recipe Video

YouTube video

Notes

  • For Softer Cookies: Bake the cookies for 7 minutes, then switch and rotate. Bake until the surface is dry, set, and soft when pressed, about 3 to 7 minutes.
  • Storing: Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
  • Freeze: Store in a resealable plastic bag in the freezer for up to 2 months. Defrost before use.

Nutrition Facts

Serves: 48 cookies
Calories 23kcal (1%)Carbohydrates 4g (1%)Protein 1g (2%)Fat 0.4g (1%)Saturated Fat 0.1g (1%)Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1gMonounsaturated Fat 0.1gTrans Fat 0.001gCholesterol 14mg (5%)Sodium 11mgPotassium 7mgFiber 0.1gSugar 3g (3%)Vitamin A 20IUCalcium 2mgIron 0.2mg (1%)

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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