Calling all home bakers! Ladyfingers are simply a dessert you need to know how to make. These classic ladyfinger biscuits are quick and simple to make at home. And yes, of course you could go to that nice Italian store that sells the pricey imported cookies, but where’s the fun in that?
Now, keep in mind that homemade ladyfingers are not the same as store bought ones. The commercial savoiardi biscuit tends to be more crisp and firm than the homemade ladyfingers, which are more soft and pliable.
What are Ladyfinger biscuits?
Ladyfingers are sweet, light, dry, egg-based, sponge biscuits. They are called ladyfingers because they are kinda shaped like fingers. They are notorious for being an essential ingredient in the dessert we all know and love: tiramisu. They’re also known as boudoir biscuits, sponge biscuits, sponge fingers, and savoiardis.
I feel like everyone always assumes these biscuits originated in Italy because of their famous connotation to tiramisu. But really, Ladyfingers originated in the late 15th century in Savoy, which today is parts of France, Switzerland, and Italy. They were created to mark the occasion when the King of France came to visit. Later, they were given the name Savoiardi.
Today, the recipe remains very similar to traditional one.
Want the secret ingredient for a perfect Ladyfinger?
Fold, don’t mix. The definition of folding is to carefully add a light, airy mixture (in this case egg whites) to a thicker, heavier mixture. This has to be done carefully so that the egg whites don’t deflate and lose all of the air that was beaten into them.
So essentially, the secret ingredient to a perfect homemade ladyfinger is air!
Since this is an egg-based recipe, you need to make sure your handling your eggs correctly. Separate the egg whites and yolks during the prep. Mix the egg white with half of the listed sugar with a electric hand mixer until it forms thick peaks. Mix the egg yolks with other half of the listed sugar with a hand whisk until it becomes light in color.
Why the powdered sugar?
The powdered sugar melts into the surface of the ladyfinger and creates an ever so delicate, sweet crust.
Let them cool completely before working with them.
When they are fresh out of the oven, they are delicate on the inside and just a bit crisp on the outside. If you don’t wait for them to cool, you risk the ladyfingers falling apart. When you leave them to cool completely they will firm up and get crispier on the outside and spongy on the inside.
Please just let them cool completely, especially if you’re making tiramisu. The biscuit will be able to soak up the coffee and rum mixture so much better if it is stale.
What other recipes can I use these cookies in other than Tiramisu?
Ladyfingers can be eaten as is, but they really shine in recipes where they are soaked in a syrup or other liquid. So, without a shadow of a doubt, this is the kind of cookie that goes great in tiramisus. However, they also work well in icebox cakes, eclairs, trifles, and so much more. Watch my video demonstrating this recipe below so you can make ladyfinger desserts like a professional!
Making an egg-free version of this recipe is simple! Just substitute the eggs for butter and you’re good to go. Let me know if you’d be interested to see a full recipe on egg-less ladyfingers in the comments below!
Ladyfinger Savoiardi Biscuits Recipe
- Baking pan
- Piping bag
- 2 bowls
- Electric hand mixer
- 3 egg whites
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp corn flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp butter
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Add egg whites and half of sugar to a bowl and mix using an electric mixer until fluffy. Set aside.
- Add egg yolks and other half of sugar to a bowl and mix using a whisk until combined. Pour into egg white mixture.
- Sift all-purpose flour, corn flour, and baking powder into the egg white bowl and fold ingredients together to form dough.
- Scoop dough into piping bag and set aside.
- Generously butter baking pan.
- Pipe cookies onto baking pan to 2 inches length.
- Generously sift powdered sugar onto cookies before placing in oven.
- Bake for 15 minutes and enjoy!
- Be sure to fold the mixture together in step 4. Folding ensures that you don’t undo all the whipping you did with the egg whites in step 1. This has to be done carefully so that the egg whites don’t deflate and lose all of the air that was beaten into them.
- Sift all dry ingredients to avoid lumps.
- Wait for them to cool before handling since when they are fresh out of the oven, they are delicate on the inside and just a bit crisp on the outside. If you don’t wait for them to cool, you risk the ladyfingers falling apart.