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Small Batch Ladyfingers

Ladyfingers are light and airy sweet biscuits that are often used in desserts such as tiramisu but are also lovely little cookies to enjoy with coffee or tea. This easy ladyfingers recipe calls for just 4 ingredients!

A small jar of homemade ladyfingers with one laying on a black table.

There is truly no comparison between homemade ladyfingers and store-bought. The kind you purchase at the store are mostly dry, crisp, and lack flavor. The made-from-scratch version is the exact opposite; they're soft, spongy, and perfectly sweet. Homemade ladyfingers are a delight when eaten on their own or used in your favorite dessert.

What Are Ladyfingers?

Ladyfingers are made from a sponge cake batter and are long, finger shaped cookies. Their shape is achieved by using a piping bag or a zip top bag with the corner end cut off to pipe the batter onto a cookie sheet.

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Ladyfingers are known by different names all over the world. In Italy, ladyfingers are called Savoiardi. You might also know them as boudoir biscuits, sponge biscuits, sponge fingers, or biscuits a la cuiller.

These cookies are very absorbent and almost sponge-like which makes them ideal to use in tiramisu or a trifle.

Ingredients

See recipe box below for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions.

  • egg
  • sugar
  • flour
  • baking powder

How To Make Ladyfingers

  1. Separate an egg. Place the egg white in one bowl and the egg yolk in a separate bowl. Whip the white until foamy, then add in 1/2 tablespoon of sugar and beat until stiff and glossy peaks form. Whipping the egg white will help to give the cookies a light, cake-like texture.
  2. In a separate small bowl, whip the egg yolk and the remaining sugar. This step adds richness to your cookies.
  3. Fold half of the egg white mixture into the yolk mixture.
  4. Fold in the flour and baking powder.
  5. Gently fold in the remaining egg whites.
  6. Fill a piping bag with the batter and pipe into 3-inch long lines about an inch apart on a baking sheet.
  7. Bake for 7-8 minutes.
  8. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Recipe will yield between 5-8 cookies.

Ladyfingers are so easy to make, you'll never want to buy them from the store again. With this small batch recipe, you won't be left with very many to store. Enjoy them and make them again when you're ready for more.

How To Separate Eggs

There are many recipes here on One Dish Kitchen where only one egg white or one egg yolk is used. In this ladyfingers recipe, you will use both but they will be used at different stages of the recipe. There are a few ways to separate an egg, here are two preferred methods:

  1. The shell to shell method: Crack the egg gently on a flat surface or on the rim of a bowl, as close to the middle of the egg as possible. Over a bowl, use your thumbs to pry the egg halves apart. Let the yolk settle in one half of the egg while the white part falls into the bowl. Gently transfer the yolk back and forth between each halves of the egg. As this happens, more of the egg white will fall into the bowl and soon you will be left with only the yolk.
  2. Through the fingers: This is my favorite way to separate eggs. Crack the egg into the palm of your hand; let the whites run through your fingers. You'll be left with a perfect, round, separated yolk.

There are times when a little bit of the egg white will get into your yolk and that's usually okay. It's not okay is when a little yolk gets into the white. If it does, the egg whites won't whip up properly.

Five ladyfingers on a white plate.

How To Measure Flour Accurately

In order for ladyfingers to turn out correctly, it’s important that the flour is measured out accurately. In fact, this is important for all baked goods. Whenever a reader asks me why something doesn’t turn out right, whether it’s my mini pound cake recipe or my oatmeal cookies recipe, the first question I ask is, “How did you measure the flour?”

Weighing ingredients is by far the most accurate way to measure flour, but it isn’t a common practice here in the U.S.

digital scale is useful for measuring and weighing flour as well as sugar. If you don’t have a scale, you can still measure flour successfully. Here’s what you do:

  1. Use a spoon to stir the flour inside the container. You want to loosen it up in case it’s packed tightly inside.
  2. Use a spoon to scoop the flour into a dry measuring cup.
  3. Using the flat end of a knife, level the flour across the measuring cup

1/4 cup flour = 31 grams

What If I Don't Have A Piping Bag?

Piping bags, also called pastry bags are handy to have and use but if you don't have one, you can still pipe the batter. Just use a plastic sandwich bag. I prefer using a larger sandwich bag such as a zip top bag. This is a popular substitute because many people have these bags already in their kitchen and they are easy to handle. To use, simply spoon the batter into the bag and push it into one of the corners. Twist the top of the bag tightly and place one hand on the back side of the bag. Snip the tip of the corner of the bag with a pair of scissors and begin piping. Begin with a small cut and gradually adjust the size if necessary so that more batter comes out.

Drop Cookies

You could use the drop cookie method for making round "ladyfingers". They're just as tasty and perfectly suited for dipping into coffee or custard.

Drop the cookie dough onto a cookie sheet by the traditional "tablespoonful" method. Scoop up the batter onto a large tablespoon or use a cookie scoop for more uniform cookies. Then, place the dough onto the cookie sheet, spaced 2-inches apart.

Helpful Tips

  • Be careful when you crack the eggs. You don't want any of the yolk to get into the egg white, the whites won't whip up properly.
  • Slowly add the sugar to the egg white. This allows the sugar time to dissolve.
  • Fold the whites into the yolks carefully. You don't want the whites to deflate.

How Long Do Homemade Ladyfingers Last?

Homemade ladyfingers will keep well in the refrigerator, covered for a few days. If you would like to freeze ladyfingers, double wrap them in plastic wrap or place in an airtight container. To use from frozen, defrost at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Use as normal.

Tiramisu in a small circular dish topped with chocolate shavings next to a jar of homemade ladyfingers and a floral cloth napkin all on a metal tray

Ways To Use Ladyfingers

You might like to consider using this small batch ladyfingers recipe for making cookies to be used in any of these single serving dessert recipes:

For this ladyfingers recipe, I use a rimmed quarter sheet pan lined with a silicone baking liner.

If you would like additional information on the cooking and baking dishes I use in our “recipes for one”, please visit our FAQ page.

For examples of the dishes used at One Dish Kitchen, please visit our Store page.

four ladyfingers in a glass jar.

Small Batch Ladyfingers

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Cool: 10 minutes
Total Time: 38 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: cookies
Servings: 8 ladyfingers
Calories: 38kcal
Author: Joanie Zisk

Ingredients

  • 1 large egg
  • 2 ½ tablespoons sugar , divided
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder

Instructions

  • Separate the eggs, placing the yolk in one bowl and the white in another.
  • Using a hand mixer or large whisk, whip the egg white until foamy. Add 1/2 tablespoon sugar and beat until glossy.
  • In a separate bowl, whip the egg yolk and 2 tablespoons sugar.
  • Fold in 1/2 of the egg whites; then, fold in the flour and baking powder.
  • Fold in the rest of the egg whites.
  • Fill a piping bag fitted with a large round tip or use a medium-sized plastic bag with the tip cut off and pipe the batter in 3-inch long lines about 1-inch apart on a small baking sheet.
  • Bake in a 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) preheated oven for 7-8 minutes.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 38kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 9mg | Potassium: 15mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 34IU | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 1mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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