Savoiardi, also known as Ladyfingers, are Italian biscuits made with a sponge cake batter. The egg whites and egg yolks mixed with sugar are beaten separately and folded together with the flour. The batter is piped with a piping bag and dusted twice with icing sugar before baking.
The recipe that I used is from one of Italy’s most renowned pastry chefs, Salvatore de Riso.
Savoiardi are used in desserts like tiramisu, trifles and charlottes. They are also great served with ice cream or with a cup of tea and coffee.
There is no comparison between store bought savoiardi and homemade. They are delicate, light and airy with a sweet crispy crust.
As they contain no baking powder, you need to beat the eggs well in order to get lots of air inside the mixture.
Be sure to fold the egg whites and the flour very delicately. You don’t want to deflate the batter.
You can replace the potato starch with cornstarch. I used a 1.5 cm (1/2 inch) round tip. If you don’t have one, use a piping bag without tip.
Savoiardi can be stored in an airtight container up to 2 weeks.
I will never buy ladyfingers again and you shouldn’t either. They are easy to make and you will not be disappointed with the result.
- 3 eggs separated
- ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar divided
- a pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice divided
- the zest of 1 lemon grated
- ½ cup (65 g) cake flour sifted
- 2 tablespoons (30 g) potato starch
- powdered sugar for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees°F (180°C).
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Prepare a pastry bag fitted with a round 1.5 cm (1/2 inch) tip.
- In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites, 50 grams (1/4 cup) of sugar and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice until stiff peaks form.
- In another bowl, beat the egg yolks with the remaining sugar, lemon zest, vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and salt until thick and light yellow.
- Sift the flour and potato starch over the egg mixture and gently fold it in with a rubber spatula until smooth and well combined.
- Gently fold in the egg whites.
- Transfer half of the batter to the prepared piping bag. Pipe the batter into lines about 10 cm (4 inches) long, keeping distance between them.
- Repeat with the rest of the batter.
- Sprinkle the cookies lightly with icing sugar. Let them rest for about 5 minutes and sprinkle again with icing sugar.
- Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes until lightly golden.
- Let the ladyfingers cool for a few minutes then release them from the parchment paper, with a flat spatula, while they are still warm.
- Serve the savoiardi immediately or store in an airtight container up to 2 weeks.