Ladyfinger cookies are light, crunchy cookies with a subtle sweetness. Ladyfingers are perfect for snacking with coffee or putting into ladyfinger desserts!
Three things might come to mind when you think of Italian ladyfingers, one is that they are super hard and tasteless, two is they are little mini cakes, and three they are incredibly hard to find!
I know, to me this is a tad confusing on what ladyfingers actually are.
What are ladyfingers?
Ladyfingers are a biscotti like Italian cookie. The base is similar to a sponge cake.
Before baking, they are sprinkled generously with powdered sugar. During the baking process, they become light and crispy similar to biscotti but not as dense.
Who sells lady fingers?
If you are lucky, your local grocery store will carry them. However, they might not be there all the time.
I find the type of grocery store that has them most often are higher end grocery stores.
If you are not in a rush to make your dessert I suggest making this homemade ladyfinger recipe instead of buying packaged ladyfingers!
Where to buy ladyfinger cookies?
If your local grocery store supplies them, they will be in the bakery section. This is normally where they will sell the softer version of ladyfingers.
They will also be in the cookie aisle, but these will be super hard and crispy cookies.
Like many people, I had a hard time finding ladyfingers locally. So, instead of purchasing them (because I literally couldn’t find them anywhere) I decided to make them instead!
I had dreams of making a Tiramisu Pie (and I succeeded, recipe coming soon!) and I just had to have ladyfingers. Tiramisu consists of a mascarpone custard layered with soaked ladyfingers, cream, and cocoa powder.
So, they were a vital ingredient for my pie!
What are ladyfingers soaked in for tiramisu?
Ladyfingers can be soaked in a variety of things for tiramisu. I used a mixture of Marsala wine and coffee extract for my pie.
However, you can use just Marsala wine or Madeira. More options are strong coffee or espresso, dark rum, amaretto, or Kahlua!
If you would like tiramisu without alcohol then use coffee or espresso in place of any alcohol – still delicious!!
Simple recipe ideas for homemade ladyfinger desserts:
- Ladyfinger trifle, for minis, use crumbled up ladyfinger cookies layered with whipped cream and berries. Or you could make it in a large trifle glass using whole ladyfingers.
- Ladyfinger cheesecake, crumble the cookies to use for the crust like graham crackers!
- Ice cream sandwiches, scoop gelato between two cookies!
These cookies are so light, delicate and dare I say… elegant?! I just feel fancy eating them, LOL!
They are actually easy to make as well with simple ingredients. But, you do have to have a touch of patience with them as well.
How to make ladyfingers?
- Before making any recipe, especially with baking a technic focused dessert, get all of your ingredients ready and laid out beforehand.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, place eggs, sugar, and salt. Whisk together.
- Place bowl over a double boiler, whisking constantly, making sure to scrape the sides and bottom. Continue to do this until the internal temperature of the mixture reaches 165 degrees. This is a very important step, it can take 5-15 minutes for the eggs to reach the correct temperature.
- Whip egg mixture on high until light and fluffy and it makes medium-peaks. You know it is ready when a dollop of it will stay for a second then sink back into the mixture. The mixture will quadruple in size.
- Fold in sifted flour and cornstarch until just combined, do not over mix.
- Using a piping bag with 1/2 inch tip, pipe cookies onto parchment about 3×1 inches in size and one inch apart. Or, you can make them as long as you like.
- Generously sift powdered sugar on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.
- Cookies will be golden brown on the bottom and light brown on top. Let cool 2 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wired rack to cool completely.
More yummy recipe using ladyfingers from my favorite bloggers:
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How to make Homemade Ladyfinger Cookie Recipe:
- 3 large eggs
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour not packed, filled light with spoon
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar for dusting
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In the bowl of a stand mixer add the eggs, sugar, and salt. Whisk together. In a small pot, add about 3 inches of water. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Place the stand mixer bowl on top of the pot, making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water to form a double boiler.
- Constantly whisk the egg mixture making sure to scrape the bottom and sides constantly. Continue to do this until egg mixture reaches 165 degrees. This can take 5-15 minutes. Transfer bowl to the stand mixer base fitted with the whisk attachment.
- Add the vanilla. Whip on high for 5 minutes or until mixture quadruples in size and forms medium peaks. You know it is ready when a dollop of the mixture will keep its shape for a couple seconds before melting back into the batter.
- Sift the flour and cornstarch and fold in by hand. You just want the dry ingredients mixed in enough so you do not see any dry patches do not over mix.
- Pour batter into a piping bag fitted with a 1/2 inch tip. To make this easier, place the piping bag into a tall glass and pour the batter into the bag that way. Line sheet tray with parchment paper, you will probably need two trays for this. Pipe cookies about 1 by 3 inches and 1 inch apart. The batter will spread slightly.