Italian Ladyfingers


Mary Ann Esposito


Savoiardi are ladyfingers. The name comes from the Savoy dynasty, one of Europe's oldest, which guarded the passes of the western Alps between southeastern France and northwestern Italy. Savoy is northwest of Turin, in the Piedmont. The House of Savoy ruled unified Italy from 1861 until the advent of the republic in 1946.

Ladyfingers are used for a number of desserts, including tiramisu. The trick to making good ladyfingers is to have the eggs at room temperature, blend the yolks well with the sugar, and stiffly beat the whites (preferably in a copper bowl with a hand-held beater). Ladyfingers should have a light, airy, and dry texture.


2 1/2 tablespoons confectioner's sugar
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
6 large eggs, separated and at room temperature
1 cup King Arthur™ Unbleached, All-Purpose Flour
1/8 teaspoon salt


Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line the cookie sheets with parchment.

In a small bowl, mix the confectioner's sugar and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the yolks and 9 tablespoons granulated sugar with an electric mixer until yolks are pale yellow and very thick. Lightly spoon the flour into a 1-cup measure, then place in a sifter and gradually sift a small amount at a time over the yolk mixture, blending well. Continue adding flour and blending. Set aside.

In a deep 10-inch copper or stainless steel bowl, beat the egg whites with the salt until stiff peaks form. Gradually fold the egg whites a little at a time into the yolk mixture.

Fill a tipless pastry bag with some of the mixture and pipe out 1 1/2-inch-wide by 3-inch-long fingers 1 inch apart on the cookie sheets. With a small sieve, sprinkle the tops of the ladyfingers with the sugar mixture. Bake the cookie sheets on the middle and top rack of the oven for about 15 minutes or until nicely browned. Switch the cookie sheets during baking to ensure even browning.

Let the ladyfingers cool about 5 minutes, then carefully remove to a cooling rack.

Note: These may be made ahead and frozen in single layers between sheets of waxed paper. They will keep for 2 months.

item recipe is featured in Episode 0 of Season 0.

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  1. Fran Castaldini's avatar

    Fran Castaldini

    | Permalink
    I have tried the recipe for lady fingers twice and it seems much too wet. What am I doing wrong?

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