By VERY popular demand on a recent poll I held over on Instagram, I've created a vegan tiramisu recipe!
Store-bought versions of these cookies usually aren't vegan. So I couldn't go without giving you a recipe for homemade vegan ladyfingers.
❓ What are Ladyfingers?
Ladyfingers are Italian cookies made with a meringue-based sweet sponge cake batter. They're also referred to as sponge fingers, Savoiardi (Italian), or Boudoir biscuits (French).
I've picked apart the process and ingredients usually found in ladyfinger biscuits which are heavy in eggs and dairy products.
After several attempts, I'm happy to say that these vegan Savoiardi biscuits are very close in flavor to the originals. And quite honestly, a lot better than store-bought!
📝 Ingredients Needed
Notes about the ingredients
- Aquafaba: Ladyfinger biscuits usually contain whipped egg whites, which are then folded through the cookie batter. Luckily, aquafaba does the job perfectly for this homemade lady finger recipe. When whisked, aquafaba (chickpea brine) mimics the properties of egg whites, making it perfect for vegan meringues and pavlova as well as an array of other vegan desserts such as these vegan sponge fingers.
- Cream of tartar: This is a stabilizer and helps to create a stronger and more stable meringue cookie base. If you don’t have this to hand, you can use the same volume of apple cider vinegar in its place.
- Caster sugar (superfine sugar): This recipe calls for superfine sugar, as with all my other vegan meringue recipes. The smaller grains of sugar are incorporated into the aquafaba more easily.
- Coconut milk: You'll want full-fat canned coconut milk for this recipe. We'll only be using the thick part from the top of the can, alternatively, you can use coconut cream. Traditional ladyfinger cookies contain egg yolks, the coconut milk acts as an egg replacer and helps to bind the ingredients as well as addS fat.
- Sunflower oil: You can use any neutral flavored oil here, this helps to add fat to the recipe which is needed since we're making these sponge fingers without eggs.
- Vanilla extract: Some vanilla adds a subtle flavor to the biscuits.
- All-purpose flour: Plain flour does the job for this recipe. I haven't attempted this recipe yet with gluten-free flour but if you're keen to give it a try I would recommend trying an all-purpose gluten-free at a 1:1 ratio.
- Baking powder: This is a leavening agent. As eggs usually provide leavening to lady finger cookie recipes, we're compensating with baking powder.
- Sea salt: As always, I add some salt to help enhance the vanilla flavor and balance the sweetness.
🥣 How to make egg-free ladyfingers
Find the full list of ingredients, quantities, and instructions in the recipe card at the end of this post.
Expert Tip: First thing when working with aquafaba it's always important to work with clean equipment. If your bowl is greasy you could well end up with a flat meringue base.
- Whisk the aquafaba and cream of tartar in a large clean bowl or stand mixer on high speed for 5 minutes until soft peaks form. Slowly add in 3.55oz (100g) of sugar, one dash at a time. Continue whisking for another 3 minutes until it reaches stiff peaks
- Mix the remaining 2.45oz (70g) sugar, coconut milk, sunflower oil, and vanilla extract in a separate bowl together until combined.
- Carefully fold the whipped aquafaba into the bowl of the coconut milk mixture, in 3-4 increments. Be careful not to over-mix.
- Mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt and carefully fold them into the aquafaba mixture. You can do this in 2-3 increments, again be careful not to over-mix
- Transfer the mixture to a piping bag fitted with a small round ½" nozzle and carefully pipe cookies in strips about 3" long. Leave at least 2 inches between each cookie as they will expand once baked. You can also use silicone mold to get perfectly shaped cookies (details below).
- Bake the biscuits in the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes, until the cookies begin to brown on the edges. Repeat the process with the remaining batter.
- Rest the cookies on the tray for about 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cooled, you can coat them in some more caster sugar if desired.
👩🍳 Expert Tips
Feel free to use a silicone ladyfinger mold to get more even cookies. One thing to note is, the cookies will be slightly softer when baked in silicone. But the uniform shape works great for making tiramisu!
If using silicone molds:
- Lightly grease the silicone mold with some oil or vegan butter and dust it with a thin layer of flour.
- Pipe the batter into the mold and top with some caster sugar before baking.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes, until lightly golden brown. They will take a little longer to bake through when using a mold.
I tested these cookies using apple puree instead of coconut milk and the result was a much softer sponge cake consistency, but they were still very tasty!
Yes, these eggless lady finger biscuits can be frozen in a sealed container. Plus this recipe makes enough for 2 batches of my vegan tiramisu, so you can pop half of them in the freezer for next time!
They're ready once they turn golden brown on the edges which will give them a slight crunch/firm outer layer. You can cook them less if you'd prefer softer sponge fingers.
For crisp ladyfinger cookies, keep them stored in an airtight container at room temperature. After a couple of days, they may soften a little - which is fine depending on what you plan on using them for.
If you're planning to use them for a tiramisu recipe it won't matter if they are a little soft as they will be soaked in coffee, so you can prep them ahead of time!
🔪 Ways to Use Ladyfingers
- For ladyfinger Tiramisu, Limoncello Tiramisu, or Strawberry Tiramisu or as a base for a trifle recipe like this Prosecco berry trifle.
- You can also serve them alongside Irish Coffee Chocolate Mousse, Raspberry White Chocolate Mousse, or Mango Passion Fruit Mousse where they can be used in place of cutlery
- Enjoy them on their own with a cup of coffee or tea.
🍪 More Vegan Cookies
Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star ★★★★★ rating in the recipe card below and consider leaving a comment as well, thanks!
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- 180 g (¾ cup) aquafaba, *see recipe notes
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar, or lemon juice or vinegar
- 170 g (6 oz) caster sugar (superfine sugar), separated into 3.55oz + 2.45oz (100g + 70g)
- 75 g (2.6 oz) full fat chilled canned coconut milk, or coconut cream
- 60 ml (4 tablespoons) sunflower oil, or alternative neutral oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 315 g (2 ½ cups) plain flour, sifted
- 2 teaspoons baking powder, sifted
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 50 g (1.75 oz) caster sugar (superfine sugar), optional, for dusting
- Prepare: Preheat your oven to 180°C (356°F) and line 2 cookie sheets or baking trays with a sheet of parchment paper. You can very lightly grease the baking sheet with oil as this will make it super easy to remove the baked cookies, oil spray works best.Take a large clean bowl, and make sure it's completely dry and free of any grease.
- Whisk the aquafaba: Add the aquafaba and cream of tartar to the large bowl or stand mixer and whisk on high speed for 5 minutes until soft peaks form.
- Add the sugar: Slowly add in 3.55oz (100g) of caster sugar, one dash at a time while continuing to whisk and incorporate the sugar into the aquafaba. Continue whisking for another 3 minutes until it reaches stiff peaks.
- Whisk the ingredients: In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining 2.45oz (70g) sugar, coconut milk, sunflower oil, and vanilla extract until combined. Use a spatula to carefully fold the whipped aquafaba into the bowl with the coconut milk mixture, in 3-4 increments. Be careful not to over-mix.
- Mix the dry ingredients: Mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt and carefully fold them into the aquafaba mixture. You can do this in 2-3 increments, again be careful not to over-mix.
- Pipe the cookies: Transfer the mixture to a piping bag fitted with a small round ½" nozzle.
- Using a cookie tray: Carefully pipe cookies in strips about 3" long. Leave at least 2 inches between each cookie as they will expand once baked.OR Using silicone baking molds: Lightly grease the mold with vegetable oil or vegan butter, and dust with a thin layer of flour. Pipe the batter into the molds and sprinkle them with caster sugar before baking.
- Bake: If using a tray, bake for 12-15 minutes, until the cookies begin to brown on the edges. If using silicone molds, they will take 15-18 minutes to bake through.
- Cool the cookies: Allow them to cool on the tray for about 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool completely. If using silicone molds, allow them to cool completely before removing them from the molds.Repeat the process with the remaining batter *the full recipe will make about 4 cookie sheets in total). Once cooled, you can coat them in some more caster sugar if desired.
- Storage: For crisp ladyfinger cookies, keep them stored at room temperature in an airtight container. After a couple of days, they may soften a little - which is fine depending on what you plan on using them for.
- Aquafaba: The liquid part from tinned chickpeas.
- Freezing instructions: Place in a sealed container and freeze on the day they are baked. This recipe makes enough for 2 batches of my vegan tiramisu, so you can pop half of them in the freezer for next time!
- You can tell they are ready once they turn golden brown on the edges which will give them a slight crunch/firm outer layer. You can cook them less if you'd prefer softer sponge fingers.
- I recommend measuring the recipe in grams to get the most accurate results.
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