Black and White Cookies | A Classic NYC Cookie Recipe

Black and White Cookies are a classic NY cookie recipe. These cookies are soft, cakey, with the perfect, tender crumb, and they’re topped with sweet, glossy, vanilla and chocolate icing!

Oh friends!! Not only do we have a classic cookie recipe today it is also the 9th day in the 12 Days of Christmas Cookies!! I can’t believe we are in the home stretch! If you have missed any of the first 8 days, I am recapping all the recipes at the bottom of this post!

NOW! Black and White Cookies!! Have you ever had one? Heard of them?


Black and White Cookies are tender, cakey cookies

What are Black and White Cookies?

If you are a New Yorker…or heck, even a Seinfeld fan, chances are you are super familiar. If not, let me tell you a little about Black and White Cookies. There are a few different versions…one is a shortbread-style cookie, topped with fondant. The other is a domed cookie, that is basically half cookie/half cake…the perfect combination of the two, in my opinion…and they’re topped with a glossy, sweet icing, always half chocolate/half vanilla. I’m sharing the domed, cakey cookie today, because that’s what I consider a true black and white.

According to a little internet research there are a few bakeries that claim to have invented the Black and White Cookie…Glaser’s Bake Shop and Hemstrought’s Bakery. It is said the two bakeries share a common German heritage, and the cookie is a German recipe called Amerikaner.

Look, I don’t know about all that, but I do know it’s a fun cookie to serve, it looks great on a holiday cookie platter, and if you’re ever in NYC you have to try one. It’s part of the experience! BUT if you have no NYC trips planned, no worries, make them yourself!

This black and white cookie recipe is easy to make

Like I said before, the cookie is the perfect combination of cake and cookie. It’s a buttery, vanilla cookie with a tender crumb. AND the fun part is you frost them with vanilla and chocolate icing! In NYC they put the icing on the flat part of the cookie, but I have seen it done both ways.

I kept it classic and iced the flat side.

Black and White cookies are soft, cakey cookies topped with vanilla and chocolate icing

I like to use a dark cocoa powder for the chocolate icing, to give it that almost black appearance. The icing is a simple powdered sugar icing that sets up nicely, so gifting these cookies is easy!

This recipe makes 8 LARGE cookies, which is how they are sold in NYC. You can certainly make them smaller if you prefer. Just adjust the baking time down a little bit!



Black and White cookies are soft, cakey cookies topped with vanilla and chocolate icing


Black and White Cookies are a NY classic cookie recipe.



  • 6 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 cup cake flour
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk


  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer combine the butter and sugar together on medium speed for 2 minutes.
  3. Add in the egg, vanilla, baking powder, and salt. Mix until smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  4. Turn mixer to low and add in the flour and buttermilk in alternating portions, beginning and ending with the flour. Mix until just combined and smooth.
  5. Using a large cookie scoop (3- tablespoon sized) portion out the dough onto the prepared baking sheet 2- inches apart.
  6. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the edges are lightly golden and the tops are set.
  7. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. When the cookies are cooled, create the glaze by whisking the powdered sugar and milk together. Divide the icing in half and add in the cocoa powder to half of the icing. You might need to add an additional teaspoon of milk to the chocolate glaze so it’s spreadable.
  9. Using an off-set spatula spread on the flat side of each cookie with white icing on half and chocolate icing on the other half. Allow the icing to set completely.


Store airtight at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Keywords: cookies, black and white, recipe, new york, icing

Catch up on all the 12 Days of Christmas Cookies!

12 Days of Christmas Cookies

Day 1: Easy Cut Out Sugar Cookies

Day 2: Crock Pot Peppermint Pretzel Candy

Day 3: Chocolate Chip Shortbread

Day 4: Peanut Butter Balls

Day 5: Cookies and Cream Marshmallow Bars

Day 6: Gingersnap Cookies

Day 7: Cranberry Pistachio Bliss Bars

Day 8: Frosted Egg Nog Cookies

Day 9: Black and White Cookies

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