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!