Black And White Cookies

Black and white cookies.  It sounds like a name that a kid would give a cookie, but many of us know that the reference is to those iconic cookies that orginated from New York bakeries.  My entire family LOVES them.  I mean really loves them.  What better to celebrate my love for them this time of the year but to bake them these cookies.  They are a labor of love (you’ll see why), but my family is worth it.     🙂

These large cake-like cookies are coated with a thick layer of sweet frosting, half vanilla and half chocolate.

10Black And White Cookies

Black And White Cookies Recipe
(Makes 20 huge cookies)

Ingredients for Cookies:

  • 4 cups cake flour Measure your flour correctly!
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter (equivalent to 2 sticks)
  • 1 and 3/4 cups white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1 cup whole milk

Ingredients for Icing:

  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped

Directions for Cookies:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In large bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside the dry ingredients.
  3. In another large bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Mix in the eggs, vanilla extract, and lemon extract.
  4. Add the dry ingredients and milk, alternating, starting and ending with the dry ingredients.  (Note, the batter will be very sticky and resemble a cake batter.)
  5. Using a 1/4 measuring cup, scoop out dough, then slightly flatten and spread out with your fingers.
  6. Bake them four to a tray in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes or until slightly browned on the edges.
  7. Allow them to cool for about 2 minutes and then transfer them to a cooling rack.  Make sure the cookies have cooled completely before icing them (otherwise the icing will melt off of the cookies).

Directions for Icing:

  1. In a medium saucepan, over Medium heat, bring the water and corn syrup to a boil.  Remove it from the heat and whisk in the vanilla extract and powdered sugar.
  2. Transfer about 1/4 of the vanilla mixture into a bowl and set it aside.
  3. Take the remaining 3/4 portion of the vanilla icing and ice half of the BOTTOM of each cookie, i.e. the flat side.
  4. Allow the vanilla icing to set completely.
  5. In a medium bowl, melt the chocolate in the microwave in 30 second increments and stirring in between sessions.
  6. Once it’s melted, add it into the bowl with the 1/4 portion of vanilla mixture and stir until all of the ingredients are combined.
  7. Ice the other half of the cookies.
  8. Allow the chocolate icing to set completely.

Store them in an air tight container at room temperature.

I’ve always wanted to make these cookies, but I wasn’t prepared for all the work that went into them.  I won’t lie, they are kind of a pain in the butt to make but I’d still make them again because they came out awesome!

01Black And White Cookies

The cookie batter is easy to whip up, but it has the consistency of a thick cake batter instead of what you might think of as a cookie dough.  If you’ve never tried to manipulate cake batter into drop cookies then you’re in for a treat.     😉

I found it helpful to use my finger in a circular swooping motion to scoop the batter out of the 1/4 measuring cup onto the baking sheet.  Again using your finger, swirl the batter into a round shape about one inch thick.  This part is a bit time consuming.  Lay four cookies per baking sheet because they will spread a lot during the baking process (which is actually what you want here).  Keep in mind that the tops don’t need to be shaped perfectly!  They will smooth out while baking, and the bottoms are actually the tops later and of course those are automatically flat thanks to the pan.

02Black And White Cookies

The vanilla icing is easy to make.  It should be a tad runny, but it will stiffen up a bit after you remove it from the heat and will almost have a snap to it once completely cooled on the cookies.

The chocolate icing is also simple to make, but it’s super temperamental because it cools very quickly, which makes this part of the process very annoying.  If it becomes too thick to spread on the cookies, then microwave it for 30 seconds to soften it up back to its smooth consistency.  I had to do that several times as I iced the cookies.  Hopefully you will have better luck with it than I did, but if you have issues then you know you’re not alone.     🙂

03Black And White Cookies

I’m a bit of a perfectionist.  It’s not an ideal trait to have, especially as a food blogger.  Thanks to all that delicious chocolate, the result is that when you spread it on the cookie it won’t even itself out like the vanilla does.  In fact, as you can probably tell in the pictures, the vanilla side is near flawless thanks entirely to the laws of physics, and the chocolate side looks like you painted it on with your fingers.

05Black And White Cookies

My negative impressions of the chocolate icing diminished when my family came over and saw the cookies.  You should have seen the expressions on their faces when I presented these cookies to them!  Priceless.  They all raved about them and some even hid a cookie to take home with them.  All the frustration and moments of doubt were worth it because I had made my family happy.  Making my family makes me happy.     🙂

08Black And White Cookies

They remind me of an upside down muffin top, super moist and cakey.  In fact, the cake flour makes them extra soft and light.  They melt in your mouth!

The lemon extract gives these cookies a hint of lemony flavor, which makes up part of their traditional charm.

09Black And White Cookies

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I couldn’t help myself from making heart shaped cookies.  I used a heart shaped cookie cutter on a few of the cookies after they came out of the oven.  (It was also a secret technique I used to trim off some edges that got just a little over done on a couple of them, but I won’t tell if you don’t.)

04Black And White Cookies

Have a happy day!     🙂


5 Hats

Adapted from:  The America’s Test Kitchen: Family Baking Book

Here are some other delicious large and in charge cookies.

Bakery Style XL Peanut Butter Cookies 

10Bakery Style XL Peanut Butter Cookies

Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie

06Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie

Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies

08Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies


  1. They look tasty and a lot of fun!

    1. Tina says:

      Thanks so much! 🙂

  2. Ashley says:

    We definitely grew up on these cookies! My mom and grandma would always buy them as a special treat! I had no idea they were so involved but I still need to try making them at some point. So fun!

    1. Tina says:

      What lovely memories! 🙂

  3. This brings back so many memories from my childhood. We would get black and white cookies once a week for dessert (typically on pizza night)… they were huge, so we would cut them in half. I would always want a whole one, haha.

    1. Tina says:

      I love how we reminisce with food! I’d want the whole thing too. 🙂

  4. I love black and white cookies. They remind me of that Seinfeld episode. Haha!

    1. Tina says:

      Lol…I totally forgot about the episode until you said that. Too funny!

  5. Mary Frances says:

    Sometimes simple is best! Normally, cookies don’t do anything for me, but these look absolutely incredible, Tina! No wonder they are so popular. The two frostings are really pretty!

    1. Tina says:

      Thanks so much! 🙂

  6. Black and white cookies are some of my faves! I make them without the chocolate and have actually been craving them lately. Love the heart shaped ones!

    1. Tina says:

      If these are one of your favorites then you’d be in great company with my family. 🙂 Vanilla side is my favorite too!

  7. I’ve never actually made black and white cookies and they always look so elegant!

    1. Tina says:

      Totally elegant! Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  8. Kelly says:

    These look so pretty and elegant Tina! I love black and white cookies but have never made them at home, yours turned out beautifully – I adore the heart shaped ones too 🙂

    1. Tina says:

      Thanks kindly! 🙂

  9. I love getting black and white cookies from William Greenberg bakery here in NYC, but I have never tried making them. I can’t wait to try your recipe – they look perfect!!! And the heart ones are so cute – great idea!

    1. Tina says:

      Awesome sauce! 🙂

  10. dina says:

    i love these. they look great!

    1. Tina says:

      Thank you! 🙂

  11. These cookies are totally classy! I love how soft and fluffy they look.

    1. Tina says:

      Thanks so much! 🙂

  12. cakewhiz says:

    LOVE the little heart shaped black and whites! They are so cute 😀
    Shared on pinterest 🙂

    1. Tina says:

      Cool! Thanks. 🙂

  13. Joanne says:

    I’ve made these before and yes – labor of love is RIGHT. But a totally worth it labor of love. Yours look awesome!

    1. Tina says:

      I’m glad I’m not the only who feels that way about making these, but I’m also glad you thought it was worth it too! 🙂

  14. Wow, these look awesome, Tina! I want one for breakfast now. 🙂

    1. Tina says:

      Sending some by courier for late breakfast. 😉

  15. These look so good. I bet they taste awesome. No wonder you entire family loves them 😉

    1. Tina says:

      Thank Josefine! 🙂

  16. becka says:

    These looks so tasty! Great job!

    1. Tina says:

      Thank you! I appreciate you stopping by. 🙂

  17. Zainab says:

    I love these cookies!! I guess not surprising being in NY. There was this bakery right next to the wedding shop where I bl ought my dress and everytime I went for a fitting I will buy these (so not friendly to wedding diet, but so delicious!!). Thanks for sharing your recipe!!!

    1. Tina says:

      I love that you associate these cookeis with lovely memories from your wedding (preparations)! 🙂

  18. I’ve never tried these cookies as they’re not too popular here, but they look wonderful to me! Love that vanilla-chocolate icing, and those heart-shaped ones are the most adorable thing! :’)

    1. Tina says:

      I had a feeling these cookies were more of a US tradition. Glad you enjoyed them. 🙂

  19. I haven’t had a black and white cookie in forehhhhver. These look great Tina!! The hearts are my FAVORITE!!!

    1. Tina says:

      Making the heart shaped ones were fun! 🙂

  20. Absolutely loving these, Tina. So very classy just like you!

    1. Tina says:

      Awh, you are so sweet! Thanks my friend. 🙂

  21. TINA!!!! Another genius recipe!!!

    My Mom is from NY and is obsessed with black and whites (I like the white half and she likes the black half ;))! Whenever we’re in NYC we pick up a box to bring home. They rarely last the plane ride!

    Now I’ll just make these whenever I need to get her on my good side 😉

    1. Tina says:

      Haha! That’s awesome. 🙂

  22. These look and sound delicious! I’d never heard of them before…but I think that needs to change!

    1. Tina says:

      They’re popular in NY and surrounding areas, but these cookies are too good to keep to the east coast. I simply had to share! Thanks so much for stopping by. 🙂

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