Black and White Cookies

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Black and White Cookies are the perfect cake-like cookies with chocolate and vanilla frosting glazes you love without going to New York City to get them!

We love delicious and easy classic cookies including Chocolate Chip Cookies, Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, Peanut Butter Cookies and Classic Sugar Cookies.

Black and White Cookies
 Black and White Cookies

Black and White Cookies are the most classic New York dessert outside of New York Cheesecake and they’re the perfect combination of a cake like cookie topped with a chocolate frosting and a white frosting in the perfect yin and yang combination.

Plus it just takes you back to all the New York City nostalgia of the classic desserts of the city and the classic television moments of television shows like Seinfeld (I promise your stomach will love these cookies! These are the ULTIMATE Black and White Cookies!).

How To Make Black and White Cookies:

  • You are actually going to ice the bottoms of the cookies with the two frostings! This means a slight pillowy bottom and the icing on the flat side.
  • I ice the vanilla all at once first and if I have extra time I let the white frosting dry a bit before doing all the chocolate which gives you the clean separation between the two colors of frosting.
  • Testing for doneness on these Black and White Cookies is more like a cake because they spring back up when you test them (when done).
  • Try not to chill them in the fridge to speed up the process, they taste different than when you’ve let them cool at room temperature.
  • If you cool them on wire racks you may end up with slight indentations in them because they are a cake-like cookie.
  • If you want to make more than 8 of these cookies I highly suggest cooking them one sheet at a time. Crowding the oven or putting these near the top or the bottom of the oven may impact the texture of them.
  • I’ve made a triple batch before, using three cookie sheets and keeping the batter in a cool spot while waiting for the first batches to finish baking.

New York City Black and White Cookies

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Black and White Cookies will last in an airtight container at room temperature for about a week. Store them with a sheet of parchment paper between each layer, to keep the cookies from sticking together.


Tools Used in the Making of Black and White Cookies:
Silpat: Helps keep the cooking on the bottom of these cookies gentle and preserve the light color of the cookies.
Stand Mixer: When creaming butter and sugar a stand mixer is a huge help in the kitchen, you want to see a visual change in the color of the butter and a stand mixer will get you there in no time.
Ice Cream Scoop: This will ensure your cookies are the perfect size and easy to scoop. I use this scoop for all larger cookies and muffins/cupcakes.Classic Black and White Cookies

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Black and White Cookies

4.84 from 6 votes
  • Yield: 8 cookies
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Course: Dessert
  • Cuisine: American
  • Author: Sabrina Snyder
Black and White Cookies make the perfect addition to your holiday cookie plate and you don't have to travel to New York to get the authentic flavors and those two delicious signature vanilla and chocolate glazes!


  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup well-shaken buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter , softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder


Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and position your baking rack in the middle of the oven.

  2. In a stand mixer cream the butter and sugar together for 2-3 minutes on high until light and fluffy (important don't skimp on the time here) then add in the eggs one at a time until fully combined.

  3. In a small bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt and in a measuring cup mix your buttermilk and vanilla.

  4. To the stand mixer alternate the flour and buttermilk mixture starting with the flour first until all combined (I do about a third of the flour, then half the buttermilk, then ⅓ of the flour, then the rest of the buttermilk, then the rest of the flour).
  5. Using a silpat or a buttered baking sheet scoop ¼ cups of batter (an ice cream scoop is the perfect size here) and give them 2 inches of space between the batter then bake them for 15-17 minutes until they spring back.
  6. To make the icing add the powdered sugar, corn syrup, lemon juice, vanilla, and 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl until smooth then use two bowls to put half into each and add cocoa powder to one and add water until the consistency is the same as the vanilla side again (using teaspoons of water).

  7. To ice the cookies, use the flat side of the cookie and spread each half of the cookie with one of the icings, icing the vanilla on all the cookies first then coming back later after the vanilla has hardened and adding chocolate to them all so you avoid a lot of the colors mixing.

Recipe Notes

Adapted from Gourmet Magazine, February 2002. I've been making this recipe for almost 15 years (that's kind of scary!)

Nutrition Information

Yield: 8 cookies, Amount per serving: 298 calories, Calories: 298g, Carbohydrates: 53g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 40mg, Sodium: 292mg, Potassium: 69mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 36g, Vitamin A: 265g, Vitamin C: 0.2g, Calcium: 12g, Iron: 1.4g

All images and text © for Dinner, then Dessert.

Keyword: black and white cookies

Black and White Cookies with chocolate and vanilla glaze

Black and White Cookies make the perfect addition to your holiday cookie plate and you don't have to travel to New York to get the authentic flavors and those two delicious signature vanilla and chocolate glazes!
Black and White Cookies make the perfect addition to your holiday cookie plate and you don't have to travel to New York to get the authentic flavors and those two delicious signature vanilla and chocolate glazes!
Black and White Cookies make the perfect addition to your holiday cookie plate and you don't have to travel to New York to get the authentic flavors and those two delicious signature vanilla and chocolate glazes!

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  1. I made these cookies before a few times and I live in New York, but hate going to buy them when I know I can bake them myself. My biggest problem is with the vanilla icing I can never get it white enough, it seems to come out transparent. So I add about a 1 Tblsp of melted better along with the lemon juice, corn syrup, icing sugar, and vanilla extract so its a little thicker and sticks better.

  2. Thank you for the recipe! Mine came out maybe too “pillowy” though your appear flatter. What did I do wrong?

    1. Hi! Im so sorry it didn’t come out as desired! It may be something in the ingredients, or maybe the scoop size? Hard to tell.

  3. Adrienne,

    I would like to make the Black and White cookies for a wedding. I see the recipe only makes 8 cookies. Would I be able to make the cookies smaller for a cookie table? If this
    would be possible, can you please give me some suggestions.

    Thank you, Adrienne

    1. I haven’t tested cooking times on smaller cookies, but I would say just test it with 1 tablespoon sized scoops. You want to watch it like a hawk for the timing, you don’t want any color on the cookie itself.

    1. You can always make your own. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, over medium heat, add the sugar, water, cream of tartar, salt and lemon juice. Once the sugar dissolves, turn down the heat and let the syrup simmer steadily until it reduces significantly and becomes a thick syrup that drips off your spatula slowly.

  4. I was wondering if the icing has a hint of a lemon taste? I’ve probably eaten hundreds of these cookies in my life and never tasted lemon before. To avoid the lemon can I use something else?
    Thank you.

  5. I had never had a black and white cookie before but had always wanted to try them. I made these this weekend and they are the best cookie I have had in a long time. These will definitely be made again for my cookie swap.

  6. I just got done making these I had one and I had to have another I’ve tried other recipes these are phenomenal I will definitely be making them again probably as soon as they’re gone my daughter wants me to make them gluten-free for her I will try that thank you

  7. These are by far my families favorite cookie. I grew up with these in Los Angeles CA in Jewish bakeries and my husband in the Bronx NY. Now retired to Orange Beach Alabama with NO bakeries only the fake band in grocery stores. Thank you for this recipe I’ve used many times.

  8. I grew up with these cookies in Austria. I am an art teacher and had a seminar in L.I. and started to talk about cookies. And one of the students brought some the next day. You mentioned they are a staple in New York. To no surprise the cookie was called in Europe “Amerikaner” which means Americans. This got a little long and am so excited that you shared this recipe. Thank you

      1. You can make your own buttermilk by mixing 3/4 teaspoon of white vinegar or lemon juice into 1/3 cup milk. Stir it and then let it sit for 5 minutes. You’ll be good to go! Hope this helps!

        1. I keep The Saco Pantry cultured buttermilk blend on hand. It’s a powder that you add water to. I found it at Walmart. It’s great to use when you don’t have buttermilk or cows milk and vinegar in the house.

  9. Black and white cookies were one of my favorites as a kid. I’d go back and forth nibbling the chocolate side then the vanilla side.

  10. Yum! I love these New York cookies. They are the only ones where I like the vanilla icing better than the chocolate although I wouldn’t turn down either.

    1. Thanks, Barbara! Next time I’m around, we can go share some – I’ll take the chocolate side and you can have the vanilla!