Black and White Cookies

5 from 1 vote

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Classic Black and White Cookies are a New York City staple and for good reason. They are light, cake-like and frosted with half chocolate/half vanilla icing. So addicting and delicious.

The story of the famous black and white cookie is one that is believed to date back to 1902 when Bavarian immigrants John and Justine Glaser brought it to their neighborhood bake shop in New York. Their cookie was well-known and became a major part of the community with thick layers of fluffy frosting. This particular cookie has become iconic in NYC and is offered at many bakeries.

hand holding POV of one large black and white iced cookie exactly half and half split of each color
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Black and White Cookies

Mario Batali said, “In America, I would say New York and New Orleans are the two most interesting food towns…” I would have to agree. The food scene in NYC is off the charts. So much to discover in the food department alone. I was on the hunt for the perfect black and white cookie recipe and I think that I have found it. 

When it comes to black and white cookies there is no need to pick a favorite flavor because you get the best of both worlds here. The chocolate and vanilla compliment each other so well all while looking stylish. 

Black and white cookies are easy to make at home and if you are baking with kids, they will enjoy icing them. The cookies themselves only take about 20 minutes but the icing will take some time to set up properly. Pro tip: when you begin icing the cookie, make sure you frost the flat side of the cookie versus the round portion. 

black and white iced cookies exactly half and half split of each color on a cooling rack

Ingredients

  • Flour
  • Butter
  • Sugar
  • Egg
  • Vanilla
  • Sour cream

For the Glaze:

  • Powdered Sugar
  • Whole milk
  • Corn syrup
  • Vanilla
  • Cocoa powder

Recipe Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Set aside.
  2. Using your stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar on medium speed.
  3. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat well to combine.
  4. Next add 1/3 of the flour mixture, mix to combine.
  5. Add half the sour cream and stir to combine.
  6. Add another 1/3 of flour, then the last of the sour cream, and then the last of the flour, mixing after each addition and scraping down the sides as needed.
  7. Drop mounds of dough 3 inches apart on prepared sheets.
  8. Bake 15 to 18 minutes.
top view black and white iced cookies exactly half and half split of each color on a cooling rack

Frequently Asked Questions:

Why are black and white cookies so popular?

Why are black and white cookies so popular?
Not only are black and white cookies delicious in taste but they have also been used in the past to promote unity by famous people like Obama and from television shows like Seinfeld. 

Can I freeze black and white cookies?

When I freeze these cookie I prefer to freeze them unfrosted or just freeze the prepared cookie dough. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Allow the cookies to thaw completely before frosting.

Why do recipes call for room temperature eggs?

When an egg is brought to room temperature it tends to mix better with the other ingredients. If you have the time, I’d bring the egg to room temperature before baking.

black and white iced cookies exactly half and half split of each color on a cooling rack

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black and white iced cookies exactly half and half split of each color on a cooling rack
5 from 1 vote

Black and White Cookies

These giant Classic Black and White Cookies are a New York City staple and for good reason. They are light, cake-like and frosted with half chocolate/half vanilla icing. So addicting and delicious.
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 2 hours
Servings: 12 large cookies

Ingredients 

For the Cookies:

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter,, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/3 cup sour cream

For the Glaze:

  • 5 cups powdered sugar,, sifted
  • 7-9 tablespoons whole milk
  • 2 tablespoon corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa powder,, sifted

Instructions 

  • Get your oven ready by moving the racks so that they are in the upper-middle and lower-middle positions (we’re going to bake two pans of cookies at time) and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Prepare two baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper or baking mats.
  • In a medium bowl whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Set aside.
  • Using your stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar on medium speed until it’s light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the eggs and vanilla and beat well to combine.
  • Reduce the speed to low and add 1/3 of the flour mixture, mix to combine.
  • Add half the sour cream and stir to combine.
  • Add another 1/3 of flour, then the last of the sour cream, and then the last of the flour, mixing after each addition and scraping down the sides as needed.
  • Mix one last time to make sure no dry spots remain in the dough.
  • Use a well greased 1/4 cup measuring cup to drop mounds of dough 3 inches apart on the prepared sheets.
  • Bake until the edges are lightly browned, 15 to 18 minutes, switching and rotating the pans half way through baking.
  • Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before removing them to a wire rack to finish cooling. Let the cookies cool completely before you add the icing.

For the glaze:

  • Whisk the sugar, 7 tablespoons of milk, corn syrup, vanilla, and salt together in a bowl until smooth. Add additional milk as needed to make a moderately thin glaze.
  • Remove 1 cup of the glaze to a second small bowl and add the cocoa powder. Whisk the cocoa powder and 2 more tablespoons of milk together, adding additional milk as needed to make a spreadable glaze.

To ice the cookies:

  • Work with 1 cookie at a time. Spread about 1 tablespoon of vanilla glaze over half of the flat bottom of the cookie. Stick the cookies in the fridge until the glaze sets.
  • Glaze the other half of the cookie with the chocolate glaze.
  • Let the glaze dry for at least an hour before serving.

Notes

  • I think these cookies are best the second day when the glaze is fully dry.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container. They store very well.
  • This recipe is from America’s Test Kitchen Perfect Cookie book (it’s such a good book!), highly recommend.

Nutrition

Calories: 448kcal, Carbohydrates: 85g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 0.4g, Cholesterol: 44mg, Sodium: 202mg, Potassium: 70mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 69g, Vitamin A: 365IU, Vitamin C: 0.1mg, Calcium: 38mg, Iron: 1mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

Black and White cookies are such a gem that will whisk you away to the city that never sleeps. They are beautiful, tasty and really simple!

About Melissa

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2 Comments

  1. Hi, I need a little advice… I made these last night and they came out like crispy cookies rather than little cakes. The dough just spread out on the baking sheet and they were completely flat. What do you think I may have done wrong? Thanks, I’d love to get it right, B&W cookies are my absolute favorite!

    1. You probably just measured your flour a little light, add more next time, that should help with the spreading!