Favorite Black and White Cookies

I love Black and White Cookies and have tried several recipes over the years including one from Epicurious, Martha Stewart, Baked Bakery and another one from Salon.  They were all good, but at the end of the day I’d have to say my favorite was this hybrid.

Black and white cookies

The others were all very good in their own way — some denser, some crumblier, but my favorite is slightly cakier with a lot of flavor from vanilla and a hint of lemon.  As for the icing, I really like the one I’ve posted, but if you have a better one let me know.

Gourmet Cookie (Epicurious)
black and white cookies
My favorite right now! Cakier than the others and less crumbly, but moist and delicious. Less lemony and more kid friendly. Maybe. Only tested on one kid.
Baked   Explorations                        Black and White Cookies Very good cookie. Moist, but not too cakey. Had the lightness about it that one would expect in a Black & White, and lots of lemony flavor.
Salon.com Black and White Cookie Recipe        Black and White Cookie This cookie tasted almost exactly like a New York deli Black & White, but after trying some other recipes with more butter, I’d choose them over this cookie. These did have a very crumbly, light texture, though. My mother loved them.
Martha Stewart Baking Handbook Recipe         black and white cookies This cookie was higher in fat than the others. It was richer, denser and very filling. Because the cookies are so rich, I think they’d be ideal as “minis”, but when made regular size, they’re almost too heavy.



Favorite Black and White Cookies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
My favorite recipe for Black and White Cookies
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 8
  • 1 1/4 cups (5. 7 oz) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest or a tiny dash of lemon oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 large egg at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk or equivalent buttermilk powder (SACO) plus water**
  • 1/2 pound (1 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons) powdered sugar
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons whole milk plus more as needed
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon of corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon Hershey's Dark unsweetened cocoa powder
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Stir together flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl with a hand held electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Beat in the lemon zest and vanilla, then add egg, beating until combined.
  4. Add the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture alternately by hand until you have a smooth batter.
  5. Spoon 1/4 cups of batter about 2 inches apart onto a large baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake in middle of oven until tops are puffed and pale golden, and cookies spring back when touched, 15 to 17 minutes.
  6. Transfer with a metal spatula to a rack and chill (to cool quickly), about 5 minutes (or let them cool at room temperature).
  7. Make the Black & White Icing. Whisk the powdered sugar, milk, cream, corn syrup and vanilla together in a large bowl. Measure out about 1/3 cup and put it in a separate bowl
  8. Add the cocoa powder and 1/2 teaspoon of water to the 1/3 cup that you measured out and stir until smooth. If the chocolate frosting seems too thick, thin it with a little water or milk.
  9. Transfer the frosting to disposable decorating bags that do not have the tip snipped off. You won't need a decorating tip. When ready to use, snip off the tip of the decorating bags and pipe half moons of each flavor over the cookies.
  10. Makes about 8 to 10 cookies (I usually get 8)


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  1. Meredith says

    Have you tried David Lebovitz’s version. I’ve heard that they’re very good, too……

  2. says

    I would love to make these cookies…the only thing stopping me is the that they need to be iced with an offset spatula and the heavy cream which I don’t have. Your cookies look really good.

  3. says

    It’s good to know that you’ve tested and compared so many black and whites. When your Fiori Di Sicilia arrives will you make more or will you be tired of them by then?

  4. Upstate NY Native says

    Now THIS looks like a true B&W! Less crumbly and more cakey is a very good description!

  5. says

    Thanks for taking the time to bake all these variations! When I was growing up in Chicago, our neighborhood bakery had cookies that were very similar to black and whites, though I don’t remember them having lemon flavor. We called them “cake-cookies” and I just loved them! I remember the icing on these to be thicker, more like a buttercream (maybe they were being lazy and using up their extra cake frosting? or my memory might be way off) I could *either* get “black” or “white”, but not both together.

    The closest I’ve come to finding something similar is a vanilla whoopie pie recipe that I found, though I think I will try a couple of these (minus the lemon) to see if they are better.

  6. says

    I love when you do these comparisons. Been a crazy week, and I haven’t left many comments, but I have been stopping by. I don’t think I’d like the lemony flavor either.

  7. says

    I love this recap! Adding the gourmet black & white to my “to bake” list

  8. says

    Stephanie, thanks for the heads up! I saw the episode and the cookie, but wasn’t sure they were going to post the recipe since it’s the second chocolate chip cookie. I see that they did! Woo hoo.

  9. says

    I love it when you taste test recipes for us. Next time I want to make black & white cookies, I’ll know where to come for a recipe!

  10. Lourdes says

    Mine were very cakey. Were yours flat? Mine looked like muffin tops. The texture of the dough was more like a scone, than a cookie. What did I do wrong?

  11. says

    Lourdes, this recipe makes a fairly cakey (yet light) cookie. My dough was like very thick cupcake batter, though. It wasn’t dry like a scone. Did you accidentally use too much flour? Could you have packed it into the cup a little too much? Or maybe they just weren’t what you were expecting.

  12. says

    Awesome, awesome recipe. My vanilla frosting was a bit runny, but I added some more sugar and it was fine. Thanks for posting. Your comparisons are the best!

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