Black and White Cookies
Black and White Cookies

Black and White Cookies are soft, cakey cookies covered in a thick layer of frosting flavored with both vanilla and chocolate.

In this recipe

  • Tips and tricks for baking black and white cookies
  • How to make Jet Black and Brilliant White Glaze
  • How to spice up black and white cookies
  • Storage Instructions
  • More frosted cookie recipes

Black and White Cookies are soft, cakey cookies covered in a thick layer of frosting flavored with both vanilla and chocolate.

Whenever I see her at a gathering, the black and white icing on the cake seems to indicate elegant sophistication and that there is certainly something to celebrate.

Don’t let black and white limit you though, these cookies are easy to dress up for a holiday or themed party with colorful frosting, sprinkles or edible glitter.

Tips and tricks for baking black and white cookies

Black and white cookies might seem intimidating, but they’re easier than you think. Here are a few tips to ensure delicious cookies and professional-looking, clean lines in the frosting.

  • Use ingredients that are at room temperature for the dough. When the ingredients are at the same temperature, they bind and emulsify better.
  • Take the butter out of the fridge first. Don’t be tempted to heat the butter, if it melts too much the cookies will spread further.
  • For even cookies with a uniform, round shape, use a 1/4 cup (2 ounce) cookie scoop to portion. Space them further apart on the baking sheets than you normally would. If your pan normally fits 12 biscuits, only place six biscuits on a tray.
  • Allow the cookies to cool completely before frosting or the frosting will melt.
  • Ice the flat bottoms of the cookies, not the rounded tops.
  • The best tool for spreading the glaze is a small offset spatula. An offset spatula provides the precision you need to apply an even coat of glaze with a sharp, straight line. If you don’t have an offset spatula, a butter knife works almost as well.
  • I find it easier to glaze the cookies color by color and chill them in between so the glaze sets. Apply the white frosting to half of the cookie, then place the cookies in the fridge for 15 minutes. Allow the white icing to set before adding the black icing. It helps to get a clean line and prevents the colors from running together.

How to make Jet Black and Brilliant White Glaze

If you want the white glaze to be brilliant white and the black glaze to be jet black, you can increase the contrast with a few substitutions.

While regular vanilla extract won’t color the frosting too much, you can substitute clear vanilla extract if you want the frosting to be all white.

This recipe calls for Dutch cocoa in the glaze because it’s darker than the red-brown color of natural cocoa powder. You can use natural cocoa if you have it on hand; it just won’t be as black. To make jet-black frosting, try black cocoa powder, which is an extra-dark, ultra-Dutch processed cocoa.

How to spice up black and white cookies

Black and white may be formal attire, but don’t feel constrained by tradition. Whether you’re making these for Christmas parties, New Year’s Eve, or any other fun celebration, it’s easy to add some glamor to black and white cookies.

Change colors: Bring your cookies from black and white to technicolor with food coloring. Gel food coloring works best with this type of icing. With liquid food coloring, you need to use a lot more. You can also try natural food coloring like matcha powder for green, or freeze-dried fruit powder or fruit juices for other colors. Be sure to adjust the thickness with more or less milk to balance the added liquid or powder color.

Use sprinkles or edible glitter: Cover the cookies with some sprinkles, edible glitter, or shine dust. Add the sprinkles or glitter before the frosting sets so they stick. Apply shine dust to the frosting after it has set. Shine Dust can be applied with a dry brush or mix a few drops of vodka into the Shine Dust and apply with a brush.

Storage Instructions

Because of their cake-like texture, black and white cookies are best eaten the same day they are baked. They’ll keep for up to 3 days, stored in an airtight container at room temperature, or refrigerated for up to 7 days.

If you want to prepare them in advance, it’s better to freeze the cookies after baking. Preparing and chilling the dough ahead of time will not work. The dough should be baked immediately as the baking soda activates once it is wet.

Black and White Cookies can be frozen, frosted, or unfrosted for up to 3 months. Place them between pieces of parchment and store in an airtight container or ziplock bag. Let them thaw in the fridge overnight, then bring them to room temperature before serving.

More frosted cookie recipes

  • Lofthouse style soft frosted sugar cookies
  • Best Sugar Cookies
  • Gingerbread Cookie Bars
  • Christmas Sugar Cookies

Black and White Cookies

preparation time
30 minutes

cooking time
16 minutes

rest time
15 minutes

total time
61 minutes

12 servings


For the cookies

  • 1 3/4 cups (210G) all purpose flour

  • 1/4 cup (28G) cornstarch

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt

  • 10 tablespoons (140G) unsalted butterroom temperature

  • 1 cup (200G) granulated sugar

  • 2 big eggs

  • 1/2 cup (113G) sour cream

  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 lemonseasonedOptional

For the icing

  • 3 cups (340G) powdered sugar

  • 6 tablespoon whole milkdivided

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/4 cup (21G) unsweetened cocoa powder processed in the Netherlands

special equipment

  • putty


  1. Preheat oven and prepare baking sheets:

    Position oven racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

  2. Combine the dry ingredients:

    In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

  3. Beat butter and sugar:

    In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

  4. Incorporate eggs:

    Add the eggs, one at a time, to the butter and sugar mixture, beating after each addition until fully incorporated. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. The dough should be smooth and fluffy.

  5. Alternative dry ingredients and sour cream:

    Add half of the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until incorporated. Continue on low speed and pour in the sour cream, vanilla extract and lemon zest (if using).

    Stop the mixer and use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.

    Add the rest of the dry ingredients and continue to mix on low speed until well combined and no pockets of flour remain. The batter will be very thick, much thicker than cake batter but not quite as thick as cookie batter.

  6. Spooning cookies onto baking sheets:

    Using a 2-ounce cookie scoop or a greased dry 1/4-cup measuring cup, scoop the cookies onto the prepared baking sheets. Space them at least 3 inches apart, 6 biscuits per tray to give them room to spread out.

  7. Bake cookies:

    Place the baking sheets in the oven and bake for 16 minutes. Halfway through baking, rotate the sheets between the oven racks until edges are golden brown and tops spring back when touched gently.

  8. Cool cookies:

    Remove pans from oven and place baking sheets on wire racks to cool 5 minutes, then place cookies on wire racks to cool completely before glazing.

  9. Make the white glaze:

    In a large bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, 4 tablespoons milk, and vanilla extract. The glaze should be thick but spreadable, similar to peanut butter. If it’s too thick, add more milk, one teaspoon at a time, until you get the right consistency.

  10. Make the black icing:

    Transfer half of the white glaze (about 2/3 cup) to a medium bowl. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons milk and cocoa powder to the glaze in the medium bowl. Stir until everything is smooth.

    The chocolate icing should be the same consistency as the white icing, slightly thicker than Nutella. If it’s too thick, add more milk, one teaspoon at a time, until you get the right consistency.

  11. Glaze half of the cookies with white icing:

    Use an offset spatula to spread about 1/2 tablespoon of white icing on half of the flat (bottom) side of each cookie. Place the cookies in the fridge for 15 minutes to allow the white icing to set before adding the black icing to keep them from slumping.

    There will be extra icing, so feel free to be generous. Leftover frosting can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days and used to glaze everything from cinnamon rolls to scones.

  12. Glaze remaining half of cookie with black icing:

    Spread about 1/2 tablespoon of chocolate icing on the other half of each cookie.

  13. Allow setting and serving of cookies:

    Before serving, allow the glaze to fully set at room temperature, about 1 hour.

nutritional information (per serving)
336 calories
13g Fat
53g carbohydrates
4g protein
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