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  • Writer's pictureBarth Bakery

Black and White Cookies

Updated: May 18, 2020

With a distinctive taste and look, this iconic New York City deli dessert is the perfect marriage of cake and cookie, and chocolate and vanilla. With a perfect tender crumb, these gigantic domed cake-like cookies are soft and pillowy with a thick layer of sweet, glossy chocolate and vanilla icings. These buttery cookies are full of vanilla flavor with a hint of lemon for the perfect yin and yang combination. It’s no wonder these classic cookies are a mainstay at bakeries and shops across New York City.

Soft and Tender Black and White Cookies

Cake-like Black and White Cookies

Quarantine got you stuck at home?! Barth Bakery has created a new recipe series called “Pandemic Pantry,” which features simple, yet delicious, recipes made from basic pantry and fridge ingredients many already have without having to go to the store. Baking is a great way to practice social distancing, and can be used as a fun homeschooling lesson (math, science, and reading!).

Makes 12 large cookies



  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour

  • ¾ tsp baking powder

  • ½ tsp salt

  • 10 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 large egg, room temperature

  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

  • 1 tsp lemon zest

  • ⅓ cup full-fat sour cream


  • 3 cups + 2 Tbsp confectioners’ sugar, sifted and

  • 4 Tbsp whole milk, divided

  • 1 Tbsp light corn syrup

  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract

  • 2½ tsp fresh lemon juice

  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

  • Black food coloring, optional



  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Set aside.

  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg, vanilla extract, and lemon zest and beat on high speed until combined, about 1 minute, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

  4. Gradually add the dry ingredients on low speed, alternating with the sour cream, until incorporated. (The batter will be very thick.)

  5. Using a lightly greased ¼-cup dry measuring cup, drop the dough into mounds 4 inches apart onto the prepared baking sheets. (There should only be 6 cookies on one baking sheet.)

  6. Bake the cookies for about 16-18 minutes, or until the edges are very lightly browned. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for about 5 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before icing.


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk the confectioners’ sugar, 3 Tablespoons milk, corn syrup, and vanilla, together until combined.

  2. Transfer half of the icing to a separate small bowl and add the remaining tablespoon of milk, the cocoa powder, and black food coloring (if desired). Whisk together until the cocoa is incorporated.

  3. Add the lemon juice and remaining 2 tablespoons of confectioners' sugar to the remaining plain icing and whisk together until combined.

  4. Spread the lemon icing onto the flat side of half of each cookie. Refrigerate the cookies for about 15 minutes or until the icing is set. (This will prevent the icings from bleeding into each other.)

  5. Once the lemon icing is set, spread the chocolate icing onto the other half of each cookie and allow the icing to set completely before serving, about 1 hour.

Looking for more simple recipes made with basic pantry ingredients? Check out these other recipes in Barth Bakery's Pandemic Pantry series:

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