Black and White Cookies

Start spreading the news… Black and white cookies are here!

These giant, cakey, wonderful New York classics have fascinated me for a while, and after dreaming about making them, I finally did and first try they turned out perfect! They’re surprisingly simple to make and impressive to look at. Cookie perfection…

I know I’ve been I post a lot of cookie recipes here, but is there anything wrong with that? I think if I have a talent, it has to be cookies because I get lucky with them almost every time. Granted, cookies are easy to make, and they’re one of the few baked goods that can be messed up and still taste great. And the possibilities are endless. One thing I love about these cookies is their giant size. Of course you can make them smaller but I love to give them that bakery authenticity and make them huge. You can even skip the icing if you’re in a rush or decorate it any which way you please. Just because something’s a classic doesn’t mean you can’t do it your way.

This may look like a messy photo of my hand, but it will make sense once you read the recipe

Black and White Cookies

Giant, cakey, and wonderful!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 11 minutes
Total Time 21 minutes
Author Waverly Tracey


For the dry ingredients

  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup icing/powdered sugar sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

For the wet ingredients

  • 3/4 cup vegan white sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, preferably refined
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy milk (I like soy best)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the icing

  • 3 cups icing/powdered sugar, divided (make sure you have extra on hand as you may need more)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, divided (preferably refined)
  • 5 tablespoons non-dairy milk, divided (make sure you have extra on hand as you may need more)
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted
  • a couple pinches of salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)


For the cookies

  1. Preheat your oven to 375F and line one or two large baking sheets with parchment paper.If you only have one sheet, don't worry because the cookies need to be baked in batches anyways, you'll just have to wait a little longer. 

  2. In a large bowl, add the flour, 1/4 of powdered sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Stir well to combine.

  3. In a separate large or medium bowl, add the sugar, coconut oil, milk and vanilla extract. Using a hand mixer, beat on low until it is well combined. There's too much milk for it to become completely smooth but the coconut oil will break down considerably. Once done, add this mix to the dry and beat on low until just combined, stopping to fold together the mixture if some dry bits stick out. Please do not overmix. 

  4. With clean but dry (or very slightly damp) hands (you don't want to add extra moisture to this if you don't have to) scoop up a large amount of dough, almost the size of your palm, and roll into a ball. Place on the baking sheet, away from any corners and flatten with the side of your hand. You don't want them to be super thin, but around 1/2 inch thick. See the photo above if you need clarification on this. The cookies will for the most part retain the shape you given them here, they will just get spread so keep that in mind. If you want perfect round cookies I would suggest flattening them and then using a cup or bowl to cut off the excess edges. 

  5. You will likely only be able to get 3-4 cookies on a sheet at a time and please give them lots of room to cook properly. Place in the oven and bake for 10-11 minutes. Ideally, you want the bottoms to be slightly golden, to know they're done. Once removed, let them cool on the same sheet for at east 15 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

  6. If you have a second baking sheet ready, repeat all the same steps, or wait until the first batch is on the cooling rack and again, repeat. 

For the icing

  1. In a medium (or large) bowl, add 1 1/2 cups of the powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, 2 tablespoons non-dairy milk, and a pinch of salt. Beat on low until well combined. You don't want it to be drippy wet, but not completely stiff either. Easy to spread but still thin. If you find it's too dry add in extra non-dairy milk, starting with 1 teaspoon. If it's too wet, add in some more powdered sugar, 2 teaspoons at a time, then beat again until smooth. This will be the white icing. 

  2. In a separate medium (or large) bowl, add the other 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, cocoa powder, 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, 3 tablespoons non-dairy milk, a pinch of salt and the optional vanilla, if using. Once again, beat until just combined. Add in more milk, or powdered sugar as needed. This will be the black icing.

  3. Make sure the cookies are completely cool before you decorate them as all the icing will just run off. It doesn't matter which side you decorate. Using a knife or spoon, coat one half with white icing. This will be messy so you may want to put paper towel under the cooling rack. It's best over the cooling rack so the excess can drip off, making for a cleaner cookie. Repeat for the rest of the cookies, decorating only one colour at a time. 

  4. Once the first half is dry, repeat with the black icing, doing your best not to go over the white. If you do, don't fret as you can cover those patches up with more icing

  5. If you did by chance decorate the cookies too early, or the white side looks too thin, add another coat prior to adding the black icing. You should have plenty of icing, with extra, but if not, you can make a half batch more.

  6. Once the last side is dry, serve! These are best day of but still good for 2 days after. The only thing is the icing can dry out so it's best to decorate them the day of eating.