Turn a beloved cookie into a cake! Black and White Cookie Cake will appeal to the child in you. The best part….chocolate & vanilla icing in every slice!
So, my daughter’s husband’s brother was coming to visit for his birthday, and he wanted a cake.
Was it a chocolate raspberry cake with chocolate frosting (my cake of choice)? Too pedestrian. White cake with pink strawberry frosting and rainbow sprinkles? For a 30-year old man, perhaps not.
No, he wanted a cookie…a Black and White cookie…I mean a Black and White Cookie Cake. So essentially, this cookie walks into a cake…
What is a Black and White cookie?
For the uninitiated (ok…me), a Black and White cookie are those you see in bakeries and corner delis that have black and white icing (one on each side) on a soft, cake-like cookie. Usually jumbo-sized, these cookies have a slight lemony flavor to balance out the sweetness of the icings.
So why a Black and White Cookie cake? When they were kids, my Son-in-Law and his brother would have Black and White cookies on the train when returning from visiting their dad at work in New York City, so…good times, good memories.
For the record, these aren’t my go-to cookies when I head into a bakery (give me something in the rugelach family, please). But I take requests.
Turn a Black and White Cookie into Cake
What is a Black and White Cake then? Is it vanilla cake and chocolate cake?
No, it's all about the icings.
The idea is to make a light, spongy yellow cake (the "cookie" part) and frost it with chocolate icing on the one side and vanilla icing on the other (the filling are the opposite icings).
What you want is for every slice to have chocolate and vanilla icing in it.
Apparently, turning this iconic cookie into a full-blown recipe for Black and White Cake is a thing. I adapted Take a Megabite's Black & White Cookie Cake recipe for my purposes.
Originally written to yield a 6-inch cake, I doubled the amounts to make a full-sized Black and White Cookie Cake recipe and use two 9-inch cake pans.
When you're serving two over-6-foot-tall men (and three other shorter people), you want to be sure to have enough!
I had ** just** enough icing when I made the icing recipe to cover the black and white sides, and that’s with really scraping up the last bits to get the cake covered. You might want to make 1-1/2 times the icing recipe, just to be safe.
How to level a cake without a knife
I've learned about an amazing tool for cake bakers...Wilton’s Bake-Even Strips. They insure that cake layers stay level as they bake.
I'm not sponsored to tell you about this neat tool...I just want to pass along this tip.
When a cake layer bakes, it develops a dome on top. If you want to stack those layers, you have to level the cake by cutting off the dome, otherwise the layered cake sags. This effect was really noticeable when I made my Checkerboard Cake.
The doming happens because the outside of the cake bakes and sets faster than the inside, so the middle has more time to rise. The Bake-Even Strips solve this problem by insulating the outside of the cake, thus allowing the cake to bake evenly.
End result…level cakes! (and there was much rejoicing)
Bottom line: use these strips…you won’t be disappointed!
Creating the layers
As I mentioned before, you're not making a chocolate and vanilla layer cake. That simplifies things considerably.
The trick to a light cake is to not to overdo it when blending the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Alternating the buttermilk with the flour mixture is also important as it keeps the batter moist as the flour is mixed in.
A Black and White Birthday Cake
Since I didn’t have much experience with how Black and White cookies are supposed to taste, I was eager to see if the birthday boy approved. The results were big smiles and lots of “yummm”-s.
The cake was light and springy, and the icings were sweet without being cloying.
Black and White Cake (like Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake) may be just the thing to serve a birthday boy (or girl) who has a hankering to eat a childhood favorite cookie as a cake.
Hmmm...what other cookies can we play with? (stares dreamily off into space...)
Slainté! L’chaim! Cheers!
p.s. The Earth has gone once more 'round the sun since I started this blog, my 2nd blog-versary, as it were. Thanks for your continued support for this, my labor of love. Here's to another year of happy baking and happy tasting!
Black and White Cookie Cake
- 2¾ cups all-purpose flour, (11¾ oz, 330g)
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (8 oz, 227g)
- 2 cup granulated sugar, (14 oz, 400g)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup buttermilk, or 4 oz each of sour cream and water, see Recipe Notes (8 oz, 227g)
Black & White Icing
- 3 cups powdered sugar, (12 oz, 336g)
- 2 Tbsp light corn syrup
- 1 to 2 Tbsp lemon juice, adjust to taste (see Recipe Notes)
- ½ tsp vanilla extract, add more to taste
- 4 to 8 tsp water
- 4 Tbsp cocoa powder, (¾ oz, 22g)
- ½ tsp espresso powder
- Line the bottom of two 9-inch round cake pans with buttered parchment paper. Position rack in the middle of oven and preheat to 350°F (177°C).
- Soak the Bake-Even Strips in cold water for 5 minutes, then rap around the outside of the cake pans.
- For the cake: Stir together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl, mixing well.
- Place the butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat on medium speed for about 5 minutes, or until very soft and light. Beat in the vanilla, then beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Reduce the speed to low and beat in one-third of the flour mixture, then half the buttermilk (or sour cream/water mixture), stopping and scraping down the bowl and beater after each addition. Beat in another third of the flour, then the remaining buttermilk, stopping and scraping again. Finally, beat in the remaining flour mixture.
- Scrape the bowl well with a large rubber spatula.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pans and smooth the tops.
- Bake the layers for about 30 to 35 minutes, until they are firm and a toothpick inserted in the center emerges clean. Cool the layers in the pans on racks for 5 minutes, then unmold onto racks to finish cooling before icing.
- Trim the top of each cake layer to flatten, if needed. You won't need to trim them if you follow my advice about the Bake-Even Strips...I'm not kidding, they really work!
- For the icing: Stir together powdered sugar, corn syrup, lemon juice, vanilla, and 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl until smooth.
- Transfer half of icing to another bowl and stir in cocoa, adding more water, ½ teaspoon at a time, to thin to same consistency as white icing.
- Finish the cake: Ice the bottom layer half white and half black. Place the top layer on top using cake lifters.
- Frost the opposite sides of the top layer white and black so you’ll get both black & white icing in every bite. Serve & enjoy!