German Amerikaner cookies

German Amerikaners or black and white cookies


When I lived in Germany, I got so addicted to Amerikaners or black and white cakey cookies  that I had to buy them from the bakery every other day.

So every time I miss my time there, these are one of the recipes I bake.

I understood that Amerikaners were brought by Americans (hence the name) at the end of WWII. They’re known as black and white cookies in their original country.

Amerikaners are so easy to bake, which is a bonus. However, they’re best consumed within 48 hrs at max. They’re are their very best the same day you bake them.

Giant Amerikaners I used to buy in Germany

Makes about 15 medium Amerikaners
Prep: 10 min. Baking: 15 min

For the cookie 

  • 100g butter at room temperature
  • 100g of caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp of vanilla sugar or 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp of lemon zest (optional)
  • 2 eggs, standard size
  • 4 tbspsmilk
  • 200 g of flour
  • 50 g cornflour
  • 2 tsps of baking powder

For the white icing

  • 40g icing sugar
  • About 1 teaspoon of lemon juice (icing should have a thick consistency)

For the black icing

  • 40g icing sugar, sifted
  • About 3 leveled tablespoons of 100% cocoa powder, sifted
  • About 1 teaspoon of lemon juice (icing should have a thick consistency)

In a large bowl, beat the butter, sugar, salt and vanilla sugar until creamy. I do add lemon zest but it’s optional.

Add the eggs one at a time then the milk while whisking.

In another bowl mix the flour, cornstarch and baking powder, add the powder mixture to the liquid batter, whisk until you have a nice smooth and homogeneous paste. The texture is somewhere like Victoria sponge or bundt cake batter.

Preheat oven to 180 ° C and line up a large baking sheet with baking paper.

Either scoop some of the mix with an icing scoop and place on the baking sheet or use two spoons to do the job. Leave some space between each one as they slightly spread.

Bake for about 15 minutes or until just nicely golden from the edges and just about from the center.

You should expect the dough to slightly spread in the beginning then inflate from the center as it reaches the end of baking time.

Set aside on the bumpy side to cool.


Prepare each icing separately by gradually adding the lemon juice to the dry ingredients while stirring to a thick consistency. Cover them both until you need them.

Smear the white icing on half of the flat side and try to keep the edges neat. Do the same for the black icing.

You can also have an all white iced cookie or an all black version. Also, you may make patterns as shown here on Dr. Oetker’s site.



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