NYC-style Pumpkin Black and White Cookies Recipe

SomethingSwanky is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you.

NYC-style Black & White Cookies;  soft, cake-y cookies the size of your face with vanilla and chocolate icing on top.

I fell in love with the classic Zabar’s Black & White Cookie before I ever even set foot in NYC. I was impressed with it’s fame before I had even tasted one (primarily thanks to Seinfeld), and so three years ago I blindly attempted a copycat recipe on my own. You can see it here (but please don’t judge me for the photos!).

I liked those so much that I also made Black & White Donuts and a Black & Pink Valentine’s day version. (You guys– those donuts!!! Seriously. Make them.)

And then, finally, my little family made a trip up to the Big Apple earlier this year, and I got to sink my teeth into a big, soft, totally authentic NYC bakery-style Black & White cookie. Sadly, we didn’t make it to Zabar’s for the real deal. But these cookies are all over the place up there in lots of different bakeries and restaurants. They come in all shapes and sizes and textures. And the icing seemed to be a little bit different at every place we tried (and, uh, don’t ask how many stops we made to sample cookies… mmkay?).

I loved them all. With every bit of my heart. And guess what? My homemade version was actually pretty spot-on!

The only change I would make is to keep them chilled after icing them. It seemed like most places selling Black & White cookies in NYC kept them chilled, and I loved the firm texture it gave the icing and the cookie. (Although, I just have to say that I’m not ignorant to the fact that a chilled cookie in a bakery is not a fresh cookie, which isn’t really okay…. buuuuuuut Imma let that slide in this case.)

NYC-style Black & White Cookies;  soft, cake-y cookies the size of your face with vanilla and chocolate icing on top.

Anyway. ‘Tis the season to make all things pumpkin, and I’ve had this idea rolling around in my head all year. So I’m super excited to finally be posting it!

Full disclosure: the texture of these pumpkin cookies is quite different than a traditional black & white. So please don’t make them expecting it to be exactly the same! These cookies are incredibly fluffy and cake-y, much lighter than a bakery-style black & white cookie. But the icing is exactly the same, and it’s basically the You’re going to love it!

You can eat these at room temp or chilled, either way they’re super good and a fun fall twist on a New York favorite!

NYC-style Black & White Cookies; soft, cake-y cookies the size of your face with vanilla and chocolate icing on top.

NYC-style Pumpkin Black and White Cookies

Yield: 14 cookies


For the cookies:

  • 1 yellow cake mix, dry
  • 15 ounces pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp vanilla

For the icings:

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder


Preheat oven to 375ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cake mix, pumpkin puree, milk, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla until smooth.
  2. Scoop 1/4 cup of the batter onto the lined baking sheet (I used an ice cream scoop with a release lever). You should be able to fit 6 cookies on a baking sheet comfortably. Tap the baking sheet lightly on the counter to spread and flatten the batter just a bit.
  3. Bake for 12 minutes or until the bottoms are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cookie comes out clean.
  4. Let the cookies cool completely on the baking sheet before removing to a wire rack.

For the icings:

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together th powdered sugar, corn syrup, lemon juice, and vanilla until smooth. Add a tablespoon of water to thin the icing if desired.
  2. Spoon half of the icing into a second medium mixing bowl. Add the cocoa powder and a tablespoon of water and whisk until smooth. Add another tablespoon of water to thin the icing if desired.
  3. Ice the cookies, half chocolate and half vanilla with an offset spatula. Let cookies sit out to allow icing to set. Chill if desired.


Have you made a Something Swanky recipe? Post it on Instagram and tag me @somethingswanky or use the hashtag #somethingswankyrecipes. I’d love to re-post!


Be sure to also follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube, and in the Something Swanky Dessert Recipes Facebook group!


Recommended Pins:

Pistachio Black and White Cookies

Black and White Cookie Cake

Perfect Sugar Cookies

Soft and Chewy White Chocolate Chip Cookies


Black & White Cookies

Black and White Cookies


Black & White Donuts

Black and white donuts


« Previous Post

Easy Peanut Butter Reese’s Cup Fudge Recipe

Next Post »

Cake Batter Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

8 thoughts on “NYC-style Pumpkin Black and White Cookies Recipe”

Leave a Comment

Skip to Recipe