Amerikaner - Cake-Like Cookies Frosted on the Bottom

Cookies in a tray

Johanna Fuoco / Getty Images

Prep: 25 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 45 mins
Servings: 18 servings
Yield: 18 large cookies
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
291 Calories
9g Fat
46g Carbs
4g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 18
Amount per serving
Calories 291
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 12%
Saturated Fat 5g 27%
Cholesterol 49mg 16%
Sodium 109mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 46g 17%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 27g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 63mg 5%
Iron 2mg 10%
Potassium 99mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Amerikaner is a cake-like cookie commonly featured in German bakeries for after school snacks. Vanilla flavored with icing on the bottom of the cookie and served upside-down, the history of Amerikaner in Germany is an interesting one.

There are two theories of how they came to be named Amerikaner. Either they were brought to Germany by the GIs after the war, or they were named Ammoniakaner for ammonium hydrogen carbonate, or "Hirschhornsalz," which was used as a leavening agent. This seems like a stretch to many people.

It is known that New York City has the same cookies called "Black and Whites," and they might first have traveled to the U.S. with Jewish immigrants before traveling back to Germany. In the last decades, they have dropped the chocolate glaze in favor of an all-white glaze.



  • 9 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 3 large eggs

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk

  • 1 tablespoon rum, or 1/4 teaspoon rum extract

  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract, or 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar

  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder


  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar

  • 2 tablespoons rum, or Grand Marnier

Chocolate Glaze:

  • 4 ounces dark chocolate

  • 2 teaspoons unsalted butter

  • 2 tablespoons hot water

  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar

Steps to Make It

Cookie Dough

  1. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing thoroughly after each.

  2. Add 1 tablespoon of vanilla sugar or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract plus rum or rum flavoring, if desired.

  3. Sift the flour with 2 teaspoons baking powder, then add flour to the batter in 3 parts, alternating with the milk. Mix well after each addition.

  4. Mound about 1/4 cup onto a cookie sheet (about 6 to a sheet) and bake at 350 F for 20 minutes.

  5. When still warm, spread the underside with a glaze of confectioners' sugar mixed with rum and water.

  6. Second Option: spread one half with sugar glaze and the other half with melted chocolate glaze.

Chocolate Glaze

  1. Melt chocolate and butter in 45 seconds in the microwave, stirring every 15 seconds.

  2. Stir in confectioners' sugar, then add enough hot water to thin and beat with a spoon until the glaze is smooth.

Eat fresh.