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
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
254 Calories
10g Fat
37g Carbs
5g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Amount per serving
Calories 254
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 12%
Saturated Fat 3g 17%
Cholesterol 53mg 18%
Sodium 216mg 9%
Total Carbohydrate 37g 13%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Protein 5g
Calcium 74mg 6%
*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 Amerikanern in Germany is an interesting one.


  • Cookies:
  • 9 tablespoons butter (unsalted)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon rum (or 1/4 teaspoon rum extract)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract ​(or 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar)
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder (double acting)​
  • Glaze:
  • 1 cup (powdered)
  • 2 tablespoons rum (or Grand Marnier)
  • Chocolate Glaze:
  • 4 ounces chocolate (dark)
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons water (hot)
  • 1/2 cup sugar (powdered)

Steps to Make It

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 US 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.

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 three 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 powdered 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 powdered sugar, then add enough hot water to thin and beat with a spoon until the glaze is smooth.

Eat fresh.