Amerikaner - Cake-Like Cookies Frosted on the Bottom

Close-Up Of Cookies In Tray
Johanna Fuoco / EyeEm / Getty Images
  • 45 mins
  • Prep: 25 mins,
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Yield: 18 large cookies (18 servings)
Ratings (9)

Amerikaner are cake-like cookies you find in German bakeries for after school snacks. They are vanilla flavored, with icing on the bottom of the cookie and served upside-down. For the history of Amerikanern in Germany, see below.

What You'll Need

  • Cookies:
  • 9 tablespoons/125 grams butter (unsalted)
  • 1 cup/200 grams sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup/250 ml 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 cup/450 grams flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder (double acting)​
  • Glaze:
  • 1 cup/120 grams sugar (powdered)
  • 2 tablespoons rum (or Grand Marnier)
  • Chocolate Glaze:
  • 4 ounces/100 grams chocolate (dark)
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons water (hot)
  • 1/2 cup sugar (powdered)

How 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 after each 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.

Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
Calories 254
Total Fat 10 g
Saturated Fat 3 g
Unsaturated Fat 4 g
Cholesterol 53 mg
Sodium 216 mg
Carbohydrates 37 g
Dietary Fiber 2 g
Protein 5 g
(The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)