Today, traditional black and white cookies get a Halloween makeover with orange, white, and black frosting.

This black and white cookie recipe stays soft for several days because I use potato in the dough. You will love the results.

I was honored to develop this recipe for the Idaho Potato Commission. I received compensation for this post.

Another fun Halloween recipe is my malted milk bar spider cookie.

For ease of browsing, here are all of my cookie and bar recipes. Thanks for stopping by!

Close up of a black and white cookie with a spider web decoration for Halloween.

Why Use Potatoes in Cookies?

I love a good cookie, and I love a good challenge, so when my friends at the Idaho® Potato Commission asked me if I could come up with a Halloween cookie recipe using Idaho Potatoes, I was all in.

The magical thing about using potatoes in baking is because of the starch granules that swell up with moisture when baked, steamed or boiled, everything stays soft and fresh for a relatively long time.

And what better way to put potatoes to use than in huge, soft black and white cookies for Halloween.

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You guys know what a black and white cookie is, yes? They usually look like this:

A traditionally iced black and white cookie.
Make black and white cookies for any occasion, or give them a Halloween makeover. Either way, they’re tender, cakey, and delicious!

What Are Black and White Cookies?

Iced in half white icing and half chocolate, black and whites are not made with cookie dough so much as they are with a less-runny cake batter.

They fall into the category of “drop cakes:” a thick batter dropped by the scoop or spoonful and then baked like cookies.

Black and white cookies get a bit browned on the bottoms and stay fairly pale on top, but then they psych you out because you turn them upside down to ice them on the flat side so the icing doesn’t run off before it sets up.

Tops become bottoms and bottoms become tops. Sneaky!

If these cookies sound like something you want to make, you can skip down to the recipe.

If you do make them, I have a favor to ask:

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How To Keep Your Cookies Fresher Longer

The downside of a traditional black and white cookie is that they tend to get stale quickly.

But add some mashed potato into the mix, and not only do you add a solid amount of extra nutrition, you also get the benefit of those plump starch granules keeping everything nice and moist.

You’ll have a good 3-4 days of soft, delicious cookies, as long as you keep them tightly sealed.

For longer storage, you’ll want to freeze them, but I’m pretty sure they will disappear in Short Order!

Testing These Black and White Halloween Cookies

I made these black and white cookies for Halloween 3 times. Twice with different baking times and once with a bit of additional milk.

I liked two of the three versions, and the only difference between them is the amount of liquid.

I’ll give you a range, and if you use the smaller amount of milk, you’ll have thicker cookies that won’t spread as much, and if you use the greater amount, you’ll have thinner cookies that spread a bit more.

Both are soft and puffy and stay that way for a few days, so decide if you want larger and thinner or smaller and fatter, and then bake away!

What Equipment Do I Need to Make Black and White Cookies?

A tray of cookies decorated for Halloween with orange, white, and black icing.
You can leave the cookies glazed half orange and half white, but using a piping bag to pipe black spiders and other Halloween motifs on them is the literal icing on the cookies!

Before we get to baking these guys, I’m suggesting some equipment and ingredients that can make your baking easier, whether you’re making these cookies or some other kind.

Since I did some decorating on them, I’m suggesting some decorating tips and bags as well as just general cookie baking equipment.

If you plan on doing a lot of cookie decorating, it’s not a bad idea to invest in a set of decorating tips and some decorating bags and couplers. If decorating cakes or cookies is not something you plan on doing on a regular basis and you’re looking for convenience products, Wilton make bags of decorator’s icing that crusts over and gets hard upon sitting. This keeps your designs from smearing.

For cookie making, roasting vegetables, making jelly roll cakes, etc, you cannot go wrong with commercial half sheet pans. Sturdy and warp-proof, they’ll give you years and years of service.

Okay. Let’s make some Halloween Black and Whites!

Black and White Cookies for Halloween

A tray of orange and white iced cookies with spider decorations. Text on one of them reads "Scary".
Round cookies really lend themselves to being decorated like a spider web!

Y’all, these black and white cookies for Halloween are really, really good.

The tender, soft, slightly lemony cake and the shiny, lemony glaze are lovely together.

And if you ever want to make traditional black and white cookies, instead of whisking orange food coloring into half of the glaze, just whisk in some dark cocoa powder and a tiny bit of extra water so the chocolate glaze has the same texture as the plain.

And adding cocoa powder to a lemony glaze doesn’t taste weird. I promise.

Keep in mind these are “drop cakes,” and not crunchy or even chewy. Black and white cookies are tender little cakes, so treat them fairly gently before you chomp them until they are gone!

Pro Tip

Since black and white cookies bake up slightly domed on the tops, it’s customary, whether making Halloween black and white or not, to decorate the flat bottoms of the cookies.

Other Recipes with Idaho Potatoes

Here are some other recipes using Idaho Potatoes. You’re going to love them. Honest.

More Halloween Recipes

Halloween is my favorite holiday, so I have a few recipes on the blog for Halloween treats. You may enjoy making (and eating) my Devilish Halloween Deviled Eggs, Candy Corn Cupcakes, this scratch-made Halloween Eclair Cake, and/or this delicious and kinda elegant Chocolate Halloween Cake.

And if you want to decorate crunchy cookies instead of soft cookies, try these decorated shortbread cookies!


A Note About Measurements

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Escali Primo Digital Food Scale

Don't let its small price and small size fool you. The Escali Primo is an accurate and easy-to-use food scale that I have used for years. It's easy to store, easy to use, has a tare function, and easily switches between grams and ounces/pounds for accurate measurements.

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03/07/2024 05:03 pm GMT
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Thanks, and enjoy!

Black and White Cookies for Halloween

Jennifer Field
These black and white cookies for Halloween get a spooky fun makeover with Idaho Potatoes and some orange and black icing. The potatoes help keep the cookies soft and tender for several days at room temperature. Enjoy!
5 from 1 vote
Tried this recipe?Please give it a star rating!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Cookies and Bars
Cuisine American
Servings 12 large cookies
Calories 326 kcal


For the Cookies

  • 1 medium Idaho Russet Potato
  • 5-6 oz whole milk use 5 oz for thicker cookies and 6 oz for thinner cookies (1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons to 3/4 cup)
  • 6 oz all purpose flour I used Gold Medal (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 stick unsalted butter at cool room temperature
  • 6 oz granulated sugar 1 cup minus 2 Tablespoons
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 lemon
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg

For the Glaze

  • 3 cups confectioner’s sugar powdered sugar, 10x
  • 2 Tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice from the lemon you zested earlier
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract use clear vanilla for the truest color
  • 3-5 teaspoons water as needed
  • orange food color

For the Decorations

  • homemade or store-bought decorator’s icing in white orange, and black


For the Cookies

  • Wash, peel, and cut the potato into 1″ pieces.
  • Place in a saucepan in lightly salted water, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes or until potato pieces are easily pierced with a knife. Drain, cover, and return to low heat for 5 minutes to dry a bit.
  • Preheat oven to 400F and set a rack in the top and bottom thirds. Line your cookie sheets/baking pans with Silpat or parchment and set aside.
  • Mash well with a masher and measure out 2/3 cup (6 oz) of mashed potato. Put in a bowl and save the rest of the potato for another purpose. I just make buttery mashed potatoes and eat them as a snack.
  • Stir the milk (cold is fine) into the reserved mashed potatoes and set aside.
  • Whisk the flour and baking powder together. Set aside.
  • Cream together the butter, sugar, salt, lemon zest and vanilla extract until light and fluffy, scraping the bowl as necessary.
  • Add the egg and beat until combined, scraping the bowl as necessary.
  • Mix in the mashed potato/milk mixture until combined, scraping the bowl as necessary.
  • Add the flour/baking powder mixture all at once and mix on low until combined. Scrape the bowl. The texture of your batter should be like very thick cake batter. It should flow a little bit but not be runny.
  • Portion cookies using a 2 oz scoop for large cookies or a 1 oz scoop for smaller cookies. Leave a good 2 1/2″ between the cookies, especially if using 6 oz of milk. You may need to bake a 3rd round, so don’t try to crowd the pans or the cookies will run into each other and end up with some flatter sides, and we want nice, round cookies.
  • Bake large cookies for about 16 minutes and smaller cookies for about 12 minutes. Rotate the pans and swap racks halfway through baking. The cookies are done when they are firm and barely starting to color on the tops and are a warm, deep golden brown on the bottoms.
  • Let cool on the sheets for a couple of minutes, and then carefully transfer them to racks to cool completely.

To Make the Glaze

  • Whisk together the confectioner’s sugar, corn syrup, lemon juice, salt, vanilla and a Tablespoon of water until smooth. Add water a bit at a time until you have a spreadable consistency that will smooth out upon sitting–a very thick glaze.
  • Scrape half the glaze into a separate bowl. Color 1 bowl of glaze with orange color. Using an offset spatula, spread half of all the cookies with the white glaze and let set up about 5 minutes. Spread the other half of all the cookies with orange glaze. Allow the glaze to harden for at least an hour, and then decorate as desired with white, orange, and black decorating icing.

Did You Make Any Changes?


To keep the cookies as consistent in size as possible, use cookie scoops of the right size. Here are affiliate links for 1 oz cookie scoops and 2 oz cookie scoops. You can also portion them at 4 Tablespoons (1/4 cup) for large cookies or 2 Tablespoons for small cookies.


Serving: 1large cookieCalories: 326kcalCarbohydrates: 60.6gProtein: 2.9gFat: 8.9gSaturated Fat: 5.3gCholesterol: 37mgSodium: 344mgFiber: 0.4gSugar: 45.3g
Keyword black and white cookies, halloween
Did you make this recipe?Please tell us what you loved!

Thank you so much for spending some spooky time with me today. Have a lovely day. And thank you again to the Idaho® Potato Commission. It is always a treat to work with you.

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  1. When you call for 6 ounces of flour in the black and white cookies, is that 6 ounces by volume (3/4 of a cup) or is that 6 ounces by weight? Outside of commercial recipes for food service and those in Europe, which call for everything in kilograms, I’ve never seen a recipe call for dry ingredients in ounces.

    1. A very good question. If you don’t know my blog, you wouldn’t know this, but I strongly encourage all my readers to weigh all their ingredients for accuracy and consistency. By volume, 6 oz is the equivalent of a scant 1 1/2 cups. I hope you try them and enjoy them! And the scale I use, an Escali Primo, is the best $25 I’ve ever spent on kitchen equipment! 🙂

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