Soft vanilla cookies are topped with a rich fudge-like frosting that will take your breath away; a copycat recipe of the famous Bergers Cookies from Baltimore.
When I opened up my latest issue of Cook’s Country magazine, one recipe immediately jumped out at me – these Bergers-style cookies. I had never heard of them before, but after reading through the article, I learned that they are famous in the Baltimore area, hailing from a Bakery that was opened in 1800’s by German immigrants.
Aside from their storied history, I couldn’t get the picture out of my mind! A soft vanilla cookie topped with a full HALF INCH of chocolate fudge frosting. This was definitely a cookie with my name written all over it, and I wasted no time in whipping up a batch.
These cookies are basically a chocolate lover’s dream come true.
The base cookie is a super soft, yet sturdy, vanilla sugar cookie. But not like a cut-out sugar cookie, more like a bakery or store plain soft sugar cookie. The dough is super easy to mix together and require no chill time.
And then the frosting. OH, THE FROSTING.
It mixes up like brownie batter (I double dare you not to swipe a few tastes!), then sets like fudge. The addition of Dutch cocoa powder gives the frosting such a fantastic flavor, versus using just milk chocolate alone.
Since I’ve never had actual Bergers cookies, I can’t tell you how close these come to the original, but they are seriously amazing. The next time I’m in the Baltimore area, I’m definitely going to seek them out.
If you’ve had Bergers cookies, I’d love to hear from you about how these stack up!
One year ago: Game Day Dip
Six years ago: Pumpkin Fudge
For the Cookies
- 2 cups (250 g) cake flour
- 1½ teaspoons (1.5 teaspoons) baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon (0.25 teaspoon) salt
- ½ cup (113.5 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ¾ cup (150 g) granulated sugar
- 1 egg white
- 1½ tablespoons (1.5 tablespoons) heavy cream
- 1½ teaspoons (1.5 teaspoons) vanilla extract
For the Frosting
- 3 cups (540 g) milk chocolate chips
- 1¼ cups (297.5 ml) heavy cream
- ¼ teaspoon (0.25 teaspoon) salt
- 1⅔ cups (143.33 g) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- 1¼ cups (150 g) powdered sugar
- 1½ teaspoons (1.5 teaspoons) vanilla extract
- Make the Cookies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg white, heavy cream, and vanilla, and beat until combined. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, mixing until incorporated, scraping down the bowl as needed.
- Working with 1 heaping tablespoon of dough at a time (my small cookie scoop was the perfect size), roll into balls and space 2 inches a part on the prepared baking sheets, 12 per sheet. Using moistened fingers, press dough balls to form disks about ¼-inch thick and 2 inches in diameter.
- Bake, 1 sheet at a time, until the cookies are just beginning to brown around the edges, 8 to 10 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through baking. Let the cookies cool completely on the baking sheet.
- Make the Frosting: Once the cookies have cooled, combine the chocolate chips, heavy cream, and salt in a large bowl. Microwave the chocolate mixture at 50 percent power, stirring occasionally, until melted and smooth, 1 to 3 minutes. Whisk the cocoa powder, powdered sugar, and vanilla into the chocolate mixture until smooth. (The frosting should the texture of thick brownie batter and register about 95 degrees.)
- Turn the cookies over on the baking sheets. Spoon 2 tablespoons of frosting over the flat side of each cookie to form a mound. Let the cookies sit at room temperature until the frosting is set, about 3 hours. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
- The temperature and consistency of the frosting are important. It should register between 90 and 100 degrees and should resemble thick brownie batter when you spoon it onto the cookie. It should mound and slowly spread over the cookies. It's okay if some of the frosting drips down the sides of the cookies. If the frosting is too thick, that means it is too cool. To make it spreadable, microwave it in 5-second intervals, whisking after each interval, until it registers between 90 and 100 degrees. If it gets too hot, it will thin and run off the cookies; in this case, simply let it cool a bit.
- I use the Thermapen instant digital thermometer.
- I used Ghiradelli milk chocolate chips.
Did you make this recipe?
Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!
I want to make these for my daughters wedding as part of the Pittsburgh cookie table
– I grew up in Pittsburgh and no wedding is complete without it! The wedding will be in South Carolina where we now live. Will these freeze well iced?
It looks yummy. I will try to make it ❤
I’ve made these twice! Everyone (including myself) always loves them. The first time I made them it was true to 24 cookies, and I had a lot of leftover icing! The most recent time I made them, which was just yesterday, I somehow ended up with 40 smaller cookies! With more cookies I ended up using all but a spoonful of the full icing recipe.
Thank you for posting this delicious cookie recipe! I can tell I’ll be making it for years to come.
These are delicious! But I learned several things from making them that I’ll know for next time.
The cookies didn’t brown much on the bottom. I used air-filled cookie sheets, which may be why, but baking them 11 1/2 minutes was too long, and they ended up harder than I like.
Cake flour is easy to make – don’t shy away. I put 2 c of flour in the bowl, removed 4 Tbsp, then replaced it with 4 Tbsp of cornstarch!
I used the bottom of a glass to press them flat from the ball.
I doubled the cookies but not the icing. I still had icing left in the end.
I wish I’d put the frosting in my mixer, and then reheated as necessary. I found it impossible to beat the lumps of 10x sugar and cocoa out. So they’re a bit lumpy. I also didn’t get a nice smooth shine on them, but the chocolate got hard in a couple of hours.
I made the copycat Berger Cookies because I had been craving them and I refused to pay to have them shipped. They may not have been the originals but they were close. They were good and like the original recipe so rich
Hi! How would I be able to make the ganache coffee flavored?
Hi Shelby, Sure! Just add some instant espresso powder to the heavy cream mixture that gets microwaved. Enjoy!
Hello I saw a movie about your business and I got to taste your cookies Do you send packages abroad to Israel for example thank you
Amazing! After reading other reviews about the extra frosting, I multiplied the cookie recipe by 2 and had just the right ratio. Mine took longer than 3 hours to harden so I let them sit on the counter overnight. The next morning, they were the cookie part was perfectly soft and the frosting was sturdy. They were so good!! I can’t wait to make theme again, they taste like the real thing. Thanks for sharing!!!
I’m wondering if I can use all purpose flour instead of cake flour?
Hi Justina, The cookies will have a different texture if you do so.
How would I go about changing the frosting to say white chocolate or butterscotch? Only thing that stumps me is what I would use in place of the cocoa powder?
Hi Megan, You might need to sub more powdered sugar for the cocoa powder to get the texture right. Let me know what you come up with!
Nice recipe but it has a lot of sugar.
Oh my gosh, Michelle!!!! These cookies are AMAZING!!! The cookies are so soft and the frosting so fudgy. We are in heaven! I cut the frosting in half and thought it was perfect. Thank you!!
I only had a 12 oz bag of chocolate chips so I did 2/3 of the recipe for the frosting. I felt like I was slathering so much frosting on each cookie and I STILL had left over. I have no idea how you’d put on the full recipe of frosting without having twice as much frosting as cookie. DEFINITELY half the frosting recipe if you want it to match your cookies, and even then the topping will be thick – even with the thickness of the cookie itself. The vanilla also created a weird consistency to the frosting where it didn’t want to stick to the cookies. Also didn’t want to stick to the spoon I used to top them, kind of handy, but between the two it was a bit difficult to top.
I have has the “real” Berger cookies and this recipe is fabulous, better than the original. The chocolate fudge taste is incredible. They are addictive. They also freeze very well . I have made them twice. Today I am going to try mini ones. If they come out ok, they will my new addition to my Christmas cookies. Thanks for the recipe.. a real hit!!!!
I made these tonight. VERY easy to make (even frosting) however, my frosting turned out almost black not chocolate-y colored. I used milk chocolate and Hershey’s Dutch with a splash of Ghiradeli unsweetened (not Dutch) because I didn’t have enough Hershey’s. Weirdest thing! Waiting to taste them and see if it made a difference! They still look great just weird being black.
Thank you for reviewing this recipe. I saw it on the Cook’s Country website, but hadn’t yet tried it. Your review prompted me to make them. I think they are my husband’s new favorite!
Oh my goodness…these look and sound delicious!
These cookies are FANTASTIC! My cookies never got golden around the edges and I ended up overcooking them so they were a bit crunchy, but they were still amazing (we love crispy and crunchy around here). The frosting was delicious, and when the bowl went into the living room to be cleaned out by the teenager, there were devilish cackles of pure bliss. I don’t know what true Berger cookies taste like, but I can say that these are great.
MIne turned out like the picture. I chilled the dough. Based o new other comments I only made half the frosting recipe and that was the he perfect amount. I’ve never had a Berger cookie so don’t know how they compare
This sounds so interesting and very tempting given the popularity in Baltimore. Thanks for the great post!
I made these a couple of weeks ago.. I ended up with about 30 cookies (I really have massive trouble sticking to exact instructions and measures), thinking I’d share them, by bringing the lot into the office. Once I tried one i knew that wasn’t going to happen though – possibly my new favourite food group.
Instead of chocolate chips 2 bars of dark and 1 bar of milk chocolate worked really well!
These look and sound amazing!
I’ve had Berger cookies for years whenever my sister-in-law visits from Baltimore. I always found them interesting…but too “fake bakery” flavored. I don’t know if it was the vanilla they used or what. They seemed like a good idea, but just didn’t deliver on the flavor. So, I was super interested to try this recipe. I think these are BETTER than the real deal. The cookies have a delicate butter flavor and the chocolate icing is smooth and intense. No fake anything going on here! My only observation — there was a ton of chocolate icing left over. I’m making them again today and I plan to make half the amount of icing. That will still leave a nice thick layer on each cookie. The true test….I will be serving them to my Baltimore sister-in-law. Anxious to know what she thinks!!
Berger cookies are THE best and very hard to replicate, in my opinion. You can find them in many stores and convenience stores in Maryland now, doesn’t have to be Baltimore. I love them frozen. SO yummy!
Hi Beth! A good friend of mine lives in Northern Virginia and has had the original, so she made this recipe right after I posted it. She said the base is a little bit different, as this one is a little softer and fluffier, but that she actually liked this version better than the original. Hope you give them a try! :)
We live in BALTIMORE and are fans of the originals. Can’t wait to make. They are cctually called Berger cookies, not Bergers cookies, though.
These looks delicious! Never had a Bergers style cookie – but I have a feeling I’d love it!
does the frosting freeze well?
Hi Esti, I haven’t tried to freeze it, so I’m not sure!
I’ve never heard of Bergers cookies, but I took a look at the ones being sold on Amazon and to me they look like a black and white cookie without the white half of frosting. Are they similar? If you had the choice between the two, which would you choose?
Not similar, lol, and Berger cookies would be my choice. Hands down!
Hi Cynthia, I think these are quite different from black and white cookies; those have a hint of lemon flavor and the icing is more like a glaze, while this is a thick chocolate frosting. I would definitely choose these over black and white cookies!
I need that chocolate frosting in my life. Can’t wait to try making these!!
I am so excited for this recipe. I lived in Baltimore for a minute in the late 80’s and these were my absolute favorite, favorite! While I can’t eat them any longer, I will most definitely make them! I have seen other recipes but I love what you do here so this is the one I’m going to finally make.
OMG!! Looks like a Dad and Daughter weekend thing! They do look amazing!
You can order the original on Amazon! I use to live in the Baltimore area, and there is nothing like the original!
And it costs $12.49 (w/amazon prime) for each 15 ounce box, Chris…ouch! My ex was from Balt’more and in the 80’s was introduced to these amazing cookies by his aunt who sent me a couple boxes in an Xmas gift box. Been craving them ever since.
Forgot to mention, it comes in a 4 box (15 oz. each) set for $49.95.
We’ll definitely be making these! The real Berger cookies have a a base that’s a bit thinner than your cookies, and the frosting on top is about an inch high. Also, once you have the cookies, you can try to make a Berger cookie (AKA Baltimore Bomb) pie: http://www.nothinginthehouse.com/2013/04/berger-cookie-pie-aka-baltimore-bomb-pie.html
I have never had Berger’s cookies, but I will definitely have to make these! That thick chocolate fudge on top looks fabulous! Thanks for sharing this recipe!
OH MY! These cookies look amazing – right in my flavor wheelhouse! Can’t wait to give them a try!! Guess I’m going to have to invest in a Thermapen….
Had dinner at my mother in laws last night and pounced on the new Cook’s County. This was one of the many recipes I took pictures of and saved to my evernote app! I can’t wait to make them and looking at yours makes me even more eager now!! Soft cake cookies with a thick fudge frosting, YUM!!
As a 50 year Baltimore mom and amateur chef/baker, these “Bergers Cookies” do not even come close to the REAL Bergers Cookie. While the Cooks Country recipe may yield pretty and tasty cookies, they are NOT “Bergers Cookies”.
I agree, I’ve been eating Berger’s cookies for 29 years and these don’t even look close to the real ones.