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Black Bottom Cookie Bars

Black Bottom Cookie Bars are a delicious celebration of one of baking’s classic flavor combinations – chocolate and vanilla!

stack of Black Bottom Cookie Bars
Black-Bottom Cookie Bars | Bake or Break

Having lived in the South all of my life until 2010, summer had always meant unbearable heat and a few months of staying inside as much as possible. I won’t say that it doesn’t get plenty hot here in New York. It certainly does. Thankfully, though, it’s not quite as long-lived as all of the other summers I’ve known. With few exceptions for especially hot days, I am not as hesitant as I once was to spend time outside or turn on the oven and bake something delicious.

A few weeks ago, the good folks over at Everyday Food* were kind enough to send me a copy of their special summer issue. With my brand new summer attitude, I delved in and found several recipes to add to my seemingly insurmountable “to-try” pile.

These cookie bars called to me. They were practically begging to be made. So, make them I did. And a wise decision that was.

Imagine, if you will, a bar with a rich, chocolate bottom layer. It has a double dose of chocolate with both cocoa powder and chocolate chips. Then there’s a vanilla top layer. While there’s no cream cheese involved, the taste and texture are reminiscent of cheesecake. The total package is a soft, chewy, delicious treat that works in any season in my kitchen.

Black Bottom Cookie Bars

I love that this recipe starts as one simple batter that is then divided to make the chocolate and vanilla layers. That makes mixing so much quicker and easier. Then it’s just a matter of spreading the layers in the pan and baking!

These Black Bottom Cookie Bars are one of my favorite treats for sharing. They are a delicious celebration of simple flavors in an equally simple recipe. That’s the best kind of sweet treat!

Find more bar recipes in the Recipe Index.

More of BoB’s Best Bar Cookies

Black Bottom Cookie Bars

Yield 12 to 16 servings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Black Bottom Cookie Bars are a rich chocolate-vanilla experience! Made with a double chocolate cookie layer on the bottom and a vanilla cookie layer on top!

stack of Black Bottom Cookie Bars


  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, melted (plus more for the baking dish)
  • 1 cup (200g) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (240g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup (20g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 & 1/4 cups (213g) semisweet chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly butter an 8-inch square baking pan. Line with parchment, leaving about a 2-inch overhang on two sides. Lightly butter the parchment.
  2. Whisk together the butter and both sugars in a large bowl. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla. Gradually add the flour and salt, mixing just until moistened.
  3. Divide the batter in half, and transfer one half to a separate bowl. To one portion of the batter, add the cocoa powder and chocolate chips, and stir until combined.
  4. Place the chocolate batter in the baking pan. Spread evenly and smooth the top.
  5. Spread the plain batter on top of the chocolate batter. Smooth the top.
  6. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.


Recipe slightly adapted from Everyday Food.

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*Everyday Food is sadly no longer published, but many of the recipes can be found with Martha Stewart.

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    54 Comments on “Black Bottom Cookie Bars”

  1. So moist and delicious. I love the two colors-very apperizing!

  2. These look delightful. Perfect Summer bar.

    I live in Minnesota, so if you ever show up to a picnic everyone brings bars. It becomes a bar party.

    Next bar party, I’m bringing something like this.

  3. Yum. These look great, and I’ll definitely give them a try!

  4. Yum. I love Everyday Food. These look great. I never picked up that issue and kicking myself. Will give these a try for sure. Thanks!

  5. Great idea, and it looks delicious. Those gooey bits of chocolate is particularly appealing

  6. cluttercafe, this issue is still available through the end of the month.

    • I just made Black Bottom  Bars.. To avoid a crumbly top,  get the eggs and butter up to room temperature and use plenty of butter.

  7. Oh my that chocolate bottom looks amazing!

  8. Looks awfully scrumptious!

  9. Girl… these look amazing, I’m so glad they begged you to make them!

  10. Well, you definitely have my attention!! These look incredible and so rich and delicious – ultimate comfort food!

  11. These look creamy and wonderful! I love seeing what you’re going to come up with next. Can’t wait to try these out!

  12. Beautiful! These sound glorious.

  13. wooaahh there, this is some intense looking deliciousness looking at me right now, great recipe! definitely want to try these out 🙂

  14. Texture of cheesecake and taste of a cookie? Yup, sounds good to me! 🙂

  15. This looks wonderful! Gonna try this soon!

  16. Did you use a Dutch-processed cocoa or Hershey’s cocoa?

  17. Ajax, I used unsweetened cocoa, like Hershey’s. My favorite brand is Scharffen Berger.

  18. Thanks! I’m gonna make these tomorrow, but scaled up to a half-sheet pan. Ugh, 7 sticks butter. It’s suddenly turned into a Paula Deen recipe.

  19. Love the two tone color look of this bar. I am not a particular cheesecake lover, so this is a great option! Fabulous photos as well!

  20. Those black bottom cookies sure look super delicious, definitely go well with a cup of tea or coffee at any hours of the day.

  21. I made these bars yesterday and they were absolutely delicious and very moist. I put in some oats, used less flour, turned out really good.

  22. These look yummy. my son has a party coming up, I think I will trry these and maybe print something on my PhotoFrost printer to top it off just for fun. Thanks for sharing

  23. these bars seem to be begging me to make them too!

  24. Everyday Food is one of my favorite magazines. Their recipes always work for me. I’ll have to remember this one!

  25. These look delightful and you pictures are great!

  26. Oh, boy. These look amazing! Tasty and beautiful~

  27. What a delight … Love them ..!!!!!

  28. Holy moly! These look so good I’m drooling in my coffee (quite an image I just painted for you, huh?). I’m definitely trying these right away!

    It has finally cooled off here in Kentucky, after a record-setting summer. Fall weather feels even better than usual.

    Everyday Food is a personal favorite of mine. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  29. Holy!….These look and sound (Ummm….cheesecake as a descriptive word?! Color me sold!) dee-lish! And this is only the first recipe on your blog that caught my eye. I’ll be back to look at others for sure as I am avid lover of all things chocolate! I’ll be trying out all your chocolate dishes. Haha. Great blog!

  30. Okay..I have these in the oven but it’s been almost 40 minutes and they’re still coming out gooey…. I think I’m gonna take them out in a minute and just pray they set. I’m making them for a friend!! 🙁

    • I too had trouble with the topping seeming to cook. I left them in 40 minutes also and although the toothpick was clean, the top definitely seemed undercooked. Would not make again.

      • These didn’t work for me either. No matter what, I couldn’t get the top layer to completely set. What a waste of butter. Maybe time to check my oven temp…

  31. I just made these and all I have to say is AWESOME!!!! They are incredibly delicious. My kids are going ape over them. Me too 🙂 So easy to make too. This is a keeper, thank you!!

  32. I must try this…
    & thanks for visiting my blog!! 🙂

  33. Made these tonight and they were perfection! I added a dark chocolate ganache to make it over-the-top-chocolate. 🙂 Of course, I would expect nothing less from you, Jennifer! I’ve made dozens of recipes from your blog, and I swear every single one was one of the best desserts I’ve ever had. Thank you for such amazing recipes and photos, I can’t imagine my dessert life without you!

  34. I bookmarked this recipe over a year ago, and finally made them yesterday. Heavenly!! I browned the butter instead of just melting it…crazy good stuff. Thank you!! Just posted pics and a link back of gratitude.

  35. Loved them! Delicious! I put hazelnuts in the plain mixture and instead of chocolate chips I roughly chopped up a milk chocolate bar so the chocolate oozed out when it was baked. I may try putting orange essence into the plain mix in future to get a chocolate orange taste.

  36. Does this recipe double well? I would like to make a larger batch at one time…

  37. Lara, you should be able to double it and bake in a 9″x 13″ pan.

  38. I wanted to make these again (they were sooo good!) but does it make a difference if it is all in a stand mixer? I didn’t think so but wanted to check before I make them again 🙂

  39. Abs, that should be okay as long as you’re careful not to overmix.

  40. Thanks for posting this recipe.

  41. These were really good! The beautiful pictures of the wonderful contrast of colors is what lured me into making these! It is very brownie/ blondie like with the crusting of the top and the fudgy texture. Thanks so much for posting this recipe!

  42. Just put these in the oven as an Easter experiment. Sprinkled some chocolate chips on top for extra effect!

  43. These are incredible! I made these with browned butter and it made these amazingly wonderful! Thank you so much for this recipe!!

  44. Delicious cookie bars! I made these yesterday for an early birthday get-together (today is my birthday!) and we all loved them. My spreading skills aren’t particularly great, so the two layers are a little uneven. Can’t wait to make another recipe from your blog!

  45. These bars are wonderful! I made them for the first time a few weeks ago for my husband to take to work with him and they all disappeared by lunchtime. I just made them again, and this time they are not being shared! I always use the Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips and might try some white chocolate chips in the top half next time. This has definitely become a favorite here.

  46. I guess timing really is everything. The day before seeing this recipe, hubs and I were at a Jewish bakery, noting their classic “black and white” cookies. These Black Bottom cookie bars do not have a thing to do with black and white cookies, but nonetheless, the two color theme must have stuck in my brain. I whipped these up in no time yesterday, and WOW, did we love this fudge-like, truffle-like, brownie-like cookie bar. The top white layer of these bars developed a subtle contrasting buttery crunch, and we’ll see if that remains after I freeze and thaw for our next dessert session. Even if I lose that aspect, I know they will freeze beautifully and be enjoyed many times to come. Thank you Jennifer for sharing this, and listing gram weights for the ingredients insured that my treats no doubt tasted exactly as you intended!

    • I’m so glad you liked them, Jeff! I’ve not tried freezing them, so let me know how that works for you.

      • VERY happy to report that there was not an iota of difference after thawing these treats. Over time I’ve somehow gotten it into my head to always thaw while still wrapped in plastic wrap. I can see moisture condensation on the outside of the plastic wrap as it thaws, but this will evaporate, leaving the treat in perfect condition.

        P.S. I treated this 8 x 8 inch dessert as I typically do with brownies. I cut 16 squares, and eating 2 is my definition of dessert. Last night, hubs says “If you want, you can cut these even a little smaller, as they are rich”. I said NEVER in my lifetime will I do this!!! 🙂

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