Grandma’s Black Walnut Cookies

The robust flavor of black walnuts make Grandma’s black walnut cookie recipe divine.

Grandma's Black Walnut Cookies historic classic from the 1930's

I love to read cookbooks. Always have. When I find a gem of a cookbook, I want it for my own. Sometimes I have to settle for copying my favorite recipes from it.

This past summer I spent some time just hanging out with my parents alone. As they get older, I am trying to spend a little more time with them. One afternoon I was going through some cookbooks that my mother has. I found one that dated back to the 1930’s. My mom said it was my grandmother’s. It had a lot of recipes made out of ingredients that were unfamiliar to me. I guess we have changed what we’ve eaten the past eighty-four years. Hopefully for the better.

As I was turning the pages searching for a great molasses cookie, I found a Black Walnut Cookie Recipe. I had to write it down so I could try it. I love black walnut flavoring so it sounded delicious.

Grandma's Black Walnut Cookies by

As I went to the store for black walnuts I had no trouble finding them. Which totally surprised me.  I thought I would have to use regular walnuts. Wahoo! I did not.

Are you familiar with the difference between walnuts? Most of the walnuts we eat today are actually English walnuts, which have a milder taste and broader appeal. They also have thinner, easier-to-crack shells.  Their shells are thick, tough to crack, and will likely stain your hands. Black walnuts are stronger in flavor.  They grow wild in North America. So they are little rarer to find.

I have found black walnut flavoring at a local candy and cake distribution store. It is also available online at

As I made this recipe, I thought of how many cooks harvested wild black walnuts 84 years ago. A lot of our cooking has changed but Grandma’s Black Walnut Cookies are divine.

LeAnn Bird of

Grandma's Black Walnut Cookies
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
  • 1 cup Earth Balance butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 chia egg or Ener-G egg replacer
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp black walnut flavoring
Black Walnut Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 1/4 cup Earth Balance butter
  • 1/4 cup vegan cream cheese
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp black walnut extract
  1. Cream sugars. Add egg replacer and nutmeg. Add flour one cup at time. Add salt, vanilla and black walnut extract until mixed thoroughly. The texture will be dry but you will be able to mold it.
  2. Dividing dough into 3 sections. Roll into one inch rolls. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the cookies are firm.
  3. Remove the plastic wrap and cut into 1/8 inch slices , place on wax paper lined baking sheet and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes. Change waxed paper between batches. Cool before frosting.
For Frosting
  1. Cream together butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar and seasonings. If the mixture is too thick thin it with a tablespoon or two of hot water.
  2. Top with crushed black walnut pieces.

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