How to Make Licorice: A Simple and Delicious Homemade Licorice Recipe

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How to Make Homemade Licorice Recipe

Learning how to make licorice is simple and fun. Here is our basic homemade licorice recipe complete with vegan and gluten-free options.

Licorice has long been a favorite of mine because it has a satisfying texture and a distinctive taste. Real licorice is black, but you can find it in red, orange, pink, and other wild colors. I never thought to make my own until I found an old recipe. Then, I tweaked it for today’s world and added some vegan and gluten-free options.

How to Make Homemade Licorice Recipe

How to Make a Homemade Licorice Recipe

5 from 2 votes

Learning how to make licorice is simple and fun. Here is our basic homemade licorice recipe complete with vegan and gluten-free options.

Prep Time
10 minutes
Active Time
20 minutes
Chilling Time
1 hour
Total Time
1 hour 30 minutes
14 servings
Estimated Cost



  1. Combine the dry licorice recipe ingredients in a mixing bowl. Set aside.

  2. In a saucepan, combine the sugar, syrup, milk, and coconut oil (or butter). Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Continue to heat and stir until the temperature reaches 240°F. This is the softball stage. You can check the temperature with a candy thermometer or by dropping a small spoonful into a glass of cold water. Reach into the water and try to form a ball from the syrup with your fingers. It if stays together for a few seconds, it's ready.

  3. Remove from the heat right away and pour over the flour mixture. Mix well.

  4. Add the beetroot juice for color and the licorice extract for flavor. Mix these in well too.

  5. Pour the mixture in a greased pan and set in the refrigerator for about an hour, or until set and well chilled.

  6. When chilled, turn out onto a sheet of parchment paper or wax paper and cut into strips with a pizza cutter, keeping the strips about ⅓ to ½-inch wide. Twist them if you like.

  7. Dust with arrowroot powder to keep from sticking and store in an airtight container.

Recipe Video


You don’t need to color homemade licorice, but it may end up being a dull grayish color. I use beetroot juice because it makes the licorice a nice rosy color. You can use any juice or concentrate that you like.

As the recipes states, you can use either unsalted butter or coconut oil, whichever you prefer.

Many people use corn syrup in their homemade licorice recipe, but we chose to go the more natural route. Use it if you prefer it.


Serving: 45g | Calories: 185kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 21mg | Sodium: 73mg | Potassium: 53mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 232IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 1mg
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How to Make Gluten-Free Licorice

If you want to know how to make gluten-free licorice, you can substitute the flour with a number of other choices. With some of them, like coconut flour, you may need to add more moisture. Coconut flour, in particular, is very absorbent. Others, like rice flour, can be grainy, so these may require some adjustments as well.

Gluten-free flour options include:

  • Coconut Flour
  • Chickpea Flour
  • Rice Flour and Brown Rice Flour
  • Tapioca Flour
  • Oat Flour (not all oats are gluten-free, so be sure to check labels)
  • Almond Flour
  • Buckwheat Flour (note that this is not “wheat”)
  • Sorghum Flour
  • Amaranth Flour

Again, you may need to do a test batch to see what the consistency of your licorice will be like.

Vegan Options

Although this recipe is mostly vegan, there are some ways to make it completely animal-friendly. You can use brown rice syrup instead of the honey called for. For the sugar, you can make sure that it is vegan by looking at this list. And when choosing sweetened condensed milk, you can find a dairy-free one, or make your own with this recipe using a vegan milk substitute (like almond milk or coconut milk).

Homemade Licorice Extract

You can buy a licorice flavor, but commercially made products are often filled with artificial ingredients. If purchasing, we recommend getting a high-quality extract. It’s also fairly easy to make your own.

Supplies include dried licorice root (cut into thin slices), a mason jar, and some alcohol. I use 40% vodka, but you could use any alcohol that is 40% or higher. Alcohol at this level will help keep bacteria and mold from forming.

Fill the mason jar about half full with licorice root and then cover with alcohol. Cap the jar and seal tightly. Shake well and place in a sunny location for about six weeks. At the end of this time, strain and decant into a dark bottle. Store in a cool, dark place for up to a year. Licorice extract made this was can be used exactly as above.

If you want another flavor, you can make extracts from many herbs.

Black Licorice

We didn’t include a recipe for black licorice but if you want to make it just pick up some anise extract and some natural black food coloring.

Have you ever made a homemade licorice recipe? If so, tell us about your experience!


About Debra Maslowski

Debra is a master gardener, a certified herbalist, a natural living instructor, and more. She taught Matt and Betsy how to make soap so they decided to bring her on as a staff writer! Debra recently started an organic herb farm in the mountains of Western North Carolina. You can even purchase her handmade products on Amazon!

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  1. Amelia Hardman says

    This is such a cool idea! I love liquorice but it’s difficult to get a hold of England, I had never thought of making my own… until now

  2. Michele Moore says

    The butter in the instructions was not in the ingredient list??? Can you tell me whether it is needed please?

  3. MiTmite9 says

    Make your own sweetened condensed milk to use in this recipe, too. Easy to make your own scm and so much better/healthier—–if all of that sugar can be considered “healthy.”

  4. Heidi B says

    Your instructions say to mix butter with syrup, sugar, etc. but butter is not listed as an ingredient. Coconut oil is listed as an ingredient but not mentioned in the instructions. Did you mean to say coconut oil instead of butter in the instructions? I can’t wait to try this recipe as I love licorice!!