Is Licorice Gluten Free? Truth Revealed

Is Licorice Gluten Free

Licorice is a delicious candy made from the extract of licorice root. Whether you’re a kid or not, these gourmet candies are love. But what celiacs are afraid of is their gluten status. So are Licorice candies gluten free? Are they safe for gluten sensitive people?

Licorice candy isn’t gluten free because wheat or wheat starch is a dominant binding ingredient in this candy. 

Does that mean you have to avoid all licorice candy? Is there any gluten free brand making licorice candy? We’ll find these answers in this article. Plus, check out the gluten free licorice recipe I mentioned to make this delicious candy at home. 

Is Licorice Gluten Free? 

Licorice isn’t gluten free because wheat is a dominant ingredient here. It works as a binder that gives licorice candy its shape. Popular candy makers like Red Vines or Twizzlers also use wheat in their licorice candies. 

Is Licorice Have Gluten

Wheat is a gluten grain that celiacs or people with gluten sensitivity can’t consume. If eaten, side effects like diarrhea, nausea, headache, skin irritation, bloating, etc. Since licorice candy has wheat starch, it may induce the same allergic reactions. Hence, it’s better for celiacs to avoid candy to be safe. 

But there are brands that make licorice without wheat. As an alternative, they use cornstarch, starch, or other gluten free alternatives, so gluten intolerant people may opt for these. Whenever you buy pre-packaged licorice candy, make sure to check the ingredient label to find out if there is wheat. 

Related Posts:- Is Starburst Gluten Free?

What is Licorice? Is It Harmful To Celiacs? 

Licorice is a confection made from the extracts of the roots of Glycyrrhiza glabra, a licorice plant. The root has a sweet flavor, and people have been using it as a sweetener in different baked goods for years. 

Licorice extract, sugar, and a binder (usually wheat starch) are the main ingredients in licorice candy. Makers may add other flavorings to enhance the taste of these dark colored candies. 

What is Licorice

The ingredients are dissolved in water by heating at around 135 degrees celsius and then molded into desired shapes. Why is licorice harmful to celiacs? 

Celiacs cannot have wheat based food, and licorice has wheat making it harmful for the celiacs. Wheat starch works as a good binder giving the candy its desired shape, so makers usually prefer to use wheat over any other binder. 

Is Licorice Candy Dairy Free?

Yes, most licorice candy is dairy-free and doesn’t contain any milk, cream, or cheese. But licorice may not be vegan because most makers use gelatin which is made from boiling animal skin or ligaments and beeswax. 

Gluten Free Licorice Candy List 

As gluten sensitivity or celiac disease has become common among people, brands have become more aware and started coming up with gluten free alternatives. There are quite a few options for gluten free licorice candy as well, so let’s see a few of them. 

YumEarth makes organic plus gluten free licorice candies. They use rice flour and cornstarch instead of using wheat scratch, making it safe for celiacs. 

Other ingredients used in YumEarth licorice candy are- organic brown rice syrup, cane sugar, cane sugar molasses, licorice extract, palm fruit oil, natural flavor, salt, sunflower oil, and carnauba wax. 

Here is another gluten free licorice candy that is not only gluten free but sugar free as well. Zot has different licorice flavors to choose from, like- mint, citrus, and anise, and all of them are free of gluten. 

Smart Sweets licorice candy comes with a twist to the original dark licorice candy. It’s gluten free with no added sugar, artificial colors, flavors, and sweeteners. 

Tara’s Hand Crafted gluten free licorice candy has the flavors of star anise, Madagascar vanilla, and heavy cream. The high-quality ingredients give it a rich, creamy texture. 

Try This Gluten Free Licorice Candy Recipe At Home 

I love trying new recipes, so I tried making licorice candy too. Since I am on a no gluten diet as well, I made licorice without using wheat starch. Here is the recipe for you to try, which I’m sure you’ll love. 

Try This Gluten Free Licorice Candy Recipe At Home


  • ½ cup all-purpose gluten free flour 
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt 
  • ¼ cup butter 
  • ¼ cup honey (you can also use blackstrap molasses or brown rice syrup)
  • 1 cup cane sugar 
  • 1 tsp licorice extract 
  • ¼ cup sweetened condensed milk 
  • 1 tsp beetroot juice 


  • Step one

Take sugar, condensed milk, butter, salt, and licorice extract in a saucepan and stir occasionally. Bring the mixture to a boil and continue to heat until it reaches 240°F. Check the temperature using a candy thermometer.

  • Step two 

Once it reaches the desired temperature, pour the liquid immediately over the flour. Add beetroot juice and combine everything well. Transfer the mixture to a greased pan and keep it in the refrigerator until set. 

  • Step three 

Spread the dough into wax paper. Now using a pizza cutter, cut strips around ½ inch wide. You can twist them or give them any desired shape. Dust some Arrowood powder to prevent them from sticking together. Your homemade gluten free Licorice candies are ready. 

✍️ Note: You can avoid the beetroot juice, which is only for coloring purposes. If you don’t like the taste of butter, you can use coconut oil too.  

Nutritional facts of homemade gluten free licorice candy 

  • Calories- 185
  • Carbs- 29g
  • Protein- 1g
  • Fat- 8g 
  • Saturated fat- 5g
  • Cholesterol- 21mg 
  • Sodium- 73mg 
  • Sugar- 25g
  • Fiber- 1g 
  • Potassium- 53mg 
  • Vitamin A- 232 IU
  • Calcium- 35mg 
  • Vitamin C- 1mg 
  • Iron- 1mg 

Summing Up 

Licorice isn’t gluten free due to the use of wheat starch, but celiacs don’t need to get disheartened as there are gluten free licorice options available in the market. Also, don’t forget to check out the gluten free licorice candy recipe I shared to make this dark sweet candy at home. 


Can celiacs eat licorice? 

Celicas can only have labeled gluten free licorice if they are getting the packaged ones. Celiacs can also prepare their own gluten free licorice. 

Is Licorice Keto?

No licorice isn’t keto-friendly because sugar is added to the candy recipe. 

Are the Red Vines Licorice gluten free? 

No, Red Vines licorice isn’t gluten free as they use wheat starch as a binder. 

Is Twizzlers Licorice gluten free? 

Twizzlers licorice is also not gluten free. Like Red Vines, Twizzlers too use wheat in their candy recipe. 

A passionate lifestyle and food blogger making you familiar with the secrets of following a healthy diet. My passion of exploring different cuisines and different lifestyle have helped accumulate experience that’s beneficial for people following a gluten free diet.