Find out if licorice is gluten-free, what it’s made of, and a list of gluten-free licorice brands to look for next time you’re at the store.
Note: I am a proud Amazon, Chomps, and Thrive Market affiliate and am happy to recommend their service and products to you. Please know that as an affiliate, I may receive a small commission on the products you purchase after clicking through my links. For more info, please see my disclosure policy here.
If you love snacking on licorice while at the movies or just love the flavor of black licorice for any time, you might be wondering what licorice is made of and if it’s gluten-free.
In this post, we’re going to talk about licorice candy, what it is, what it’s made of, and whether it’s gluten-free. We’ll also answer some common questions about licorice, and go over some gluten-free licorice brands so you never have to go without your favorite candy.
What is licorice candy?
Licorice, or liquorice, candy is a soft chewy candy that comes in different flavors and colors. Red and black licorice are the most common, though you can find other flavors of licorice as well.
Black licorice tastes like licorice root, an earthy herbal flavor that is truly unique to that specific food. Red licorice tastes fruity, but without a specific fruit to name. It has no real licorice root or licorice extract in it, though it is usually made in the classic licorice twist shape as black licorice, giving it its name.
Licorice is a well-known candy that’s often sold in movie theaters. You can find licorice in a variety of shapes from classic twists to wheels to dogs.
What is licorice made of?
Most licorice is made with licorice extract (for black licorice), sugar, and something to bind the candy together. Other flavorings, molasses, coloring, and anise flavor might also be added.
Most licorice candy that you find is made using wheat flour or wheat starch as a binding agent, though there are other brands that use rice flour and cornstarch instead.
Read on: Is cornstarch gluten-free?
What is gluten?
Gluten is a protein found in most wheat products, and acts as the “glue” that helps to hold wheat, barley, kamut, spelt, farro, durum, bulgur, rye, and semolina together to maintain their shape.
You can find gluten in whole grains, but also in many processed foods as well. If you purchase wheat bread, there will be gluten in it, because wheat by nature has gluten.
Many processed foods have hidden gluten in them in the form or gluten or wheat derivatives. These are also in the form of flavorings, binders to keep ingredients together, or other additives.
Is licorice gluten-free?
Since most licorice, black, red, or other flavored, is made using wheat flour and wheat starch, making this candy not a safe option for a gluten-free diet.
Though most licorice does contain gluten, there are some brands that offer gluten-free licorice. We’ll go through those brands later in the post.
Is organic licorice gluten-free?
If a product is organic, it simply means that the ingredients used in the recipe for the product are all made without any pesticides. Being organic and gluten-free don’t have anything to do with one another.
A product could be organic while still containing gluten. Or a product could be gluten-free and not be organic.
All organic licorice is not gluten-free, just as all gluten-free licorice is not organic.
Is there any licorice that is gluten-free?
Though most licorice is made with wheat products making it not safe for a gluten-free diet, there are a few brands that offer gluten-free licorice.
Let’s go through a list of brands and flavors below.
Gluten-free Licorice Brands
Try one of these gluten-free licorice brands to satisfy your licorice craving. Most of these brands are sold online, but you may have some luck finding YumEarth or See’s Candies options more locally.
Note that most of these link off to Amazon to give you an idea of what the products look like, but you may be able to find them cheaper elsewhere online or in person.
- Yum Earth Organic Gluten-free Black Licorice
- Yum Earth Organic Gluten-free Pomegranate Licorice
- Yum Earth Organic Gluten-free Strawberry Licorice
- Yum Earth Organic Gluten-free Peach Licorice
- Smart Sweets Red Twists
- Gimbal’s All Natural Black Licorice Scottie Dogs
- Gimbal’s All Natural Strawberry Licorice Scottie Dogs
- Lakritsfabriken Swedish Premium Soft Licorice
- Candy Tree Gluten-free Licorice Twists
- Candy Tree Gluten-free Raspberry Twists
- Oldtimer’s Smallingerlandse Salmiak Klinkers Licorice
- Zot Organic
- See’s Candies Red Licorice Medallions
Are my favorite brands of licorice gluten-free?
If you have a favorite brand of licorice and have been wondering if it’s safe for you to continue eating on your gluten-free diet, find out the answers to your questions below.
Are Red Vines gluten-free?
Red Vines, both in black and red flavors, contain wheat flour. This is not a good option for a gluten-free diet.
Are Twizzlers gluten-free?
Twizzlers contain enriched wheat flour in their candy. Don’t choose this brand if you follow a gluten-free diet.
Is Darrell Lea licorice gluten-free?
This Australian brand of licorice has multiple sources of gluten in it’s products: wheat glucose syrup, wheat flour, and wheat fiber. It’s safe to say this brand of licorice is not gluten-free.
Is Yum Earth licorice gluten-free?
Yum Earth offers four flavors of licorice: black, strawberry, peach, and pomegranate – and all are gluten-free! This brand uses rice flour and cornstarch instead of wheat flour as a binder. You can safely enjoy this brand of licorice on a gluten-free diet.
Can I make my own gluten-free licorice?
Of course! There are loads of recipes online that will show you exactly how to make your own gluten-free licorice right in your kitchen. If the idea of hunting down a gluten-free option from a store or online isn’t for you, try your hand at one of these recipes instead.
- Gluten-free Red Cherry Licorice
- Gluten-free Licorice Candy
- Raw Licorice
- Gluten-free Corn-free Red Licorice
If you love licorice and have been wondering what your options are, I hope you’ve found this post to be useful. Look for specific gluten-free licorice brands and options to help you stick with your gluten-free diet.