Let’s admit it: Black Licorice is not for everyone. But those of us who love black licorice REALLY love it. Most black licorice is off limits due to the wheat flour used in traditional recipes, so we created these cupcakes to give the same delicious flavor without the gluten and made them extra easy to make with Better Batter Yellow Cake Mix. We decorated this batch for a Halloween party, but you could decorate them a little less ‘spidery’ and serve them any time of year.

1 box Better Batter Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix, plus ingredients called for on box (choose vegan or non vegan instructions)
up to 2 tsp anise extract or up to 1/2 tsp anise candy flavoring oils

For the Cupcakes
Mix cake batter, as per instructions on box, using the egg and oil or bean puree method, as desired. Stir in the anise flavor, adding a little at a time and tasting – anise can be very strong, so add only as much as pleases your palate! Stir to evenly combine.

Line 24 cupcake tins with paper liners and divide the cupcake batter evenly among the cups.

Bake as per the instructions on the box, at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until cake springs back when lightly pressed with a finger and top is golden brown.

Decorate as desired (instructions for ‘spiders’ are below):


Star tip and icing bag.

2-3 c black frosting. You may use any frosting recipe or safe commercial frosting. We recommend using a plain flavored icing, since the cupcakes will be strongly flavored with anise.

48 candy eyes (make sure to buy safe, gluten free brand), usually available at a craft store or online.

‘spider legs’ enough for 24 cupcakes – usually available at a craft store or online. You can also draw these on paper and gluten them to toothpicks, or make them out of melted, piped and cooled chocolate, if you wish.

To decorate:
Allow cupcakes to cool completely. Fill icing bag with black icing and pipe ‘hair’ all over cupcakes, using the star tip to create fuzzy texture.

Place two candy eyes on the front of the cupcake and stick legs in the top of the cupcakes on each side.

Serve immediately, or store loosely covered at room temperature for up to 48 hours (candy will begin to melt around this time).