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Mini Black Licorice Cupcakes for Halloween

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In my last post, I asked you to guess which flavor of licorice I’d be using in my licorice cupcakes.  The answer is black licorice!  Black licorice is a love it or hate it flavor and I saw some strong opinions about it in the contest comments.  Even if you fall into the “hate it” category, I hope you’ll consider giving these black licorice cupcakes a try.  Flavors taste different in different formats.  Some people enjoy bananas, but can’t stand banana bread; others detest tomatoes and adore tomato sauce.  Likewise, several anti-licorice tasters raved about my licorice cupcakes.

Before I developed the licorice cupcake recipe, I made homemade black licorice to see firsthand how to achieve the distinct flavor of black licorice.  (I didn’t post about the candy itself because I wasn’t able to get the texture quite right.  If I master it, I’ll share it.)  The black licorice recipe was made using dark corn syrup,  molasses, and anise extract, so I used those same ingredients in my black licorice cupcakes.  It worked!  The cupcakes truly taste like a cupcake form of black licorice.

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Mini Black Licorice Cupcakes for Halloween


Cupcake Ingredients

  • 1 ¾ cups cake flour not self-rising
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup dark corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup blackstrap molasses
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • ¼ cup canola oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 teaspoons anise extract
  • ½ cup whole milk

Frosting Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup butter
  • 2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons anise extract
  • ¾ teaspoon orange extract
  • Black licorice for topping cupcakes optional


Cupcake Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together cake flour, baking powder, and baking soda.
  3. Add sugar, corn syrup, molasses, and butter and mix until fully combined.
  4. In a small bowl, mix eggs, oil, sweetened condensed milk, and anise extract.
  5. Add contents of small bowl to the medium-sized bowl and mix until just combined.
  6. Add milk and mix until just combined.
  7. Fill mini cupcake liners almost all the way to the top.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.

Frosting Directions:

  1. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat butter on high speed with an electric mixer for three minutes until light and fluffy.
  2. Mix in powdered sugar a little bit at a time.
  3. Mix in extracts.
  4. Spread or pipe on cooled cupcakes.
  5. Optionally top cupcakes with black licorice pieces.

Recipe Notes

Note: If you prefer full-sized cupcakes, simply fill 24 full-sized liners and increase the baking time to 30 minutes.

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5 comments on “Mini Black Licorice Cupcakes for Halloween”

  1. OMG. These look delicious and I normally don’t even care for black licorice.

  2. Big fan of black licorice, Paula Deen and Cupcake Project sweets…Maybe these are the perfect Halloween mini cupcake treat!

    Love how you think outside the box, Stef!

  3. Josays:

    These do look absolutely delicious! I have a friend who runs a cupcake shop in Halifax, I’ll have to pass this on! I love liqorice and cant imagine it with cupcakes, what a fab idea!

  4. Anonymoussays:

    looks really good want to try that
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