Nautical Licorice Cupcake Toppers

Looking to practice your knot-tying skills? Or maybe just enjoy a cupcake? Well, today’s post has got you covered on both fronts – these nautical-inspired cupcakes are completely edible thanks to colorful shoestring licorice! These cupcakes make the perfect addition to a nautical or under-the-sea themed party, but would also be a fun surprise treat for a happy couple that are about to tie the knot!

And don’t worry – tying these licorice knots is easy as can be. Keep reading for the full instructions below!

what you need:

  • Cupcakes
  • Frosting
  • Shoestring licorice
  • Scissors
  • Spatula


Step 1
If your cupcakes aren’t already frosted, apply a good dollop onto the top of each one and smooth out with a spatula.

Step 2
Pick out your shoestring licorice – the pack we used included a handful of colors, but we stuck with the yellow candy only because we liked how it looked with the pale pink frosting. The less twisted up the candy the better – the next step is easiest with licorice that doesn’t have too many kinks or bends in it.

Step 3
Time to make your knot! This knot is technically called a Carrick Bend, but we didn’t tighten it all the way as you normally would. The looser, more open-weave knot gives a more decorative look and is perfect for making with shoestring licorice! See the above image for reference. You need two pieces of licorice to start, each about 5″ long. In the example, we used two different colors to make the directions easier to track, but for your real cupcakes you’ll likely want to use the same color on both pieces for a more uniform look.

The knot seems a bit complicated at first, but once you have the licorice in your hands, it comes together in no time. Practicing with two different colored pieces may help you at first as well until you get the hang of it. You can also take a look at this animated image of the knot coming together.

Step 4
Once you have a knot, place it on top of a frosted cupcake. Use scissors to trim away the excess licorice that hangs off the edge of the cupcake.

Repeat for all cupcakes.

If you’re looking for even more nautical party ideas, check out the blog archives! These DIY boat toys are crafted from recycled materials and make for the perfect activity at a kids party. Or how about these painted paper plate fish? They come together super quickly and can be taped up onto the wall as decor!