Candied Citrus Peel

I know, it seems particularly hardcore to make your own candied peel for things like fancy breads and buns, but when you realize how simple it is, and that every orange, lemon, lime and grapefruit literally comes with an almost-free batch of candied peel, you may be a convert. And beyond the simplicity and economy of it (good candied citron is expensive, man), the homemade version is leaps and bounds better than anything you’ll buy at the store, even the expensive stuff, even more so than just about any other product I can think of – consider homemade vs store bought chocolate chip cookies, and you’ll be in the right ballpark.

Literally all you have to do to make candied citrus peel – which is fab for baking but also divine on its own, and even more so dipped in chocolate – is peel an orange or two (I quarter it first), cut the peel into strips and simmer it in a simple syrup: equal parts water and sugar. (I like to save the water the peel first simmered in, so I don’t lose all that flavour.)

When you peel your citrus fruit (I like to cut it into quarters first, so the peel doesn’t come off in chunks), don’t worry about the white pithy part, although if you want thinner strips of only the dark orange part you can zip off the skin with a parking knife and leave much of the white part behind. I prefer the whole peel – once cooked in the simple syrup, the white part ends up tender and intensely orange-y, not bitter or spongy. So delicious – we’ve been nibbling a bowl of this all weekend.

Candied Orange Peel
Candied Orange Peel

Candied Citrus Peel


April 21, 2019


orange (or lemon, lime or grapefruit) peel



1Peel your citrus fruit (I like to cut it into quarters first, so the peel doesn't come off in chunks), and thinly slice them. Put them into a medium-large saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Cook for about 10 minutes.

2Pour the peel out into a colander set over a bowl to catch the cooking liquid (if you have a large measuring cup/bowl, even better.. and if you forget, don't worry - just use water) and add about as much sugar as there is water. (ie if you have 2 cups cooking liquid, add 2 cups sugar.) Return everything to the pot, bring to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes, or until the peel is very tender and almost translucent.

3Drain (reserve the syrup for something tasty) and toss the strips in a shallow dish of sugar to coat. Place them on a piece of parchment or foil, or on a rack over a baking sheet to allow the air to circulate around them more. Leave them out for a day or so to dry out a bit, and then store in a sealed container. If you like, dip each strip in chocolate.


About Julie

10 comments on “Candied Citrus Peel

  1. Thel
    April 21, 2019 at 12:46 pm

    I have saved peels in the freezer , they taste great and you don’t need to boil them as long . I love making these to use for for garnish, baking and gifting , and just indulging , they are so good!

    • Julie
      April 21, 2019 at 9:04 pm

      Ooh, great tip!

  2. Michael Simmons
    May 9, 2019 at 10:49 pm

    Thank you for this instruction, Julie!

    I’ve always wanted to try doing this but never seem to store up enough peels to do it. Maybe someday soon I’ll buy oranges for the peel and then freeze the pulp instead. I usually freeze my peels and then use them in cooking or herbal tea, along with my lemon peels.

  3. ria
    May 28, 2019 at 5:11 pm

    To dry them, I put them on wax paper and put that into my dehydrator for two days. Worked perfectly! and made the house smell amazing too. Super easy, I can’t believe I thought this was too hard and hadn’t done it before.

    • Julie
      May 29, 2019 at 10:42 am

      Great advice! sadly I don’t have a dehydrator, but it’s SO dry in Calgary…

    • Julie
      May 30, 2019 at 7:39 am

      I know right??

  4. Shelley
    May 29, 2019 at 2:29 pm

    What would you suggest we use the reserved cooking liquid for? I love the idea of using it up, citrus simple syrup? Or can you suggest something baked?

    • Julie
      May 30, 2019 at 7:31 am

      Brush over warm cake! drizzle over waffles or ice cream or other desserts, or into cocktails! You could even stir it into batters as an orange-infused liquid form of sweetener!

  5. Carroll
    June 2, 2019 at 4:08 am

    Can you freeze the candied peel?

    • Julie
      June 2, 2019 at 11:15 pm

      I don’t see why not!

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