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Candied Citrus Peels

Prep Time:

30 minutes

Cook Time:

30 minutes


2-3 Servings

About the Recipe

I am so excited to share this ridiculously easy and downright addictive recipe for homemade candied orange and lemon peels. Seriously, if you've never tried making these at home, you're in for a sweet, citrusy treat that'll have you wondering why you have never done this before or why you ever settled for store-bought.

Picture this: plump orange, grapefruit and lemon peels, transformed into delightful, sugary confections. It's like sunshine in candy form! Trust me, the whole process is a breeze, and the payoff is beyond worth it. Whether you're looking to impress your friends with a unique snack or elevate your baking game, these candied peels are the answer.

We're talking about taking fresh citrus peels, blanching away any bitterness, and then simmering them in a sugar bath until they reach the pinnacle of candied perfection. The result? Translucent, sweet, and slightly chewy strips of citrusy goodness. Plus, the aroma that wafts through your kitchen while making these is basically a spa day for your senses.

So, grab some oranges, snag a few lemons, and let's turn those kitchen moments into a burst of citrusy joy. Get ready to snack, garnish, and indulge in your homemade candied orange, grapefruit and lemon peels—it's a citrus celebration you won't want to miss!


4 large citrus fruits (oranges, lemons or grapefruit)

2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup water


I love making my own homemade candied citrus peels epecially around the holiday season. Something anout the freshness of citrus paired with the warmth of holiday spices. They may require a bit of patience, but in my opinion, it is totally worth it. They bring any baked good up a notch in both taste and presentation, and make for a delicious nibble if you want to treat yourself to some homemade candy.

Let's go!

Begin by preparing the peels. I love using a citrus zester with a channel knife to do this. I personally love my peels to be thin and delicate, and I find using a peeler allows me to make more delicate ribbons than if I was using a knife. However, if you do not have one on hand, or if you prefer to have more control on how big your candied peels are, using a sharp pairing knife will definitely do the trick as well.

  • Cut the ends off the fruit.

  • Score the peel into quarters, then carefully peel off the quarters trying to take as little of the pith as possible with it.

  • Or simply use the channel knife on your zester to spiral around your citrus fruit to make thin ribbons

Blanch the Peels:

  • Place the peels in a saucepan and cover with cold water.

  • Bring to a boil, then drain.

  • Repeat this process two more times to reduce bitterness.

Tip: Depending on how thick your peels are, you may want to repeat this process up to 4 times. I usually give my peels a little taste. If they are still bitter, continue the boiling process.

Next Make a Sugar Syrup and add the peels:

  • In a medium saucepan, combine 2 cups of sugar and 1 cup of water.

  • Heat over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.

  • Add the blanched peels to the sugar syrup.

  • Simmer on low heat for about 20-45 minutes (depending on the size of your peels), or until the peels are translucent.

Drain and Cool:

  • Use a slotted spoon to remove the peels from the syrup.

  • Allow the peels to cool on a wire rack.

Coat in Sugar (optional):

The peels will be candied and sweet as they are. However, if you want to add a extra dusting of sugar to give them that matte candied look, this is the time to do it.

  • Roll the cooled peels in granulated sugar to coat them evenly.


  • Place the sugared peels on a parchment-lined tray to dry for several hours or overnight.

  • Save the orange or lemon-infused syrup for other culinary uses, such as sweetening drinks or drizzling over desserts.

  • Adjust the sugar level according to your preference. If you like it less sweet, you can reduce the amount of sugar in the syrup.

  • Depending on your sugar to water ratio and how long you end up boiling your peels in the syrup- you may end up with more of a infused dry sugar rather than syrup at the end. This is also a wonderful way to rim your holiday drinks with, or to sprinkle over your baked good. You can always bring it back into a syrup by adding a bit more water to the infused sugar and bringing it back to boil.

What I used:

Here are items that I find helpful when making my candied citrus peels. Please note that these are affiliate links and I may earn commissions from qualified purchases.

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