Candied Orange Peels

candied orange peels

These sun ripened candies definitely make me feel a little less guilty when I eat a handful at a time.  Just repeat after me, “It’s fruit, so it must be oaky!”  Join me in my mantra as we make Candied Orange Peels.

First, let me just mention that if you are candy-ing any peels, you’ll want the fruit to be organic. The last thing you want is candied pesticides. Look for either Navel or Valencia oranges for this recipe. Tangerine peels are just too thin.  (Grapefruit, lemon, and lime peels all work well, too, by the way.) My daughter had just juiced some fresh oranges, so I used the halves she had cut.  (I love when nothing goes to waste!)  If you have whole oranges, quarter them and remove the fruit and white pith. Slice the quarters into 1/4 – 1/2 inch slices; whichever you prefer.

candied orange peels

This next step is where you will determine how much bitterness you want in your peels. Many recipes call for just two boils.  This may work for a thinner peel with no pith, but, in general, I recommend three boils to remove any bitterness and, honestly, four is even better.

Place slices in a pot of water and bring to a boil.  Boil for ten minutes, remove from water, repeat.  Do this at least three times, if not four.

candied orange peels

Over medium heat, add your water and sugar and stir to dissolve.  Add peels and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer until soft and almost translucent (approximately 40-50 minutes).

Drain on rack and let sit about an hour (until they are tacky). Roll in sugar and let dry for one to two days.

candied orange peels

candied orange peels

candied orange peels

Store in an airtight container. You can also freeze these for up to two months. Dipped in chocolate, these could be a pretty holiday gift.

candied orange peels

Candied Orange Peels

Print Recipe


  • 4 organic oranges (or other citrus)
  • 4 cups sugar, separated
  • 3 cups water



Scrub orange peel and slice into quarters


Remove flesh and pith


Cut into 1/4 - 1/2 inch slices


Place in pot of water and bring to a boil


Simmer for approx 10 minutes, remove from pot


Repeat 3-4 times with fresh water, depending on how much bitterness you'd like remaining


In a large pan, combine water and three cups of sugar, reserving final cup of sugar for later


Stir to dissolve, then add peels


Simmer over low heat for approx 45 minutes or until the peels are translucent


Layout in single layer on racks until tacky, about one hour


Pour remaining sugar onto a plate and roll the peels in it to coat


Let air dry for a day, then store in an airtight container or freeze up to two months


But wait, there's more! Both the sugar liquid and remaining citrus sugar can be reused! Add the sugar liquid to sweeten beverages and the citrus sugar can be used for baking, to sweeten beverages, etc...


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