Candied Citrus Peel

Total Time:
55 minutes

Makes about 30-40 candied strips


• 4 to 5 large valencia or navel oranges
• 2 cups water
• 1 ½ cups granulated sugar divided
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• ½ teaspoon salt


Trim the tops and bottoms of the oranges. Use a vegetables peeler or knife to peel the oranges from top to bottom, into 2-4 inch segments. Press the peeler firmly against the orange to collect a nice even layer of peel. Then cut the wide strips into ¼ inch thin strips.

Place the orange peel segments into a medium sauce pot. Set over medium to medium-low heat. Add the water, 1 cup of sugar, and the salt. Bring to a simmer. Once simmering, set the timer and simmer approximately 20 minutes, or until the peels look soft, but still retain their vibrant color.
(To avoid the peels browning, set the stove just hot enough to hold the simmer and keep a close watch.)

Place the remaining ½ cup sugar in a bowl and set aside. Set out a drying rack and place a piece of wax paper or parchment paper under it.

Once the orange peels have simmered 20 minutes, stir in the vanilla extract. Turn off the heat and let the peels rest in the sugar syrup for 5 minutes.

Use tongs to move the orange peels to the cooling rack. Allow the orange peels to rest at least 15 minutes to dry and cool. Then toss them in the sugar to coat. Let the peels dry completely at room temperature. Store in an airtight container and place in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Tips and Notes:

For a low sugar or Paleo option, try subbing the sugar with your choice of honey. Some tweaking of the portions & cooking times may be needed*

Orange peels have almost three times the amount of vitamin C than the actual fruit of the orange! This treat is sweet AND healthy, in moderation of course 😉

Try candying the peels of lemons, limes and grapefruit!

Save the leftover sugar water as a simple syrup for cocktails or zesty flavoring in other recipes.

Freezing the peels can help them last for up to two months.

Recipe sourced from A Spicy Perspective