Make Your Own Candied Orange Peel

It’s easy to make homemade candied orange peel. Use it in fruitcake or dip it in chocolate for a decadent treat.

candied orange peel

If you, like me, have a great affinity for oranges, there are probably plenty of orange peels hanging out on your counter. It seems like such a waste to throw them away. Luckily it’s not very difficult to turn those orange peels into something very useful. You could:

  • Slice and dry – I do this and add to tea mixes.
  • Dry in large pieces – a great addition to potpourri.
  • Zest it – and add to baked goods.
  • Use to infuse – infuse olive oil or vinegar with orange peel.
  • Candy it! – Most of my late fall orange peels are turned into candied peel for fruitcake or snacks.

A few things to note:

  1. Don’t be tempted to by-pass the blanching steps (bringing the peels to a boil). Yes, this process is a bit tedious but it reduces bitterness. Have you ever eaten orange peel? It’s pretty bitter!
  2. I use most of my candied peel to make fruitcake;  but it can also be dipped in chocolate, added to cookies, stuffed in a dried date or eaten as is. WARNING! These things are addictive! The first bite is a little bitter. The second bite is pretty good. The third bite is yummy. By the forth bite some sort of compulsion takes over and you can’t stop eating them.
  3. This same process can be used to make candied lemon peel or candied grapefruit peel.
  4. Homemade candied fruit is soooooooooo much better than anything you can purchase at the grocery store. Homemade candied fruit (peels too) have a rich fruity flavor that is also sweet. Purchased candied fruit seems to have a sugary sweetness and no flavor at all.

Make Your Own Candied Orange Peel
Easy to make candied orange peel can be used in baked goods or as a snack.
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 2 large navel oranges
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • ½ cup water
  1. Wash and peel two large navel oranges. If the orange peel has a large amount of pith (the white part), cut some of it away with a sharp paring knife.
  2. Cut the peel into strips about ¼ inch wide.
  3. Place peel in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Drain. Repeat this step 2 more times.
  4. Set peel aside.
  5. Combine 1½ cups of sugar and ½ cup of water in the saucepan.
  6. Bring to a simmer and cook for 8 minutes or until soft thread stage (232 degrees).
  7. Add the drained peel and continue simmering gently. Cook for 30-45 minutes or until the peels have a translucent quality. Don’t stir while cooking as this could cause the formation of large sugar crystals.
  8. Drain the peels, roll in additional granulated sugar and let dry overnight on a rack.
  9. Store the candied peel in an airtight container.

Some other recipes you may find interesting:

How to Make Easy, Flavorful Candied Cherries

Candied Citron and Candied Quince

How to Make Orange Spice Fruitcake – Step by Step

by Renee Pottle

Renee Pottle, a freelance writer and Home Economist, is fanatic about all things food. She blogs about canning and food preservation at Find her professional food writing info at

December 8, 2015

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