How to Make Candied Orange Peel

How to Make Candied Orange Peel

Why in the world would anyone want to eat orange peel? That was always my thought when I saw it in a candy case. Even dipped in chocolate...who would want that?
A. It's fruit, which is not dessert.
B. It's the PEEL of a fruit...what the heck?

Well, my friends, this girl has changed her tune.

How to Make Candied Orange Peel |

I needed some candied orange peel for a recipe. I looked online; how hard could it be, right? Um, making candied peels is a much more time-consuming process than I imagined. So, I checked my grocery store - no dice. Yes, you can buy it online, but I wanted to make that recipe, and I wanted it now. *channeling Veruca Salt*

Here's the deal. Candied orange peel isn't hard to make. Also, it DELICIOUS! The taste reminds me of those orange candies, but much, much better. Tart, sweet, a little chewy...heaven.

How to Make Candied Orange Peel |

The basic recipe comes from this one on Imperial Sugar's site. The recipe is from Chef actual chef, so he knows his stuff. I modified it a bit, using a peeler for less pith and thinner strips. This also led to a shorter cooking time which is a bonus.

How to Make Candied Orange Peel |

First, you'll peel oranges. Three to five per batch for this recipe.

Candied Orange Peel

Some of the white pith will come off with the peel. Scrape away any that you can, but don't worry about a thin layer.

Candied Orange Peel |

Next comes a series of simmering and cooling. You'll start with water and salt. Then, just water.

How to Make Candied Orange Peel |

After a couple of times, you'll add the sugar. Simmer and cool again. The sugar will soak into the peels.

Candied Orange Peel |

Once the peels are translucent and sweet, it's time for drying. This can take 24-48 hours.

The peels are edible while they're still tacky, but you'll want them to be completely dry before storing or dipping in chocolate. (I just shortened that whole process by eating them with a few bittersweet chocolate chips.)

how to make candied orange peel for dipping in chocolate, cookies, breads, candies, etc. | bakeat350,net

I have a great Irish recipe coming up using these candied peels, but in the meantime, here are a few other ideas for using your candied peels:

  • dip in bittersweet chocolate
  • chop and use in cookie dough
  • use for a delicious cannoli filling
  • topping for oatmeal, preferably with chocolate chips
  • an addition to chocolate bark 
  • in a fruitcake people will eat ;)
  • straight up, baby! 

A post shared by Bridget Edwards {bake at 350} (@bridget350) on
Oh, oh, oh!!! Don't throw away that beautiful orange simple syrup leftover from cooking the peels! It is just heaven sweetening a cup of Hibiscus tea! 

Candied Orange Peel

3-5 large oranges
water (lots of water)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

Peel the oranges with a vegetable peeler. Use a paring knife to remove excess pith, but don't worry about a thin layer. 

Bring 8 cups of water plus the salt to a boil. Add the peel and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain the peels and discard the water. 

Repeat with 8 more cups of water and no salt. Drain again, discarding the water. 

Bring 1 1/2 cups more water plus the sugar to a boil. Add the peels and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Do NOT drain. Place the lid on the pot and let cool. Refrigerate for a few hours to cool completely. 

[Note: any of the cooling periods can be done overnight.]

Once totally cooled, bring the same mixture to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes. Cool as above for several hours. Once cooled, remove one peel from the syrup and test a small piece. If translucent, soft, and sweet, the peels have finished cooking. If the peels are tough and you can taste the bitter pith, cook as above once more. 

Drain the peels reserving the syrup. Store the syrup in the fridge and use for sweetening tea or cocktails. 

Separate the peels and place on a wire cooling rack placed over a cookie sheet. Let the peels dry for 24-48 hours. The peels are edible while still tacky to the touch, but make sure they are completely dry before storing or dipping in chocolate. 

Store dried peels in an airtight container in the pantry. 

How to Make Candied Orange Peel |

Stay tuned for the Irish-inspired recipe coming soon! 



  1. Looks delicious Bridget! This would be awesome in so many things!

  2. I have been making orange peel for years. It is time consuming but worth the time. I boil it and dump the water after a few minutes four times. That takes care of any bitterness. They taste nice on top of a piece of home made caramel or given in a small bag as a gift. I have tried grapefruit too which I learned from Chef Jacques Pepin. I like the orange peel the best. Enjoy.

  3. I first tasted candied orange peel when a dear friend brought some to work. I was in heaven. She would make the office (me!) some from time to time, declaring it was a labor of love. She rolled hers in sugar at some point so they were quite fancy looking.

  4. Hi, Bridget, I was wondering if it would be OK if I use brown sugar instead of white sugar?

    1. Hi Kevin! I would stick to granulated sugar for this one. I think the brown sugar would add too much molasses flavor.

  5. I have not had this in YEARS. My aunt dearly loved this and liked it dipped in chocolate. I can remember the smell like it was yesterday. I think I have to try this again. xo Diana

  6. This is a brilliant idea! Great way to use a part of the orange that normally just gets thrown away.

  7. I literally started having hunger pangs halfway through the post. It looks amazing and I bet it also tastes delicious too. It is the perfect dish to cook up in this season. I can’t wait to try it . Looking forward to reading more delectable recipes in the upcoming posts.

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  14. I made this on Sunday and it was great! It didn't last, but it was GREAT!


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