Candied orange peel

This candied orange peel recipe is one of my mum’s signature dishes. She makes jars of these sweet citrus rolls when orange is in season and stores them for use all year-long. You can enjoy them as such, you can use them to decorate cakes, you can cut them and use them in cakes or cookies. They make perfect gifts for those in love with citrus sweets.

Candied orange peel

You can find a printable recipe here

Orange peel

For the  syrup



Lemon juice

To make the syrup 

In a pot add 1 cup of water, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice  for every two cups of sugar

Simmer over medium heat till the sugar dissolves completely.

Allow to cool.

To prepare the orange peel

Slice ends off  the oranges, score the peel from one end to the other, and remove the peels from the oranges

Collect the orange peel in a bag in the fridge till you have enough (try not to make it more that a week or 10 days at most or the peel might go bad)

Place the orange peels in a pot,add enough cold water to cover the peel

Bring to a boil, turn off the heat.

Allow to cool completely then drain the water.(This process will get rid of the bitterness in the peel)

Allow the peel to drain in a colander  for a couple of hours or overnight

Roll the orange peel into little rolls and secure them with tooth picks

Arrange the rolled peel in a pot

Add enough syrup to cover the rolled peel.

Bring to a boil using low heat (if you use medium or high heat you might burn the sugar) and cook for 10 minutes.

Turn off the heat, allow to cool for a few minutes

Pour the peels into a colander to drain off the syrup (do not discard it)

When the peel has cooled take out the tooth picks and arrange in jars

Important notes

  • Adding the lemon juice to the peel prevents it from re-crystallizing when it cools
  • Boiling the peel reduces the bitterness in the peel
  • The amount of time you cook the peel in the syrup determines the texture of the final product. 10 minutes will give you soft candied syrup. an extra 10 minutes will give you caramelized and really chewy candied peel (something similar in texture to fruit leather). For decorating cakes, I prefer the soft ones. As a sweet treat I prefer the chewy ones.
  • If you made your orange peel chewy and after trying it you decided you liked the chewy ones better. Place the candied peel in a pot and add a little water (enough for water to come up half way up the rolls) and cook over medium to low heat for 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.Drain the orange peel. This will soften the orange peel.  
  • The syrup that you get from draining the candied orange peel is amazing on ice cream or to top your yogurt with. It is infused with a citrus orange flavor.


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  1. Oh this is fantastic and now I know what to do with the peel from all the ornages we are currently eating!

  2. They look so delicious, your photos are perfect for the post… they remind me of peels that they use at the fancy bakeries! I will have to make my own now that I know how! Thanks for sharing your Mom’s recipe with us!

  3. I’ve been looking for this recipe for a while now…glad I found here. Looks gona try some. thanks for the recipe:)

  4. I LOVE candied orange peel! My mum makes it too in winter… it is a very common (and traditional) dish in Sicily, I guess we owe it to the Middle Eastern influence in the island :-)))) Now I am craving some!!!!!!!! <3

  5. I’ve always wondered how to make candied orange peel. I thought it was quite difficult but it’s actually completely doable. Thanks for the step-by-step photos. They’re extremely helpful for a newbie like me.

  6. LOVE this, Sawsan! So creative, and I’m sure very tasty. :)

  7. Does it matter what type of oranges are used?

  8. i never knew it was this easy! WOW! I must try this at home- maybe do lemon too?

    • Mum always makes these with orange peel but a couple of readers suggested lemon and now I am really tempted to try that too and when I do I will update the post or maybe add a new one about lemon peel

  9. Could they BE any more gorgeous! What a wonderful gift that would make; your moms sounds like quite the cook. So glad you shared this with us.

  10. Rasha

     /  March 12, 2012

    My Friend,
    This looks great and reminds me of something my Mom used to make with the peel of the specific orange (خشخاش) . Instead of using tooth picks, she used a needle to thread them into necklaces, and while still hot, rolled them in dissected coconuts. When cold and set, she simply cut the thread and stored the lovely candied peels in the freezer.

  11. How beautiful… I can almost feel their smell… :) Thank you dear Sawsan, with my love,nia

  12. My Mom used to make candied citrus peels too, we just loved them as children. Your version looks absolutely gorgeous. What a lovely hostess gift this would make.

  13. I have always wanted to make candied peels – orange, lemon, etc. I am so excited that you posted this one and gave such a detailed description of the process. I remember I read one recipe on how to do it a while back and was totally intimidated. Now I’m feeling a little more confident. Not to mention it sounds fantastic and looks delicious. :)

    • I do hope you will give this a try Kristy. It is really easy and keeps for a very long time but the best part is that it is a blast of flavor. I really enjoy how intense the citrus flavor is in these little rolls

  14. I’ve been waiting for this post since your teaser on FB, Sawsan. I can’t believe how easy this looks! The boys and I are going to have to try it now. :)

  15. I have candied citrus peel many times, but I have never seen it rolled up like this. Thanks for the variation.

  16. I love that you rolled them for perfect bites!

  17. oh wow they look gorgeous, thanks a ton for this lovely recipe, been searching for this since i saw a tv show on candied ginger lemon & orange peel and have been dying to try it out

  18. Positively lovely!

  19. This is such a nice post, Sawsan. You’ve broken the recipe down into easy-to-follow steps and the accompanying photography is beautiful. This was a pleasure to read.

  20. Looks so good. How long will the peel keep in the jar and you just plop the peel wheels in the jar with no liquid? Sorry to sound stupid!

    • Hello Maureen. Yes you do just put them in a jar without liquid
      If you make them soft, I’d keep them in the fridge and they last for months
      If you make them the caramelized way (cook them for 10 more min in the syrup) you can keep them in a jar outside the fridge and they would keep for months too

  21. These look so tasty, and the photos are gorgeous! I’m a little confused by this instruction: “Collect the orange peel in a bag in the fridge till you have enough”. Do you need more than the four oranges that you mention just before this?

  22. Do you think you could replace the sugar with maple syrup or honey?

  23. I’ve made candied peel before but never thought of making these pretty “roses” for decorating cakes.. what an excellent idea!! I rolled mine in sugar after draining.

  24. What beautiful photos! Great recipe too.

  25. Oh wow…I just love this! I can imagine all the wonderful ways to use it as you mentioned. I would love to try this one day. Thanks very much for sharing. Hope you have a lovely weekend.

  26. so interesting, will try it for sure! inshallah

  27. Mary

     /  March 10, 2012

    Thanks, so much. I have been looking for a good recipe for candied orange peel. Can’t wait to try this.

  28. A lovely technique. I am definitely going to make these at some point. And the mango/orange cake looks delicious.

  29. Oh Yummy! Candied orange peel! I remember eating these as kids but haven’t had any in years. These looks so sweet and chewy – just perfect! Great pictures, great post!

  30. Great idea!! Thanks for sharing!!!

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