Close up on candied orange peel, covered with with shiny granules of sugar.

Candied Citrus Peel & Citrus Syrup


Chris’s mom always has some candied citrus peel hiding in the freezer which comes out to decorate baked goods around Christmastime (if it hasn’t mysteriously disappeared).



  1. Line trays with wax paper.
  2. Prepare a large bowl with 2 cups of sugar.
  3. Cut the citrus peel into the desired final size (Chris likes roughly 1 inch square pieces).
  4. Put 1 cup of water in a pot on the stove.
  5. To the center of the pot, add the other 2 cups of sugar, and the light corn syrup. Do not stir (this will prevent sugar sloshing, which makes cleanup harder).
  6. Bring the pot to a boil, and let it boil for 3 minutes.
  7. Add the peel to the pot and reduce to a simmer.
  8. Allow to simmer, gently stirring occasionally.
  9. As the mixture approaches 230°F, stir more continuously. Then remove from the heat at 230°F.
  10. Rest the strainer over the pot, and scoop roughly ¼ cup of the peel into the strainer.
  11. Briefly allow to drain, until the dripping is slower.
  12. Transfer the peel to the pot with sugar.
  13. Use two forks to toss the peel in the sugar, making sure the peel separates.
  14. Transfer the peel to the wax paper.
  15. Continue the process until all the peel has been sugar-coated.
  16. Add any remaining sugar in the bowl to the pot with the syrup and stir to combine.
  17. Allow the peel to dry for at least 4 hours.
  18. When the syrup has safely cooled, transfer to a jar or bottle and store in the refrigerator.
  19. Store the peel in jars in a dry place.


For variety, consider mixing the finishing sugar with additives, like cayenne powder, beforehand.

Other recipes will have you boil the peel multiple times to reduce the bitter flavor. But this reduces the overall flavor as well and we like the contrast of the bitter with the sweet.

Before Chris uses any fresh citrus, he first removes the peel with a vegetable peeler. He then collects it in the freezer until he’s ready to make a batch of candy. (Things you pick up when you own a lemon tree.)