Candied Citrus Peel

You can candy any type of citrus peel although lemon peel is the most popular choice. Candied citrus peel makes a great garnish for desserts like cakes and ice cream.

Candied Citrus Peel
6 lemons or other citrus fruits
2 cups sugar
In making the candied lemon peel (or any kind of citrus peel) this recipe also produces about 1 1/2 cups of lemon (or citrus) flavored syrup that makes a great glaze for a cake or lemon bread.

Wash the citrus well. Use a vegetable peeler to thinly slice all the peel off the fruit. Try not to get too much of the white pith.

Slice the peeled pieces thinly, as small as you want, so you have little pieces that look like toothpicks. You can dice the peel if you want little squares instead of strings. Cutting the peels up is the hardest part of this recipe.

Bring about four cups water to boil. Add the peel and blanch (boil) for 1 minute. Drain peel in a strainer and rinse with cold water.

To make a simple syrup, bring 2 cups water and 2 cups sugar to a boil. Stir until all the sugar is dissolved, then turn down heat to simmer. Add the peel and simmer for about 30 minutes. The peel should turn translucent all the way through.

The lemon peel before cooking.
Lemon peel after cooking for 30 minutes.

Remove from heat and let the peel cool in the syrup to room temperature. Refrigerate the peel in the syrup. You can now use the candied peel or the syrup – or both – to glaze a cake or garnish another dessert. To use just the peel, drain the syrup off before you use it. Candied lemon peel is really good on cakes, lemon bread, or ice cream. The candied citrus peel is a beautiful garnish, and the syrup can replace frosting.

Melinda's Notes: These directions make it sound like a lot of work. It isn't really. Peeling the citrus and cutting up the peels is the hardest part of the recipe. This is a very easy recipe for candied lemon peel. Or lime peel, or orange, grapefruit, tangerine.... hmm. I have only tried making the lemon and lime zest, but the recipe should work for any type of citrus peel. Both taste good, but the lime zest turns a little brown. Food coloring or citric acid would probably improve the color of the candied lime peel, but I haven't tried that. My favorite is lemon bread with this lemon syrup poured over as a glaze, with candied lemon peel on the top.


  1. It sounds like it would smell good while it was cooking too! Yum!


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