A totally foolproof, wonderfully easy Candied Orange Peel recipe that makes sweet and bright orange peel candy – perfect for the holidays!

close up of candied orange peel in bowl

Candied Orange Peels

The holidays call for a bit of flourish, don’t they?

Candied Orange Peels are a terrifically vibrant and delicious way to add festive pizazz to Christmas cocktails and desserts. Bright golden slivers of sugar-coated orange peels taste as wonderful as they look, and bring some impressive flair to nearly any drink or dish.

Most recipes for making candied orange peels from scratch seem trickier than necessary. They often use candy thermometers, and include watching (and watching… And more watching) for crystallization. No, thank you.

This easy recipe makes the BEST, sweetest orange peel candy, without all the fuss. The pieces are soft and perky, with just the right hint of chewiness and light, sugary crunch.

candied orange peels for the holidays in small glass bowl

What Ingredients You Need

Our uncomplicated recipe for tangy Citrus Peel Candy includes only 5 simple ingredients:

  • Navel Oranges – just the peels so feel free to use the juice of the orange to make other holiday recipes, like Holiday Wine Punch Cocktails (You can also use Valencia or Cara Cara oranges.)
  • Water – for simmering the peels
  • Granulated sugar – to create perfectly sweet candied orange peels
  • Vanilla – adds a deep earthy flavor to balance out the sweetness 
  • Salt – essential for the candying process

You can also use this same recipe for making candied grapefruit, lemon peel, or lime peels! Orange you glad to know? *wink*

strips of orange rind

How to Make the Easiest Candied Orange Peels

Instructions…

This effortless recipe is great to make as a relaxing weekend or weekday evening project. Just follow these few basic steps for making cheery, citrusy-good orange peel candy from scratch at home in less than an hour!

First, prep the oranges by trimming off the tops and bottoms with a paring knife. Then use a vegetable peeler to carefully peel the oranges from top to bottom, into 2-4 inch long segments. It helps to press the peeler very firmly against the orange to collect a nice even layer of peel, omitting as much white pith as possible. 

Once you’ve peeled all of the oranges into wide strips, cut the slices into thinner ¼ inch strips.

Next, place the orange peel segments into a medium saucepan and turn the heat on to medium or medium-low. Add water, sugar, and salt. Stir and bring to a simmer. As soon as the water begins to boil, set a timer for 20 minutes. You want to cook the peels until they are just soft, but still have their lovely vibrant color. (Using medium to medium-high heat will burn your peels quickly.)

peels simmering in water

Meanwhile, prepare for the next steps: Add the remaining ½ cup sugar to a bowl and set aside, and set out a drying rack with a piece of wax paper or parchment paper under it.

Once the orange peels have simmered for 20 minutes, stir in the vanilla extract. Turn off the heat and let the peels rest in the sugar syrup for several minutes.

Then use tongs (or a slotted spoon) to move the orange peels to the cooling wire rack. Allow the orange peels to rest for at least 15 minutes to dry and cool. (This allows the excess syrup to drain off the slices.)

orange peels on a drying rack

Toss the cooled peels in the sugar to coat.

bowl of sugar

Let the peels dry completely at room temperature. This should take another 30 minutes or so.

Store the Candied Orange Peels in an airtight container, and keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Enjoy as a snack or as a decoration on cake or cupcakes. 

Get the Full (Printable) Easiest Candied Orange Peel Recipe + Video Below!

orange peel recipe

How Can I Enjoy Candied Orange Peel?

Eat these homemade candies right out of the container as a special treat, or serve Candied Orange Peels as a garnish on desserts and drinks.

Add a few to Homemade Chocolate Pudding for a delicious chocolate and orange dish, or top this Yogurt Cheesecake with Orange Shortbread Crust to add an extra burst of citrus flavor.

Use pieces of orange peels to finish festive cocktails, like an Aperol Spritz or in a Spiced Manhattan Cocktail.

However, you choose to include, these homemade candies are sure to add some joy to your holiday celebrations!

how to make easy candy orange peel

Looking for More Easy Candy Recipes?

Check this candy’s printable recipe card below for the prep time, total time, and nutrition information including calories, protein, sodium, potassium, vitamin c, and calcium percentages.

candied orange peels
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The Easiest Candied Orange Peel Recipe

Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
A totally foolproof, wonderfully easy Candied Orange Peel recipe that makes sweet and bright orange peel candy – perfect for the holidays!
Servings: 20 servings

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Trim the tops and bottoms of the oranges. Then use a vegetables peeler to peel the oranges from top to bottom, into 2-4 inch segments. Press the peeler firmly against the orange to collect a nice even layer of peel. Be careful to trim off just the peel, not the white bitter pith. Then cut the wide strips into ¼ inch thin strips.
  • Place the orange peel segments into a medium saucepot. Set over medium to medium-low heat. Add the water, 1 cup of sugar, and the salt. Bring to a simmer. Once simmering, set the timer and simmer approximately 20 minutes, or until the peels look soft, but still retain their vibrant color. (You don’t want them to turn brown, so set the stove just hot enough to hold the simmer.)
  • Meanwhile, place the remaining ½ cup sugar in a bowl and set aside. Set out a drying rack and place a piece of wax paper or parchment paper under it.
  • Once the orange peels have simmered 20 minutes, stir in the vanilla extract. Turn off the heat and let the peels rest in the sugar syrup for another 5-10 minutes.
  • Use tongs to move the orange peels to the cooling rack. Allow the orange peels to rest at least 15 minutes to dry and cool. Then toss them in the sugar to coat. Let the peels dry completely at room temperature. Then store in an airtight container and place in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Notes

You can candy lemon and lime peels as well!

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 71kcal, Carbohydrates: 18g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 59mg, Potassium: 47mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 17g, Vitamin A: 59IU, Vitamin C: 14mg, Calcium: 11mg, Iron: 1mg
Course: Candy, Dessert, Drinks, Snack
Cuisine: American
Author: Sommer Collier
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