Candied Orange Peel (Chocolate Covered)
Candied orange peel is the perfect sweet treat with a burst of orange flavor. Orange peels are boiled in a simple syrup until slightly translucent and laid out to dry. Once they’ve dried, they’re coated in the sugar of your choice (you can use paleo and low-carb sugars too).
If you’re feeling fancy, you can make chocolate covered orange peel as well!
Candied Orange Peel
Candied orange peel is always popular during the holidays (especially if you make them chocolate dipped!) and they make wonderful DIY food gifts.
But I love making candied orange peel any time of year for a sweet treat that’s perfectly portioned. One or two strips of candied orange peel is enough to satisfy my sweet cravings and one batch will last me a long time (though if you have kids, it likely won’t last as long).
Quick Video of Candied Orange Peel Process
Want to know how to make candied orange peel so it turns out perfectly? Watch the quick video below!
What Sugar to Use for Candied Orange Peel?
Traditionally, candied orange peel is made with your run-of-the-mill granulated cane sugar. But you can use any sugar you’d like. You could use raw turbinado sugar, coconut sugar, honey, maple syrup, monk fruit or erythritol (among many other options). So if you’re following a paleo or low carb diet, feel free to choose the sugar that fits your lifestyle best.
Two notes on sugar selection:
- Darker sugars (like coconut sugar) may slightly darken the orange peels when boiled
- Honey keeps the orange peels softer than other sugars (and they won’t firm up as much)
How to Make Candied Orange Peel
Peel and Slice the Orange
Because you’re eating the peel, I recommend purchasing organic oranges. Use a vegetable brush to gently wash the outside of the orange, then use a knife slice off a small section on the top and bottom. Score the orange skin to the white pith (without cutting all the way through), making 4 cuts lengthwise. Carefully remove each section of peel (and use the orange flesh in other recipes or my almond orange smoothie). Then slice the peel into 1/4-inch wide strips.
Boil the Orange Peel in Water
Because orange peel can be bitter, we’ll boil it twice to remove some of that bitterness. Add the orange peel strips to a pot and cover about an inch with water. Bring to a boil, then drain over a colander. Repeat this process again.
Boil the Orange Peel in Simple Syrup
Once the orange peel has been boiled and drained twice, add the peel back to the pot with 2 cups of water and 1 cup of sugar (the sugar of your choice). This is a slightly thinner simple syrup ratio than the standard 1:1 ratio. I also toss in a vanilla bean for a little infused vanilla flavor.
Bring this mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the orange peels cool in the remaining sugar (which should be very little) for 5 minutes.
Let the Orange Peels Dry
Use tongs to remove the orange peels to a drying rack set over parchment paper. Let them dry at least 8 hours (though 24 hours is best). They’ll still be slightly tacky and soft.
Coat the Orange Peels in Sugar and/or Chocolate
Once the orange peels are mostly dry, roll them around in granulated sugar. I’ve used organic cane sugar in the photos which has a larger granule size, but you could use a superfine sugar or grind a larger sugar to a fine texture. You can enjoy and store them at this stage or dip them in melted chocolate. Alternatively, you could forgo rolling them in sugar and completely cover them in chocolate. It’s up to you!
How Long Can You Store Candied Orange Peels?
You can store candied orange peels in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a month. If you make a larger batch, you can store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
More Sweet Treats to Enjoy
- Chocolate Covered Bananas
- The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies (gluten-free, paleo, vegan)
- Chocolate Coconut Macaroons
- Meyer Lemon Coconut Macaroons
- Chocolate Covered Strawberries
- Mint Double Chocolate Chip Cookies (gluten-free, paleo)
Candied Orange Peels (Chocolate Dipped!)
- 3 oranges, recommend organic as you're eating the peel
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup sugar, plus more for coating
- 1 vanilla bean, optional
- chocolate, optional
- Gently wash the outside of the oranges under the faucet with a vegetable brush.
- Use a knife to slice off a very small amount on the top and bottom of the orange, then score the orange through the peel to the pith (without cutting through the orange), making 4 cuts lengthwise.
- Carefully remove each section of orange peel, then slice into 1/4-inch wide strips.
- Add the orange peel strips to a pot and cover with about an inch of water. Bring this to a boil, then drain over a colander and repeat once more.
- Add the orange peel strips back to the pot along with 2 cups of water, 1 cup of sugar and the vanilla bean. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer uncovered for about 30-35 minutes. The orange peels should be slightly translucent and most of the simple syrup will have evaporated. Turn off the heat and let the orange peel cool in the remaining sugar for 5 minutes.
- Use tongs to remove the orange peel to a drying rack set over parchment paper. Let the orange peel dry for at least 8 hours, though preferably 24 hours.
- Coat the orange peel in additional granulated sugar and if you'd like, dip them in chocolate and cool.
- Enjoy immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge.
- These are some of my favorite glass storage containers.
- This recipe makes approximately 3 cups of candied orange peel.