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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 is the perfect sweet treat. It's slightly bitter with a burst of orange and deliciously sweet.

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).

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)

Candied orange peel is the perfect sweet treat. It's slightly bitter with a burst of orange and deliciously sweet.

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.

Candied orange peel is the perfect sweet treat. It's slightly bitter with a burst of orange and deliciously sweet.

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.

Candied orange peel is the perfect sweet treat. It's slightly bitter with a burst of orange and deliciously sweet.

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.

Candied orange peel is the perfect sweet treat. It's slightly bitter with a burst of orange and deliciously sweet.

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!

Candied orange peel is the perfect sweet treat. It's slightly bitter with a burst of orange and deliciously sweet.

Candied orange peel is the perfect sweet treat. It's slightly bitter with a burst of orange and deliciously sweet.

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

Candied orange peel is the perfect sweet treat. It's slightly bitter with a burst of orange and deliciously sweet.

Watch this Quick Video of my Candied Orange Peel Recipe

Candied orange peel is the perfect sweet treat. It's slightly bitter with a burst of orange and deliciously sweet.
5 from 3 votes

Candied Orange Peels (Chocolate Dipped!)

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins
Total Time: 55 mins
Servings: 18 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Candied orange peel is an easy sweet treat. It's a great way to make use of in-season citrus for a bite-sized dessert option. Roll them in sugar or dip them in chocolate - it's up to you!

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Lisa's Tips

  • These are some of my favorite glass storage containers.
  • This recipe makes approximately 3 cups of candied orange peel.

Nutrition

Serving: 4pieces (without chocolate), Calories: 86.8kcal, Carbohydrates: 22.4g, Protein: 0.3g, Sodium: 0.9mg, Fiber: 2.4g, Sugar: 19g
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: candied orange peel
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16 comments on “Candied Orange Peel (Chocolate Covered)”

  1. can i do this recipe with ginger too? 

    • Hi Heather – I’m sure you could. I haven’t personally tried it, but give it a try and let us know how it turned out. :)

  2. I finally was able to get my hands on some organic oranges and lemons (I want to do this recipe with lemons too) and the peels are cooking in the simple syrop as I’m typing. I tasted one peel, are they supposed to still have a bit of bitterness to them? Its not that strong, but not having tasted these anywhere else I’d like to know if that’s what it’s supposed to taste like! 
    Thank you!

  3. Is there anything I can do with the remaining infused sugar left in the pot .  Seems a shame to toss down the drain .  The orange peels are cooking now , I can’t wait to taste them ! 

  4. I hate wasting food so this is a perfect idea for using up a part of the orange I’d never think to eat! Thank you!

  5. I’ve never thought of making candied orange peel but this is such a great idea! We drink a lot of fresh orange juice and it always seems such a waste to throw the peel away!

  6. These are perfect for the holidays, but definitely could eat any time of the year!! They look so good

  7. What a tasty treat these chocolate covered orange peels are! Chocolate and orange are two of my most favourite things and I can out-do my kids in eating anything made with these flavours! Thanks for posting this recipe.

  8. These would be so great for gifting! This is a really great and well written post too!