Candied Orange Peel (Chocolate Covered)


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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).

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)

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.

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

Candied Orange Peels (Chocolate Dipped!)

4.95 from 40 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 55 minutes
Servings: 18 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan


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!



  • 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.

Lisa's Tips

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


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
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

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About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Great recipe, well presented. Works well for lemon peel too. For the final coating stage, I added a bit of powdered ginger (1/8 tsp for every 2 tblsp granulated white sugar) for a subtle enhancement of the citrus flavour.5 stars

  2. Please help! I followed the x2 recipe (clicked on the metric measurements)  and I accidentally did 1000g of water and only 200g of sugar. My syrup was definitely more watery than it should have been, but my orange peels are already on the drying rack. What would you recommend I do? Will they still turn out okay?

  3. I have had my peels, which taste great by the way,
    setting out for 3 days and they still haven’t dried out. Did I do something wrong when I made them? Do I keep letting them set out, put more sugar on them? I want to use them for scones.

    1. Hmm, that’s strange. I’d recommend adding more sugar as that should absorb some of the moisture. Hope it works!

  4. Can’t wait to try this. Orange AND Vanilla!!!! During the drying time, could you use a dehydrator to speed the drying process?

    1. Hi Kimm – I haven’t tried that with a dehydrator so can’t say, but it seems like it would make sense to me.

  5. I have been looking for a good recipe for this for a long time.  Ever since my favorite chocolate shop in San Francisco stopped making it, I had to make my own.  Once I figure out how to temper the chocolate properly, I will really go to town making this for friends and family.5 stars

  6. I’m 70. Never in my life have I had a taste for candied fruit. BUT. These are addictive! I tried all the alternatives, chocolate, sugar dipped, etc. I like them without the extra sugar. I like them dipped in chocolate. I love having fresh orange sections at the ready in my fridge. And I like the way my kitchen smells! Never again will I toss out my peels. Candy them or use for pot pourrie. Love this. Great idea.5 stars

    1. Happy to hear you decided to give these a try and ended up loving them! They’re definitely a delicious way to use up your orange peels :)

  7. I was not able to see the pictures or the video but I get how to do the recipe. I cut the top and bottoms off the big oranges (Cava Cava) and carved down the side to get semi thick peels and followed the rest of the recipe and used triple Sec in the syrup too and that was EPIC
    Will add this to my repertoire!

    1. Hi there – you can see the video if you turn off your ad blocker. But, glad the candied peels turned out great!

  8. This was the best and most helpful recipe I have tried! (And I have been trying for 20 years!) . Your instructions are beautifully written, articulate and inspirational. The photos are so enticing – it makes one really motivated. Thank you so much for that. – I have omitted the step coating the cooked peels in extra sugar. (Prefer no sugar crunch, but I am sure it is just as good.) Let it dry for 2 days instead. Then dipped 2/3rd into 70 % chocolate. I had a great result! Thank you for sharing.5 stars

  9. So easy and absolutely delicious!
    I am so glad I followed your recipe. 
    I dipped the dried peels in dark chocolate, sprinkled with just a pinch of crushed pistachio nuts or sea salt. 
    They were divine to say the least! This will be my to go for a quick and easy gift option! Highly recommend it!5 stars

  10. I candied my orange peels last night and am finding them very wet still this morning, any tip for how to help them dry out? Im excited about this recipe :)

    1. Hi Elizabeth – just leave them out in the open air on your counter (not in a sealed container). They should dry out after another day. Enjoy!

  11. Does anyone know if you can use monk fruit sugar in the last boil to make a simple syrup? Or does it have to be actual white sugar?

  12. This is a great recipe and so easy to follow.  The orange strips were delicious dipped in chocolate, but immediately sprinkling a bit of finishing salt onto the chocolate brought them to a whole new level of scrumptiousness.  Amazing! Thanks for sharing your recipe. 5 stars

      1. Hi, mine turned out very bitter even when I followed the 2 times boling process😢. Even it leaves a bit spicy taste after minutes of eating them. I will try to cover them in chocolate maybe it will help?

  13. After a day (24 hours) the orange peels were still soft and “bendy”, but I rolled them in sugar anyway. A day after that they started to firm up. So, if yours are soft, just hang in there a day or so. The third day they were even better.

  14. I would like to try these, but have one question. IT looks like you use a thicker skinned orange like a navel. is that correct?

  15. I boiled mine for 10mims and then second time 15mins, but I was guessing…I’d love for you too say how long you’re supposed to boil them the first two rounds, anyway amazimg recipe!5 stars

  16. I loved this recipe!! I even made it in my camper on a camping trip! Super easy, and delicious. I definitely recommend. :) 5 stars

  17. Was a bit disappointed the whole process is not here, as your recipe is more efficient than most, but what happened to the “chocolate dipped” part? I know chocolate has to be tempered, and wonder what kinds of chocolate and your methodology. Oh well. Also want to comment that ZERO waste happens in our house with this one…the sugar “crumbs” are added to coffee, tea, or hot chocolate. Any syrup (usually not much or zero as they dry easier and faster if cooked until very thick)…is also used for mixing into other ingredients or mixed into soda for a refreshing drink.4 stars

    1. Hi – that’s wonderful that you have a zero waste house! The chocolate does not need to be tempered for this recipe. You simply have to melt it and dip! Super easy. Enjoy!

  18. I made these. They are wonderful. The only thing I did differently was to coat the oranges in Bob’s Red Mill sparkling sugar and then I laid them on wax paper and drizzled the chocolate in swirls. Very pretty result.5 stars

  19. Hello! I made these yesterday to give away for christmas, and they are delicious! Mine turned out pretty soft and flexible (more like gummy worms according to my kids!) and i was wondering how yours came out more stiff. I let them dry after boiling them in my simple syrup for 10ish hours. Maybe i cut the slices too thin. They are about 1/4 “. I did half with chocolate and they are scrumptious. Thank you!5 stars

    1. Hi Lisa – so happy you loved the recipe! If you leave them out another day in open air on the counter, they’ll continue to firm up. Enjoy!

  20. I’ve just turned my peels out to dry. I can’t wait to coat them in chocolate and try them. For some reason I have lots of sugar water left. Any thoughts on what I could do/make with it?5 stars

    1. Hi Karen – that’s essentially and orange flavored simple syrup. You could add it to juices or even orange flavored cocktails! :)

  21. My curiosity got the best of me and I made a batch. These are delicious. I didn’t have enough oranges so used some mandarin peels in addition. They all turned out amazing. Thinking I’ll add some citric acid to the sugar rub to make some sour patch like peels next time5 stars

  22. Who knew you could eat an orange peel?! Not this girl. But now that I’m older and wiser, I’ve tested these out and they are a fun treat that I plan to make for Christmas gifts. I made the mistake of cutting mine too thin which made them harder to handle and not as pretty looking as Lisa’s. Overall, I would recommend these!5 stars

  23. I just made this recipe last night, and although I followed the directions perfectly, my candies orange peels still have a bitter taste. It didn’t say how long to boil for with each boil. I guessed and did a few minutes each. Definitely not like the ones I’ve had in the past with a balance of orange and sweetness. 

    1. Hi Heidi – yes, I usually just boil for a few minutes as well. Homemade candied orange peels tend to be more bitter than commercial ones, but certain orange varieties can alter the flavor as well. If you roll them in sugar at the end, you’ll get that sweet flavor to balance the tart/bitterness. :)

  24. Hi – the video says to boil for 30 mins whereas the recipe says to simmer for 30 mins. Simmering for 30 mins left quite a bit of syrup left – probably 3/4 of a cup. I Noticed the peels are still quite bitter. I’m drying them now. We’re they supposed to be boiled for 30 mins or simmered? Wondering if I should even bother proceeded or this discrepancy / amount of liquid that was not absorbed by the oranges or evaporated will make for too bitter orange peels and not candied enough. 

    1. Hi Camille – whether they were simmered or boiled, the difference would be negligible. I sometimes have leftover liquid as well, just due to different sized oranges and orange peels. They should still be delicious!

    2. I made this twice and it was delicious! It is great that we can freeze them- it really helps reduce my sugar cravings too as they are small and a little bitter too ( I know, they have sugar too, but way less than a cookie or slice of cake).5 stars

  25. Hi Lisa, im so much looking forward to do these beautiful orange peels this week. I also would like to make the “circle” orange candied shape with of course pulp in middle and wondering if it’s the same method or not.
    Thank you 😊

  26. Thank you for this easy recipe and video.
    I don’t have any glass jars, Is using a foil pan ok and then refrigerating them? Or plastic container?
    I will probably dip some in chocolate.

  27. Love this recipe! So simple to make and so tasty. I like being able to use up all parts of the orange by using the peels to make this. Less food waste the better!5 stars

    1. Looks absolutely delicious. Are these your photos? I ordered chocolate covered candied orange peels from Etsy. The seller used these same photos to sell her product. I wish she had at least read your recipe. She sent RAW orange peels covered in chocolate.5 stars

  28. Never in million years would I think to make this. And I spend lots of time in the kitchen, making everything from scratch in our household. Not even a big fan of orange peel (or so I thought), but I saw your video and it seemed so good…and then I heard you say: dip the ends in chocolate. I was sold. Bought organic oranges, boiled twice as recommended. I used coconut sugar, since that’s the only sugar I use. They are drying now and are even good coming out of the warm water. I might put them in the dehydrator for the night so I can dip them in chocolate first thing in the morning and enjoy for after lunch snack.5 stars

    1. Hi Jana – So glad you loved this recipe! It’s such a great and easy way to use up your leftover orange peels :)

  29. Love this recipe! Natural sweet option for when the sugar cravings hit. I put Star Anise when you get to adding the sugar stage.
    How long do they last in the fridge? And what can you do with the sugar syrup left over? Xx5 stars

    1. Hi Tina – I love that you added star anise to the recipe, what a great idea! And they’ll last for about a month in the fridge. For the leftover sugar syrup you could add it do a orange flavored cocktail or juice!

  30. Just laid the oranges on the cooling rack and waiting for them to harden. Couldn’t wait, SOOO yummy…. I got a little too excited and forgot to put in the vanilla… Will put a drop of vanilla in the sugar and rub it in… lets see if i have any left in 8 hrs to roll them in the vanilla sugar… :P5 stars

  31. I want to try these with chocolate on one half. Which chocolate works best and how do you melt it? Do you mix anything else in?

    1. Hi Sara – I normally use 50/50 chocolate chips! Just melt them inside a small bowl, dip each peel in it, and let it cool to harden.

  32. What a cute little sweet treat. Oddly enough, I prefer these without the chocolate. Just the smell as they simmer… reminds me of Christmas. Good memories, great recipe!5 stars

  33. I’ve got my peels simmering right now and was thinking instead of adding the 2 cups of water, I could swap out some for a bit of orange juice (I juiced 1 of my 3 oranges for this) and toss in a clove and an all spice berry or two to make spiced orange peel.
    I’ve never eaten candied orange peel before, so I hope my slight changes work out!

    1. Hi Jenny – I haven’t tried it with a bit of orange juice yet, but sounds delicious and something that could work! Do report back on how it turns out :) I’m curious!

  34. Omg! Lisa, what a wonderful recipe and Definitely reminds me of Christmas:)) and all the winter holidays. My peels are simmering now and I tried one(could not wait:) and it is sooooo yummy and not bitter at all. I’m using Valencia organic oranges. Can’t wait to cover them in chocolate:)5 stars

    1. Hi Katia – I’m so happy you love this recipe! It really is a great snack and dessert for the holidays, even for Halloween ;)

  35. I have the orange peels simmering in the kitchen now and they smell wonderful!  Chocolate covered orange peels will make a great end of dinner sweet treat!  And I look forward to using the plain oranges in a cup of tea!  Keep up with your easy and tasty recipes!  I love playing in the kitchen!  Take care!5 stars

    1. Hi Cindy – Can’t wait for you to taste these orange peels! You’re going to love them :)

    1. 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. :)

  36. 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!

    1. Hi Sara – yes, they will have a little bitterness (but not too much) and it’s offset by the sugar coating. :)

  37. 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 ! 

    1. Yes! It’s a great orange-infused simple syrup that you can use in cocktails/mocktails or other drinks. :)

  38. 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 stars

    1. Yes, exactly! It’s an awesome way to use the peel and I love that combo of sweet and slightly bitter too. :)

  39. 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!

    1. Yes! Next time you’re making orange juice definitely save the peel and whip up this fun and delicious treat. Then you’ll have two great recipes to enjoy. :)

    1. Yes, absolutely! I tend to make them chocolate covered for the holidays but eat them plain year-round. :)

  40. 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.5 stars

    1. Chocolate and orange really is a great flavor combination (and one of my favorites!). I hope you enjoy the recipe!