Candied Orange Peel {gluten-free}

An easy recipe for candying orange peel, with step-by-step photos. Use them in your favorite recipe, dip them in chocolate for a sweet treat, or give them as homemade gifts!

  • Author: Alexandra
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hr 9 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hr 39 minutes
  • Yield: 1-2 cups peel 1x
  • Category: candy
  • Method: stovetop


  • 3 navel or valencia oranges
  • 2 1/4 cups (15 3/4 ounces) granulated sugar, plus extra for rolling
  • 1 1/8 cups (9 ounces) water


  1. Rinse the oranges. Cut the top and bottom off each and score the skin into quarters.
  2. Remove the skin (both the peel and pith – the white part), and cut the skin into strips about 1/4″ wide. Wrap the oranges in plastic wrap to store for other use.
  3. Blanch the peels: Place the strips of peel in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Set the saucepan on the stove over high heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, drain the water from the peels. Cover with fresh water and repeat this process at least twice more. (This removes the bitterness that orange peel naturally has; you may want to blanch the peels 4-5 times to ensure no bitterness remains.) Once done, drain the water for the last time and transfer the peels to a bowl while prepping the sugar syrup.
  4. In the same (now empty) saucepan, whisk together the sugar and water. Return the saucepan to the stove and bring the mixture to a simmer. Let the mixture cook for 8-9 minutes at a constant simmer, adjusting the heat as needed to make sure it doesn’t boil.
  5. Add the orange peel to the syrup mixture and cook just until the whites (pith) are fairly translucent, adjusting heat as necessary to maintain a simmer and prevent boiling. For me this takes about 45 minutes to 1 hour on medium-low heat, but every stove and pan is different so it’s a good idea to check on them every 10-15 minutes. If necessary, swirl the pan occasionally to make sure that all of the peels get covered with syrup. Avoid stirring, as this will cause crystallation. 
  6. Drain remaining syrup from the peels, setting aside for another use if desired. Toss the peels in a bowl of sugar to coat (optional), and then transfer to a drying rack to dry. Once dry, store in an airtight container. These keep well for at least a few months in a cool, dry place. 


Method adapted from Food Network

Keywords: candied orange peel, candying orange peel, candy orange peel, food gifts