This Simple Recipe Makes The Perfect Candied Orange Peels!
Wondering how to make candied orange peel and not sure where to start? You’re in the right place!
Candied orange peels – or Orangeat in German – can be quite a unique creation if you’ve never had them before.
Made by boiling thinly sliced orange peels in sugar and water, candied orange peels have a number of uses both as a treat and as a popular baking ingredient.
Some people like to snack on candied orange peels since they have been candied for a sweet and zesty treat.
Once they harden up, you can even make candied orange peel dipped in chocolate… because orange and chocolate are wonderful together!
We’ve also heard of candied orange peels being used as a sweet garnish in popular cocktails like an Old Fashioned.
The left over syrup in the pot is also useful as a citrusy, sweet addition to a cocktail or in tea.
We know candied orange peel mainly as a baking ingredient – specifically in German baking. There are actually a few recipes using candied orange peel from cakes to Lebkuchen (German gingerbread) and Stollen (German Christmas Bread).
All you have to do is chopped the candied orange into finer pieces to be mixed into the various batters.
These recipes also often call for candied lemon peel – but candied orange and lemon are very similar in preparation.
In fact, if you’ve ever enjoyed these German Christmas baked goods, there’s a good chance you’ve eaten candied orange peel before and not even realized it.
Then again, maybe you DID notice the hint of citrus in your mouth… it can be hard to miss!
How to Make Candied Orange Peels – Step by Step
If you want to make candied orange peels, you can find the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
For those who are visual learners, we took process photos of this recipe so you can see what each step looked like for us. This should give you an idea of how your candied orange peels are turning out!
Start by washing your orangic oranges.
Then cut off the ends and cut the peel into four quarters to make it easier to peel.
Then gently peel the peel off using your fingers.
In the next step cut the orange peel into thin strips.
Place the orange peels into a pot and add the water.
Bring the water to a boil and let the orange strips boil for around 15 minutes. Stir occassionally.
After the 15 minutes are up, pour everything through a strainer. Rinse the orange peels as well as your pot to get rid of some of the bitterness.
Once rinsed, place the orange peels back into the pot. Add new water and sugar.
Bring the mixture to a low simmer and let it simmer for around 1.5 hours until the orange peels become slightly translucent and the water-sugar-mixture becomes a thick syrup. Make sure to stir occassionally during that time.
Once the orange peels are done, remove them from the syrup and place them on a cooling rack with parchment paper (or similar) underneath to capture any drips.
Let the orange peels dry for around 24 hours until they are no longer sticky to the touch. Depending on how warm it is in your home, they might dry quicker or need slightly longer.
You can either store the dried orange peels as is or cut them into small cubes to use as a baking ingredients. It’s best to store them at room temperature in an airtight container with a lid.
Enjoy our orange peel recipe!
Candied Orange Peel
- Peel from 2 organic oranges
- 3 cups water
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- Wash the oranges and dry them.
- Cut off the ends, then slice down the orange lengthwise to section the outer peel into quarters. Now use your fingers to gently peel the oranges.
- Cut the peeled peels into fine strips and place them in a small-medium pot. Add around 1 1/2 cups of water so that the peels are just covered and bring the water to a boil. Boil the orange peels for around 15 minutes while stirring occasionally.
- Pour the content of the pot through a strainer to drain the water and capture the orange peels. Rinse the pot and run the orange peels under water to get rid of some of the bitterness.
- Place the orange peels back in the pot, add 1 1/2 cups water and 1 1/2 cups sugar. Bring the mixture to a low simmer. Let the orange peels simmer for around 1.5 hours while stirring occasionally until the water-sugar mixture becomes a thick syrup and the orange peels look slightly translucent.
- Remove the orange peels from the pot and place them on a cooling tray. It's best to have some parchment paper underneath the cooling tray to capture syrup drips. Separate any peels that got stuck together using two forks and let the peels dry for around 24 hours until they are no longer sticky to the touch. Alternatively, you can roll them in granulated sugar after they have cooled.
- Either place the strips into an airtight container for storage or cut them into small cubes if you plan on using them for baking (for example in Gingerbread cookies or German Stollen).
- Be sure to use organic oranges for this recipe since you will be eating the peels. Otherwise, you risk potentially ingesting numerous chemicals and/or pesticides used in the growing process.
- Use two forks to separate the orange peels after cooking. Alternatively wait for a few minutes until they have cooled enough so that they are no longer too hot to the touch until separating them.
- Instead of waiting until the orange peels have fully hardened and are no longer sticky, you can also roll them around in granulated sugar once they have fully cooled.
This nutritional information has been estimated by an online nutrition calculator. It should only be seen as a rough calculation and not a replacement for professional dietary advice.
12 thoughts on “Candied Orange Peel (German Orangeat)”
Came out perfect
Thanks for your comment Dion, I’m happy to hear that! /Lisa
Hello. I can’t wait to make these but I do have a question first. You mentioned in one of your posts that you always use candied peels coated in syrup. Does this mean that you do not dry them first. I once bought some rolls in Amsterdam that had candied orange peel in them and I want to try to duplicate the recipe. Should I just chop them after cooking and draining and store them until I am ready to use them in the recipe.
Hi JW, sorry that comment was confusing – sometimes my English needs work. I do dry the candied peels first as they can be quite sticky otherwise. What I meant by that comment was that I don’t usually roll them in granulated sugar, but leave them in their hardened “syrup coating”. Personally, I would do the following: Once the candied peels are done, I would separate them and place them on a cooling rack so that the excess syrup can drip off. Then let them harden completely (this can take quite a while), then chop them up and store them until they are needed for the recipe. Hope this makes sense! /Lisa
Hi! quick question- can i leave the strips in the syrup till i’m ready to chop and use them in my hot cross buns? TIA
Hi Charlotte, I personally wouldn’t since the syrup might harden and they can be tough to get out. Also, chopping the peels can be a bit annoying when they are still very sticky. If you did leave them in the pot with the heat on low, you’d have to watch them to make sure that the sugar doesn’t burn. It depends a bit on how soon after making the peels you’re ready to chop them for the buns (if it’s just a few minutes, then it shouldn’t be an issue). /Lisa
Can I do both orange and lemon at the same time?
Hi Pat, I haven’t tried it yet but I don’t see why not if you don’t mind the flavors mingling. If you don’t want the lemon peels to take on some of the orange’s flavor, I would make them separately but if you’re fine with that, then you can simmer them together. I hope that helps! /Lisa
Great recipe but dinged it by one star because there was no mention of how hard it was to separate the individual pieces of rind without burning off your fingerprints! LOL
I only used the amount in the recipe but by the time I had finished the last ones were already coated with sugar but still too hot to actually handle. I used a pair of tongs and a pair of tweezers to lay them out on the cooling racks; otherwise they would have been in 3 or 4 big clumps of sugar & peal.
Like I said though, other than that, great recipe. Thanks 🙂
I’m sorry you were having trouble separating the peels. I usually use two forks and it works quite well but I’ll make sure to update the notes section to mention that. You can also wait a couple of minutes until they are not that hot to the touch anymore and separate the peels then. Thanks for your comment! /Lisa
I used to freeze candied peel in some of the syrup with good success. Can the “sugarized” (coated with sugar grains and without syrup) be kept frozen for later holiday baking sessions? Great site btw thanks!
Hi PJ, I haven’t personally tried that so I unfortunately can’t answer that. We always use candied peels coated in syrup. Maybe someone else will chime in… /Lisa