Candied Orange Peel for Christmas

This year, more than ever before, we are rolling out the Christmas family favourite recipes. It seems more important than ever to have reminders of all the happy celebrations from the past.

Candied orange peel is easy to make and fills the kitchen with a wonderful, comforting scent. If you need to get into the Christmas spirit, take some oranges and sugar and turn them into these irresistible treats. You can add dark chocolate and give them as little gifts to friends and family. You can’t buy anything as good. Honestly.


4 large oranges (unwaxed if available)

300g caster sugar


Granulated sugar to coat

Dark chocolate (optional)


Scrub the oranges in hot water, especially if they have been waxed.

Peel wedges of orange skin from the top to the bottom of the fruit.

They should be 5mm thick and include the pith as well as the skin.

Lay the wedges down and flatten. Cut them into matchsticks 7mm wide.

Place peel in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to boil and simmer for 5 minutes.

Drain and throw away the water.

Cover peel with fresh water and simmer for 30 minutes.

Drain and reserve the liquid. You’ll need about 300ml. Add 300ml of sugar and heat until dissolved.

If you have more peel, the ratio is always 100ml of water to 100g of sugar.

Return the peel to the syrup (sugar/water mix) and simmer for 30 minutes.

Drain and place the orange peel on a wire rack set above some baking paper to catch drips. Put the rack and paper in an oven on the lowest setting for approx 30 minutes to dry.

You can use the reserved syrup in orange drizzle cakes, sponges and trifles.

Put some granulated sugar in a basin and add a few strips of peel at a time. Use a fork to toss them in the sugar and liberally coat. Lay on a clean wire rack to dry in a warm kitchen.

Optional: after adding the sugar, you can coat half of the sticks in dark chocolate which makes a delicious treat. Wrap in little packets of foil to give as home-made presents.

Variation: use lemon. Simmer and discard the water three times to remove bitterness.

Store candied peel in an airtight container. It will keep for 6-8 weeks.

Use for Christmas cakes, or toppings for sponge cakes, muffins and biscuits. Or just on their own as a teatime treat with hot chocolate or coffee. Utterly delicious. Enjoy 😊

Let me know what family favourite recipes you are cooking this year.

We have decided not to mix the households – even though the rules say we can. We can’t risk the health of elderly relatives. Especially when there’s a vaccine on the horizon. We must just be patient for a little longer. Everyone must decide what is best for them. Visits to the care home are still currently barred as we are still in tier 3. No flowers can be sent to my darling mother-in-law, J. But we can send jars of jam and home made treats and chocolates. So I’m concentrating on making this a Christmas we will all remember- and hopefully the last one we have to spend separated from one another.

More recipes to try:

Chocolate Panatone

Chocolate marzipan cherries :

Apple Chutney:

18 thoughts on “Candied Orange Peel for Christmas

  1. When I grew 40 cultivars of citrus trees, we candied all sorts of citrus peel. Various lemon was my second favorite. Lime was quite good. I did not like grapefruit, although the fruit was my favorite. Sour orange was the most traditional, and probably my favorite. However, bitter orange was nasty! I tried it more than once, intent on getting it right. However, there is no way to get rid of the bitter!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That sounds delicious Karen! I remember the smell of oranges being boiled up when my parents made marmalade every winter and it conjures up images of cosy kitchens. πŸ˜ƒ I am going to make some mincemeat for mince pies as I can’t get it in a jar here. And perhaps my favourite German vanilla Christmas biscuits. πŸ˜ƒ

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Karen, thank you very much for sharing your family’s recipes. Candied orange peels are great to decorate cakes or take them with chocolate: delicious, I love them. And they are so easy to do! I am glad from the heart that you have accepted that this Christmas it is better to spend each one at home, and even more so with the vaccine so close. Karen is great that you can send your dear in-laws jams, chocolates and sweets made by you! You cannot visit them in the Nursing Home, but it is for their safety. In a short time, when we are all vaccinated we will be reunited with our loved ones and you can visit Joan and Keith and bring her flowers and hug her and hold her hand and talk to her: have a little more patience because the good will come soon. Now please keep making your wonderful Christmas wreaths, because I miss them. A lot of health, a lot of encouragement, a lot of strength, a lot of positive thinking, a lot of hope and a lot of love for your whole family, Mr B and for you. Take good care of each other. Much love and hugs. Very affectionate greetings from Margarita xxx πŸ˜˜πŸ˜˜πŸ€—πŸ₯°πŸ’ŸπŸ’ŸπŸŽ‡πŸŽ†β­βœ¨βœ¨πŸŽ‰πŸŒΌπŸŒΌπŸŒΌπŸŽ†πŸ™

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Margarita. All true. We are being sensible and waiting a while longer. Glad you like the recipe. I would make it just for the scent in the kitchen, to be honest. It’s truly delicious, but the scent while it is cooking is wonderfully cheering. Have a good evening. Take care, my friend. Stay strong. Lots of encouragement and strength in return. Keep safe. Very affectionate greetings. Love from us all. πŸŽ‰βœ¨βœ¨βœ¨πŸŒΌπŸŒΌπŸŒΌπŸ™πŸ˜˜πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„

      Liked by 1 person

      • Karen thank you. I am very glad that you enjoy the aroma of the candied orange peel recipe that fills your entire kitchen. Enjoy it!!! Loving caresses for the Three Musketeers! We will keep my Mother and I safe. Much love and strength. Very affectionate greetings from Margarita xxx πŸ˜˜πŸ˜˜πŸ™πŸ₯°πŸ€—βœ¨πŸ’Ÿβœ¨βœ¨βœ¨πŸŒΌπŸŒΌπŸŽ‡πŸŽ†πŸŽ†πŸ˜

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. I started writing down all these recipes when I was seriously ill 3 years ago. We were told it was touch and go. Luckily, I got treatment in time and all was well in the end. But I worried the children wouldn’t have the favourite recipes handed down through the family. The recipes are on bits of paper, hand written and spread out about the place. Hopefully, if they ever need them, they will be able to find them here, all in one place. Must say…. the kitchen smells divine! The orange peel is looking sparkly and pretty. I’ve just got to buy some more chocolate, as my husband ate the chocolate I planned to use 🀣

      Liked by 1 person

Please leave a comment and let me know what you think. It's nice to know I'm not talking to myself on here.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s