Candied orange peels – the recipe from Cooks but good

Candied orange peels are delicious sweets to enjoy at the end of a meal or to embellish your desserts! They can be enjoyed alone or dipped in melted dark chocolate to make them even more delicious. They are served during the holidays, to garnish desserts such as San Giuseppe sfince, cannoli, Sicilian cassata, cakes, tarts or to package and give as gifts together with classic Christmas recipes.
The preparation is very simple, you will only need 3 ingredients: orange peels, water and sugar! The recipe involves boiling organic orange peel, cut into thin strips, in a syrup of water and sugar. In less than 30 minutes you will prepare soft, shiny and fragrant candied orange peels. A great way to recycle orange peels that would otherwise be thrown away. Once ready, you can decide whether to consume them immediately or keep them in the pantry. This way you will always have a spare homemade preserve available.
The recipe we propose has 2 preparation methods, both valid. But, according to our personal experience, the second method is the one that has given us the most satisfaction. A quick method to make them very fragrant and truly irresistible without boiling them several times to remove the bitterness.
Just soak them in water for more than 1 day, this way the peels will slowly lose that bitter aftertaste and you can caramelize them in just 20 minutes.
With the same recipe you can make whole orange peels or cubes, simply cut the peel to the size you prefer!


  • 4 organic, untreated oranges
  • 250 g caster sugar
  • 250 g water
  • Remove the stem and leaves, then wash the oranges in cold water.

  • Remove the two ends and peel them into wedges. Cut the peel into strips of about 5 mm. If there is excess white at the ends, remove it before making the stripes.


  • Place the peels in a saucepan with plenty of water to boil. As soon as the water comes to the boil, after 1 minute turn off the heat and drain. This operation must be repeated 3 times, it will help eliminate the bitterness.


  • Continue in this way: weigh the oranges, drain them (in my case they weighed 250 g) and leave them aside. Weigh the water which must have the same weight as the oranges and so must the sugar. The quantity must be the same for all 3 ingredients.

  • Place the weighed water and sugar in a pan. Melt the sugar and immediately add the orange peels. Mix with the help of a spoon.

  • Cook over low heat to avoid evaporating the water quickly. The sugar should melt gently until almost all of the liquid has been absorbed, with only part of it remaining at the bottom. Be careful not to let it caramelize. Otherwise the peels would all stick together. It will take about 15-20 minutes.

  • They will be ready when the white part of the orange begins to become transparent. Turn off the heat and, using a slotted spoon, collect the peels and pour them into a baking tray or tray lined with baking paper. Space them apart and let them cool completely. As for the syrup, it should not be thrown away but leave it aside.

  • At this point decorate your desserts. The remaining peels, along with the syrup, can be stored at room temperature in a sterilized glass container for about 2-3 months.

If you want to obtain caramelized peels with granulated sugar or melted dark chocolate peels, to be eaten at the moment, you should use those on baking paper that are drier and with less syrup.


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