How to Make Candied Lemon Peel

Let me show you how easy and simple it is to make candied lemon peels. They are perfect for snacking and for your holiday baking.

They say when life gives you lemons … you make candied lemon peel.

Well, maybe not but you might as well!

Most often, we just throw the lemon or orange peels out. Did you know that they are not only edible but actually healthy?

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Old recipes

Our grandmothers knew how to be frugal and they could not afford to throw anything away that was good and edible.

Therefore, you can find recipes for candied citrus peels in old cookbooks. Mine is German (where it is called Zitronat or Sukkade):

old cookbook recipe

Actually, this recipe works for lemon peel, orange peel, and grapefruit peel. For the latter, you want to cut more of the bitter white away.

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You really only need 3 ingredients for this easy recipe:

That’s all!

How to make candied lemon peel

1. Wash your lemons

Even though we get our lemons from our garden and they are organic, I still like to wash them thoroughly under running water.

washing the lemons

2. Score the lemons

With a sharp knife, score the lemons from the top to the bottom.

scoring the lemons

3. Peel the lemons

With your hands, gently pull the peel off your lemons.

peeling the lemons

4. Cut the lemon peel pieces into thin strips

Again with your sharp knife cut the lemon peel pieces in thin strips.

cutting the lemon peel

5. Place the lemon peel strips in a sauce pot

Place all the lemon peels in a medium-heavy sauce pot.

transfer lemon peel to sauce pot

6. Boil the lemon peels

Cover the lemon peels with cold water and over medium heat, bring to a boil. Boil for about 10 minutes.

boil lemon peel in water

7. Drain and repeat 2 more times

After you have boiled the peels for about 10 minutes, drain the water and repeat this process two more times.


8. Add sugar

To the drained lemon peels, add 2 cups of sugar.

add sugar

9. Add water

To the lemon peels and sugar, add 2 cups of water.

add water

10. Boil and simmer

With the sugar and water, bring the lemon peels to a boil. Then simmer for about 1 hour.

boil and simmer for 1 hour

11. Drain and dry the lemon peels

With a slotted spoon, transfer the boiled lemon peels to a drying rack and let them drain. Dry the lemon peels for about 24 hours.

drain and dry

12. Optional: save the sugar water

You may be even more frugal and save the water from boiling the lemon peels. You could use this for lemonades or cocktails.

save the sugary citrus water

How to use candied lemon peels

You might be surprised at how delicious these candied lemon peels are. Place them in a pretty jar and put them out for snacking.

candied citrus peel

These candied lemon peels are also perfect for your holiday baking. Namely in your Christmas Stollen recipe for which it is an essential ingredient.

Or you use curled candied lemon peels to decorate the glasses of your drinks or cocktails.

I am sure you’ll find a lot more uses once you make them!

candied lemon peel
How to make candied lemon peels
Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Candied Lemon Peel

These candied lemon peels are very easy to make and are perfect for snacking and for your holiday baking.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time2 hours
drying time1 day
Total Time1 day 2 hours 10 minutes
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Servings: 1 jar
Calories: 110kcal
Cost: $3


  • 3-5 big lemons
  • 2 cups organic sugar
  • 2+ cups water


  • Wash lemons thoroughly.
  • With a sharp knife score the lemons from the top to the bottom.
  • Gently pull the peel away from the lemons with your hands.
  • Cut the peels in thin strips and place them in a medium sauce pot.
  • Cover with water and bring to a boil. Boil for about 10 minutes.
  • Drain the water and repeat this process 2 more times.
  • To the drained lemon peels add 2 cups of sugar and 2 cups of water.
  • Over medium heat, bring to a boil. Simmer the lemon peels for about 1 hour.
  • With a slotted spoon, transfer the lemon peels to a drying rack. Let them drain and dry for about 24 hours.


  • use the candied lemon peels for snacking, in your favorite recipe, or to decorate cocktail glasses
  • you can use the same method for orange peels



Calories: 110kcal
Tried this recipe?Mention @ourgabledhome or tag #ourgabledhome!

I’d love to hear all your comments and questions!

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How to make Candied Lemon Peel


  1. 5 stars
    Just like the stollen, I’m sure this would make a perfect addition to my holiday panettone baking. Thanks again Anya!

  2. Pingback: Traditional Christmas Stollen | Easy recipe - Our Gabled Home
  3. I love this so much! What a great way to use the peel of the lemon. Sometimes it feels so wasteful to juice and then throw away. Pinning for later.

  4. I love how unique and beautiful these are! Definitely a good idea as a gift and we certainly can’t buy these in Zimbabwe!

    1. thank you! They are yummy indeed. It was hard to keep my family from just snacking away (I wanted to use them in a recipe).

  5. Yum, I could totally see myself eating these just on their own! I made candied ginger yesterday and that was really good as well!

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