Candied Orange Peel {The Best DIY Christmas Gift}

Make sure to cook the peel in the sugar long enough, it takes at least 45 minutes to an hour. If you remove them too soon the strips won’t properly dry out when tossed in sugar; when in doubt, cook them a little longer.


  • 2 pounds oranges (about 6 oranges)
  • 7 cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 4 cups water


  1. Remove zest and pith (the white part) from the oranges with a sharp pairing knife in large strips.
  2. Slice the strips into 1/2-inch thick widths and place in a large pot. Cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, drain and repeat two more times.
  3. Return to the pot and add 4 cups sugar and 4 cups water. Bring to a boil and cook vigorously, stirring occasionally, until syrup is thick and peel looks translucent, about an hour. If syrup is bubbling violently, turn down heat.
  4. Carefully drain peel in a fine strainer set over a heat-proof bowl (save this syrup for cocktails).
  5. Put 3 cups sugar in a medium bowl. Place 1/3 of the peel in the bowl and toss in the sugar until thoroughly coated. Spread peel out on a parchment lined baking sheet and repeat with remaining peel, doing 1/3 at a time.
  6. When dry, store in a tightly-covered container for up to 2 weeks.