Candied Lemon Peel - Recipes From Europe (2024)

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This Easy Candied Lemon Peel Recipe Makes Perfect Sweet And Zesty Peels!

If you are looking for an easy candied lemon recipe, you are in luck!

These candied peels – coated in sweet, hardened sugar – look great and are a super useful ingredient in the kitchen.

When prepared right, candied lemon peels bring just the right amount of zest and lemony bitterness to any recipe!

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Lots of people wonder how to use candied lemon peel. The answer is: However you like!

There are a number of ways you can enjoy these unique treats. You can eat candied lemon peels… but we wouldn’t advice munching away on too many!

Unlike candied orange peels, lemon peels are a tad less palatable so they aren’t usually eaten straight. (Although to be fair, both creations are just sugar and peel so they are kind of even when it comes to relative tastiness).

Due to their hardened glaze and bitterness, some people like to use candied lemon peels as a garnish in a co*cktail like an Old Fashioned.

Another popular use for candied lemon peels – one that we are much more familiar with – is as a baking ingredient.

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There are a number of recipes in German baking that use candied lemon peels – two of which are German Lebkuchen (gingerbread cookies) and German Stollen.

The candied peels are cut into small cubes and add their sweet, zesty attributes to these classic German holiday recipes.

You can buy these candied ingredients in a store – but they are honestly pretty easy to make yourself.

One thing to keep in mind is that candied lemon peels need a bit of drying time on a rack until they harden up.

So, if you plan on using homemade candied peels for a German Stollen or another recipe, be sure to make the peels in advance. They’ll need at least 24 hours to dry!

Another big reminder for when you’re making candied peels – be sure to buy organic lemons.

You will be eating the peel so this is the best way to reduce the amount of chemicals and sprays that might be in/on the peel.

How to Make Candied Lemon Peel – Step by Step

If you want to make your own homemade candied lemon peels at home, you can check out the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

And those who are more visual learners and want to see the individual steps can follow along below with our candied lemon process photos in this section.

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Start by washing and then drying your two lemons.

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Then cut off the ends and use a smaller knife to cut into the peel so you are essentially quartering the peel.

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Use your fingers to carefully remove the peel and place it on a cutting board.

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Then use a knife to cut the peel into thin strips.

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Add the lemon strips and approx. one cup of water to a pot on the stove and bring it to a boil.

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Boil the lemon peel for around 15 minutes and stir occasionally.

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Pour the content of the pot through a strainer. Then rinse the lemon peels under running water and also give the pot a quick rinse.

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Once you’ve rinsed the pot and the peels, add the peels back into the pot. Also add one cup of new water and one cup of sugar.

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Bring the mixture to a low simmer for around 1 hour 15 minutes until the liquid becomes a thick syrup and the peels look slightly translucent.

Make sure to stir the mixture occasionally.

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Once the lemon peels are done simmering, remove them from the pot and place them on a cooling rack with parchment paper underneath (this will capture any drips).

Separate any peels that got stuck together and let the lemon peels harden until they are no longer sticky. This takes approximately 24 hours – but might be shorter or longer in your case depending on how warm it is in your home.

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You can keep the lemon peels as long strips or cut them up into small cubes once they have dried. This is often done when using the lemon peels for baking.

Store the peels in an airtight container with a lid if you don’t use them right away.

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Candied Lemon Peel

Made from peels of organic lemons, these candied lemon peels feature a sugary, glossy coating. The peels make a great snack, co*cktail garnish, and addition to classic German holiday recipes like German Gingerbread or Stollen.

5 from 12 votes

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Prep Time: 5 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour hour 30 minutes minutes

Additional Time: 1 day day

Total Time: 1 day day 1 hour hour 35 minutes minutes

Servings: 2


  • Peels from 2 organic lemons
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar


  • Wash the lemons and dry them off.

  • Cut off the ends, then slice down the lemon lengthwise to divide the outer peel into quarters. Now use your fingers to gently peel the lemons.

  • Cut the peeled-off peels into fine strips and place them in a small-medium pot. Add around 1 cup of water so that the lemon peels are just covered and then bring the water to a boil. Boil the lemon peels for around 15 minutes while stirring them occasionally.

  • Pour the contents of the pot through a strainer to drain the water and to capture the lemon peels. Rinse the pot and rinse the lemon peels under some water to cleanse them of some of the bitterness.

  • Place the lemon peels back in the pot, add 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar. Bring the mixture to a low simmer. Let the lemon peels simmer for around 1 hour 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the water-sugar mixture becomes a thicker syrup. The lemon peels should also look slightly translucent.

  • Remove the lemon peels from the pot and place them on a cooling rack. It’s a good idea to put some parchment paper underneath the cooling rack to catch the sticky syrup drips. Separate the peels that are stuck together with two forks and let the lemon peels dry for around 24 hours until they are no longer sticky to the touch.

  • 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).


  • Make sure to use organic lemons for this recipe since you’ll actually be eating the peels.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 411kcal | Carbohydrates: 108g | Protein: 1g | Sodium: 12mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 102g

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.

Cuisine German

Author Recipes From Europe

Candied Lemon Peel - Recipes From Europe (2024)


What is the origin of candied citrus peel? ›

There is much evidence which shows this type of product was widely used in Ancient China and then much later in Mesopotamia in the 14th century. So the actual process to make this has been refined over several centuries. Candied peel as we know it today came to us via the Arab culture in the 16th century.

How do you make candied lemons less bitter? ›

Since it's nearly impossible to remove the pith completely, the best way to get the bitter out is blanching the zest three times, by dropping it into boiling water to release the bitterness, then shocking it with ice water to stop the cooking (and repeat, and repeat).

What is the difference between lemon rind and peel? ›

The rind includes the zest and a bit of the bitter white underlayer, whereas the peel is the whole jacket — everything but the flesh. Zest contains the flavorful citrus oils and is the most widely useful of the three.

What is the Italian name for candied orange peel? ›

Candied Orange Peel / Scorza D'Arancia Candita.

What is another name for a candied peel? ›

Succade is the candied peel of any of the citrus species, especially from the citron or Citrus medica which is distinct with its extra-thick peel; in addition, the taste of the inner rind of the citron is less bitter than those of the other citrus.

Why is eating a lemon peel good for you? ›

Lemon peels are thought to contain plenty of bioactive compounds. They have excellent nutritional value, with a fair amount of vitamin C, fibre, calcium, potassium, D-limonene, and magnesium. These nutrients might contribute to the following lemon peel benefits: Improved oral health.

Why do people boil lemon peels? ›

There is some anecdotal evidence to suggest that consuming boiled lemons can boost immunity, improve the skin, and even help people lose weight.

How do lemon peels help you lose weight? ›

Lemon peels are known to promote weight loss and may slow down fat accumulation. This is because they contain pectin fibre, which may help in weight loss by making you feel full for longer. However, lemon juice does not contain any pectin and you will have to rely on the peels to get the same.

Why is my candied lemon peel bitter? ›

In order to get the bitterness out of the peel, you will need to boil the pieces multiple times and each time must start with fresh water. That's to remove any bitterness that the boiling water extracts. Once the boiling is finished, you'll make a simple syrup out of water and sugar.

Why is my candied peel bitter? ›

A couple of those compounds, naringin and limonin, are the main contributors to bitterness in oranges. The reason blanching works so well is that both of those bitter compounds are soluble in hot water. This means the bitterness will leech out of the orange peel and dissolve into the pot of hot water.

Why are my candied lemons bitter? ›

If you find that your candied lemons taste too bitter, you can blanch them first to soften the rinds and remove some (if not all) of the bitterness. To do this, bring a pot of water to boil and drop the sliced lemons in.

Can you eat raw lemon rind? ›

Healthline reports that lemon rind isn't just safe to eat — like many citrus fruits, it's healthy, too. Lemon rinds contain a high concentration of vitamin C and other important nutrients. Just one tablespoon of lemon zest contains 9% of your daily vitamin C, and lemon peel is high in fiber, too.

What is lemon peel called? ›

Zest, often called lemon peel, is the small shavings from the brightly colored and intensely flavored outer skin of citrus fruit.

What is the white part of the lemon peel called? ›

What you may not know, however, is that albedo, whose name comes from the Latin word “albus”, meaning white, is instead a “waste” product that is rich in properties. This part of the citrus fruit, between the pulp and the peel, contains a real concentrate of well-being for the body.

What is the history of candied fruit? ›

The practice dates back to the ancient Romans, who preserved the summer's bounty of dates, pears and grapes for the winter in jars of honey. In 16th-century Elizabethan England, conspicuous displays of sugar, a pricey commodity at the time, became the ultimate boast, and banquet tables gleamed with candied fruits.

Where was candied fruit invented? ›

The basic process in the origin of candied fruits dates back to the 14th century, when sugar starts to be known out of India. The process is based on keeping the whole fruits, its peels or even small cut pieces of it in a hot dense syrup that absorbs moisture from the fruit and is able to preserve it.

What is the origin of sugar coated fruit? ›

Tanghulu is a sweet-and-sour treat of skewered candied fruit, traditionally hawthorn berries, encased in crystallized sugar. It's said to have originated in northern China during the Song Dynasty (960 to 1279), when the emperor's favorite concubine supposedly fell sick and a two-week diet of tanghulu healed her.

Who invented candied fruit? ›

The ancient denizens of Mesopotamia, China, Egypt and the Roman Empire preserved fruits in a similar way using honey, long before Christianity. Each appears to have discovered the method independently, and since it was a very long time ago we cannot say for sure who did it first.

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