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Sugar-coated candied oranges slices are perfect for decorating all sorts of desserts and they make wonderful holiday gifts. The process is simple and you can have sweet, chewy candied oranges in no time!

A stack of candied orange slices on a white plate

Candied Orange Slices

I’ve made candied lemon peel before and used them to top my vanilla cupcakes with lemon cream cheese frosting.

I enjoyed them so much that I thought I do the same but with orange instead. I used them to garnish an orange pound cake and these chocolate orange brownies and it was a smashing hit.

The process is simple but it does take a while. First, you boil the slices. Then, you simmer them in sugar water that will turn to syrup. It takes close to one hour for the water to reduce and become syrupy.

The longest part is waiting for the slices to dry. It took close to 24 hours for my slices to dry completely.

Once the slices dry, the sticky slices are dipped in sugar and ready for use. You can enjoy the candied orange slices dipped in chocolate or use them to decorate your favorite dessert.

Why this recipe works

  • This recipe calls for boiling the oranges for 2 minutes before you candy them. This helps eliminate the bitterness found in the white part of the peel.
  • A dip in an ice bath stops the orange slices from cooking and becoming too soft.
  • After the slices simmer in a sugar syrup, they need to dry for about 24 hours. This will leave you with perfectly chewy candied orange slices.
side view of candied orange slices arranged on a plate

Getting the perfect Orange Slice

It’s important not to slice the oranges too thick or too thin. The thicker they are the longer it will take for them to dry.

But on the other hand, the thinner they are the less likely they are to hold their shape.

I sliced a few that were on the thin side and most of the orange flesh completely disappeared during the candying process. Aim for about 3mm thick. And use a mandolin to make it easier.

Use any type of orange for this recipe! I used tangelos but there are numerous varieties to choose from. My only recommendation is to choose a variety that is small in size.

sliced oranges on a white cutting board with a mandolin

Ingredients for orange slice candy

Candied oranges require only three ingredients! Oranges, water, and sugar.

You can use any variety of orange that’s in season. Different varieties will be in season during different times of the year. See the list below…

  • Navel Oranges: November – May
  • Tangerines: November – May
  • Mandarin Oranges: December – January
  • Honeybells: January – February
  • Temples: February – March
  • Cara Cara Oranges: March – March
  • Tangelos: April – April
  • Valencia Oranges: June – June

No matter the time of year, there are oranges in season.

overhead of candied orange slices arranged on a white plate

How to make candied orange slices

Making orange slices candy is extremely easy but a bit time-consuming. However, the end product is completely worth the time it takes.

Boil the slices

Start by boiling the orange slices for 2 minutes. This helps eliminate any bitterness found in the white part of the peel.

Immediately transfer the boiled slices to an ice bath to stop them from cooking any further and discard the water.

process shots for how to make candied oranges

Candy the orange slices

Bring equal parts sugar and water to a boil. I used four cups of each in a large pot. This gave me enough liquid to candy 4 small oranges.

Once the sugar water is boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the chilled orange slices and let them simmer for one hour. Gently stir the slices every 15 minutes to make sure they are all getting coated evenly in the syrup.

After an hour, the slices should start to appear translucent around the rinds. They won’t be completely translucent, but you’ll notice they are lighter.

At this point, remove the orange slices from the sugar water and place them in an even layer on a wire cooling rack. Make sure the rack is set over a baking pan to catch any drippings.

Let the slices sit for up to 24 hours until they are completely dry. You can coat them in sugar, dip them in chocolate, or use them as they are.

candied orange slices on a white plate over a grey napkin

If you enjoy orange treats, you’ll also love these recipes:

  1. Cranberry Orange Upside-Down Cake
  2. Slow Cooker Orange Sweet Rolls
  3. Cranberry Orange Sweet Rolls

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overhead of candied orange slices arranged on a white plate

Candied Orange Slices

Yield: 40 slices
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Sugar-coated candied oranges slices are perfect for decorating all sorts of desserts and they make wonderful holiday gifts. The process is simple and you can have sweet, chewy candied oranges in no time!

Ingredients

  • ice water
  • 8 cups (1920 ml) water, divided
  • 4 small oranges, such as tangelos
  • 4 cups (800 g) granulated sugar, plus more for coating

Instructions

  1. Fill a large bowl with ice water and set it aside.
  2. Add 4 cups (960 ml) of the regular water to a large saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the orange slices. Boil for 2 minutes. Transfer the orange slices to the bowl of ice water and discard the boiled orange water.
  3. In the same saucepan, add the remaining 4 cups (960 ml) of water and the sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar has completely dissolved.
  4. Turn the heat to medium-low and add the orange slices. Simmer for 45-60 minutes or until the rinds are slightly translucent. Gently swirl the oranges every 15 minutes to make sure they are evenly coated with the sugar water.
  5. Transfer the slices to a cooling rack set over a large baking sheet. Let them sit for up to 24 hours or until dry. 
  6. Dip the candied orange slices in granulated sugar, if desired. Use immediately or store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

Notes

You can also dip the dried oranges in melted chocolate for a fun edible gift.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 40 Serving Size: 1 orange slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 85Sodium: 2mgCarbohydrates: 22gSugar: 21g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the values shown are just an estimate.

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40 Comments

  1. I made these to top cupcakes for a “Little Cutie” themed baby shower. They were surprisingly good! I did have to bake them on my oven’s lowest temp for a while after they had dried for 24 hours because they were still wet. I just used clementines, and they turned out fabulously.

    1. @Hannah, mine were also not dry at 24 hours. What temp did you bake them in the oven at?

      1. I loved this, super easy to follow. I wanted to come and add that you should reserve all the water at all steps! The blanching water I reduced to about 2 cups and will use in pound cakes in place of regular water to add extra citrus flavor. The ice water I used for the syrup it’s boiled in but I was tempted to drink it because it’s literally just orange water. The syrup I reduced some and kept as syrup. You can use this for tea, mixed drinks, mix a little into plain water for a little flavor, and the trick to keeping cakes moist is to spray them with some syrup before icing so you can use this syrup on a citrus cake or a chocolate cake you want to have a little citrus flavor. The possibilities are endless.

  2. I made these using oranges and lemons. I thought I cut them 1/8 but I think they’re a bit thin and they became too broken up in the sugar. Next time I’ll do 1/4 inch. They’re delicious regardless and they don’t need the sugar coating. Thanks for the recipe.

  3. Dina Elsborg Mardiana says:

    Hello,
    Can I use lime instead of orange?

    1. I’ve not tried this with lime but I’d love to hear about it if you give it a go!

  4. D. H. Taylo says:

    Just curious… instead of letting the orange slices dry for 24 hours could one instead put them in the over at about 150 for a period of time to speed up the process? Or, maybe a food dryer?

    1. These are interesting ideas but I’ve not tried them. My fear is the oranges may dry out too much and become tough like dried fruit/jerky when the goal is to get the syrup to dry and not the entire orange slice. If you do try either of those methods, I’d love to hear how it turns out for you.

  5. I want to make candied oranges but I don’t have a lot of room to store them in the fridge will they last outside the fridge in an airtight container and how long?

    1. @T Roche, I freeze mine in an airtight container

  6. How pliable do the finished ones stay? Or do they turn crunchy like hard candy? I want to use them as a garnish by doing a citrus slice twist and am trying to decide if I need to twist before I candy or if they will be twistable afterwards.

    1. They don’t turn crunch or hard. They are soft and chewy. You should be able to twist them without any issues.

  7. Hello 🙂 I am hoping to use these instead of candy for when my husband has a diabetic sugar low. How sure are you about the carbs? I used large oranges and they are cut about a half an inch thick. I also only used two cups of sugar. These look delicious! I am excited to share them with my family