Candied Orange Slices

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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

Candied Orange Slices

4.49 from 273 votes
overhead of candied orange slices arranged on a white plate
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!
Jen Sobjack
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Serving Size 40

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

  • Fill a large bowl with ice water and set it aside.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Transfer the slices to a cooling rack set over a large baking sheet. Let them sit for up to 24 hours or until dry. 
  • 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.

Nutrition

Serving: 1orange slice | Calories: 83kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 0.1g | Fat: 0.1g | Saturated Fat: 0.002g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.003g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.003g | Sodium: 3mg | Potassium: 24mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 29IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 0.02mg

The nutrition information provided is for convenience and as a courtesy only. It is not guaranteed to be accurate because nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator and input the exact ingredients and brands you used in the recipe.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
4.49 from 273 votes (267 ratings without comment)

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79 Comments

  1. Can you freeze these? If so how long do they last in a freezer?

    1. Jen Sobjack says:

      I’ve not tested freezing them, but they’d keep for up to 3 months.

  2. Hi
    Is it compulsory i coat it in sugar afterwards? can i just leave them like that after drying out?

    1. Jen Sobjack says:

      The sugar coating helps prevent them from sticking to one another once packaged or placed in a container.

  3. 5 stars
    Loved this. Wanted something different to decorate my Xmas cake and these are perfect

  4. After the orange slices have dried can I cut them in half before I dip them in sugar?

    1. Jen Sobjack says:

      I don’t see why not.

  5. can putting them in the freezer speed up the drying process?

    1. Jen Sobjack says:

      No, the freezer will only freeze and not dry them.

  6. Sounds doable. I will try this today! Thanks a ton for the quick and easy method.

  7. 5 stars
    First time making them and still have to wait until tomorrow for them to finish drying. Keep nibbling on them. Soo darned good. Will be making again. And also dipping in dark chocolate! Thank you for this phenomenal recipe!

  8. At what point should I coat them in sugar? Before or after they’ve dried?

    1. Jen Sobjack says:

      After they’ve dried per the recipe instructions.

      1. Thanks. It doesn’t specify when to do it, just that it’s an option.

      2. Jen Sobjack says:

        Step 5 says to let them dry for 24 hours. Then step 6 says to dip in sugar if desired. You’d go in order of the steps.

    2. I wondered the same thing, you aren’t alone! I feel like the sugar would stick better once they’re half-dried out

  9. Linda Anderson says:

    I made these to use on my Christmas tree charcuterie board. They were so delicious I used the leftover slices and cut them up into small pieces and put them in a salad. My husband actually said wow! Little pops of flavor.

  10. I used this recipe to top my loaf cake with candied orange. So easy to follow and it came out perfectly.