Glossy, sweet candied lemon zest is the perfect topper to a citrusy cake. Learning how to make candied citrus zest is so easy.
Candied zest is simply the rind of citrus simmered in a sugar syrup. But the results are far from ordinary. The rind gets shiny and the bitter flavor disappears, but the candy retains its citrus taste.
This post may include affiliate links. For more information please see my disclosure agreement.
Fun cake topper
I use a generous pile of candied zest on my Pink Lemonade Cake. You can use it to top any type of dessert, or chop it up and add it to cookies or muffins.
How to make candied citrus zest:
The first thing to do is wash citrus. Use the same soap you use to wash dishes! It is non-toxic (you wash your silverware in it!) and breaks down any wax sprayed on your citrus.
Next peel the rind from the citrus and remove the white pith. This is a vital step as you want the rind thick enough to have structure, but without the white inside that can be bitter.
I use a vegetable peeler to cut wide strips, then I use a sharp paring knife to slice off the white pith.
The next step is to simply boil the zest in sugar syrup. You can cut the zest into smaller strips before or after you candy it.
Storing Candied Lemon Zest
Candied citrus zest will keep in the fridge, tightly covered for several weeks, and the sugar syrup that goes along with it can be used in cocktails as a simple syrup.
MY FAVORITE FROSTINGS AND CAKE TOPPERS:
- The Best Frosting For Cookies
- Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe
- Simple Cream Cheese Frosting
- Best Fluffy Peanut Butter Frosting
- The Best Frosting For Brownies
Candied Lemon Zest is beautiful atop any dessert or chopped in cookies. So pretty and tasty!
- Zest from 2 lemons
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup sugar
With a sharp vegetable peeler, cut long strips of zest from lemons, being sure not to take any of the bitter white pith. Slice the strips into ⅛-inch-thick strands.
Bring sugar and water to a boil in a small saucepan; add the zest and simmer until translucent, about 20 min. Remove from heat and let cool in the syrup.
Strain zest and use for garnish. Use the syrup in drinks or on pancakes. You can refrigerate both for 2 weeks.
You can use it to top any type of dessert, or chop it up and add it to cookies. It will keep in the fridge, tightly covered for several weeks, and the sugar syrup that goes along with it can be used in cocktails as a simple syrup.
Recipe by Tara Teaspoon
I’ve been in the food publishing business for over 20 years, creating recipes and food styling for magazines, books, television and advertising. Find out more about me!