Glossy, sweet candied lemon zest is the perfect topper to a citrusy cake. Learning how to make candied lemon peel is so easy.
Candied citrus 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.
I use a generous pile of candied lemon zest on my Pink Lemonade Cake or Lemon Layer Cake. You can use it to top any type of dessert, or chop it up and add it to cookies or muffins, like these bran muffins.
Ingredients In Candied Lemon Zest
This is a three ingredient recipe! So simple. All you need are lemons, granulated sugar, and water.
The lemon peel is removed from the lemon using a vegetable peeler and then simmered in sugar and water until tender. Once the lemon dries, it's nicely sweet and candied. It's such an easy dessert garnish that will really impress your guests.
If you want to try another type of citrus besides lemons, be my guest! Candied lime zest and candied orange zest are also so delicious.
How To Make Candied Lemon Peel
The first thing to do is wash the citrus. Use the same soap you use to wash dishes! It is non-toxic (you wash your silverware in it!) and it 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. I slice off the white pith to make the texture of the zest more delicate.
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.
Candied Lemon Peel Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! Candied lime zest and candied orange zest are also so delicious and the perfect garnish for many desserts. Use the same method as above.
Lemon rind is completely edible, just be sure to give it a nice wash before consuming. The rind has an intense citrus flavor and is high in vitamin C.
Easy Candied Lemon Zest
- 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 minutes. 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.