Candied Citrus Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Candied Orange Slices

Total Time
Prep: 5 min. Cook: 30 min. + standing
What's the perfect way to fancy up a frosted cake? Toss a few candied orange slices on top!

Updated: Dec. 12, 2023

Looking for a fun way to wow your friends this holiday season? Decorate your cakes and desserts with candied orange slices!

You’d be surprised at how easy it is to make these tasty treats. Three ingredients and about 30 minutes of hands-on time transforms normal orange slices into little bites of candy. As a bonus, you’ll end up with some leftover orange-flavored simple syrup, too. Perfect for making cocktails and homemade sodas!

Ingredients for Candied Orange Slices

  • Sugar
  • Water
  • Fresh orange slices


Step 1: Make simple syrup

Simple syrup is one of the easiest concoctions to make! It’s as simple (hence the name) as combining sugar and water over medium-high heat and bringing the mixture to a boil. Once the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium.

Editor’s Tip: Usually, you’d make simple syrup in a small saucepan, but since you’re adding orange slices to the mix later, use a Dutch oven or large saucepan for extra room.

Step 2: Add the oranges

When the simple syrup is hot, add the orange slices one at a time to make sure they don’t stick together. Continue to cook the oranges over medium heat until they’re translucent, about 20 minutes, turning them from time to time. Reduce the heat to low and cook for an additional 10 minutes, turning occasionally, until the slices are tender but still intact.

Step 3: Cool

Now that they’re fully cooked, use a slotted spoon or tongs to carefully place the slices on a wire rack or a parchment paper-lined baking pan. Let them stand at room temperature overnight, until they’re fully dried.

Editor’s Tip: You won’t need the leftover orange simple syrup for this particular recipe, but don’t throw it away! Store it in the fridge until you’re ready to make a mixed drink or a sparkling orange soda.

How to Store Candied Orange Slices

The slices and simple syrup are both good for three to four weeks when stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Tips for Candied Orange Slices

What do you do with candied orange slices?

Have some fun with them! Candied orange slices make an excellent topping for pies and cakes. They also make a fun addition to salads when cut into quarters, or you can serve them as-is as a sweet snack. To get really fancy, make them gourmet by dipping half of the slice into melted chocolate before serving.

Can you substitute other citrus fruits?

We use orange slices in this recipe because they’re our favorite size for cake decorating. Feel free to substitute any sweet citrus fruit that’s in season, like blood oranges or tangerines. You can also use this recipe to make candied limes, lemons or grapefruit. Since those fruits are a bit more tart, consider adding an extra 1/4 cup of sugar to balance out the acidity.

Candied Orange Slices

Prep Time 5 min
Cook Time 30 min
Yield About 1 dozen citrus slices.


  • 2-1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 10 to 12 large tangerine or medium orange slices


  1. In a Dutch oven, combine sugar and water; bring to a boil. Add citrus slices; reduce heat to medium. Cook until slices are translucent, about 20 minutes, turning occasionally. Reduce heat; simmer until slices are tender but still intact, about 10 minutes, turning occasionally.
  2. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, remove slices to a wire rack or a parchment-lined baking pan. Let stand at room temperature overnight to dry. (Save syrup for another use.) If desired, cut slices in half; use to decorate a cake, pie or other dessert, or to garnish drinks.

Nutrition Facts

1 whole citrus slice: 74 calories, 0 fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 69mg sodium, 19g carbohydrate (19g sugars, 0 fiber), 0 protein.

This tart and sweet candied citrus is so easy to make, and it adds a zippy pop to drinks, desserts and more. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen