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Candied Lemon Slices

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Candied lemon slices will dress up any recipe, from special occasion cakes to fancy cocktails! Or, snack on them plain (we dare you not to 😉 ). These crystallized lemon slices are sugar-coated and chocolate-dipped to make a delicious homemade candy, drink or cake garnish. Try them on our lemon meringue cake or lemon meringue pie for a finishing touch.

They can even be chopped up and tossed into cake or cookie batter for a boost of sweet lemon flavor. Plus, this candied lemon recipe will also leave you with a lovely lemon-infused sugar water that you can easily turn into a lemon syrup that will go great with things like our lavender panna cotta!

A pile of candied lemon slices coated in sugar with some of them dipped in chocolate.

We’re suckers for all things lemon-flavored, from sweet desserts like our Lemon Ricotta Cake and our Creamy Whole Lemon Tart, to bright yet savory recipes like our Lemon Broccoli Soup, our Pan Fried Cod with Lemon-Garlic Sauce and our Lemon Garlic Butter Sauce.

So naturally, candied lemon slices are right up there on the list! Each little slice is sweet, lemon-y goodness. Dipped in chocolate and these little beauties are simply irresistible.

Candied lemon slices are not only a treat, but they’re also a very practical way to use an abundance of lemons! (Another idea is this preserved lemons recipe).

These Dried Lemon Slices Are:

  • Simple to make right at home with only 3 ingredients required
  • Made with real ingredients and no preservatives (unlike what you’d find at the store!)
  • Gluten-free!
  • Versatile, with many different uses

Let’s Make Them!

You don’t need a dehydrator for this, it is done completely on the stovetop! The lemon slices are boiled, dried, then coated in sugar.

To make candied lemon slices, you will need:

  • Water
  • Granulated sugar
  • Lemons
  • Semi-sweet or milk chocolate for the optional chocolate coating

Here is the Process for Easy Candied Lemon Slices Recipe:

  1. Blanch the lemons: This step is optional but we prefer starting with blanched lemons because blanching helps reduce some of the bitterness in the rinds.
  2. Boil and dry: Bring the sugar and 1 cup of water to a boil in a saucepan. Add the lemon slices and simmer for 40 to 50 minutes. The rinds will appear soft, shiny, and almost translucent. Place the lemon slices on a wire rack, spaced apart, and let them dry for about 8 hours or overnight.
  3. Coat the lemon slices: Toss the dried lemon pieces in sugar to coat each side well. Dip in melted chocolate, let it dry on wax paper or parchment, and your candied lemon slices are ready to enjoy!

The long boil time will infuse the sugary syrup deep into the cells of the lemon, which will preserve them.

Ingredients needed to make candied lemon slices.
A collage of two process photos showing the steps for making candied lemon slices.

Pro Tips for Success

  • If you choose to blanch the lemon slices, they will only need to simmer for about 30-60 seconds in boiling water. And if you want to reduce the bitterness even more, blanch them a second (or even third) time.
  • Slice the lemons to about 1/8 to 1/4-inch thick and make sure to remove the seeds.
  • Note that the thinner you slice the lemons, the more the centers will deteriorate when they boil but the centers “fill in” again once the candied lemon slices are coated in sugar.
  • The lemon slices will still be a little bit sticky after they’re dried overnight but coating them in sugar will prevent them from sticking to each other.
Candied lemon slices coated in sugar.

FAQs For the Best Results:

  • How do you make fancy lemon slices? Make these candied lemon slices really elegant by dipping them in chocolate. They’re perfect for special occasions and the homemade candy also works well as a gift!
  • How long does candied citrus last? When stored properly, these candied lemon slices will keep well at room temperature for 3 to 5 days or in the fridge for up to one month. You can also freeze candied lemon slices for up to 6 months. To store, place them in an airtight container, stacked with parchment paper in between each layer. If they accumulate moisture and get sticky when they are stored, simply toss them in sugar again.
  • Don’t toss out the lemon-infused water! Instead, save the water because it turns into a delicious and delicate lemon syrup.
Dipping a candied lemon slice into melted chocolate.

How to Use Candied Citrus:

There are so many uses for these candied lemon slices! A few of our favorite ways to enjoy them are:

Our candied lemon recipe is a must-try for any lemon lover! These dried lemon slices are just as beautiful as they are delicious and we hope you give them a go. Best of all, you can follow this recipe to make any kind of candied citrus- it’s a wonderful way to use up any extra lemons, oranges, and even grapefruit!

A chocolate dipped candied lemon slice.

Helpful Tools:

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Some Other Recipes We Are Sure You Will Love:

  • Cucumber Lemon Water: A wonderful way to stay hydrated, this cucumber lemon water recipe is so easy to make!
  • Preserved Lemon Butter: First, follow our preserved lemons recipe then make this butter! It’s bright and buttery and adds an extra dose of YUM to any savory dish.
  • English Toffee: Buttery, crunchy, and chocolate-y, there is nothing like homemade English Toffee. Ours is not only sweet and decadent, but it’s so easy to make!

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Chocolate dipped candied lemon slices next to sugar coated lemon slices.

Candied Lemon Slices

Yield: about 60 lemon slices
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

Candied lemon slices make beautiful garnishes for cakes, pies, and pastries and they are completely edible.

Serve them as homemade candy, use them as garnish, or chop them up and add them to cake and cookie batter. Don't throw out the sugar water that you cook the lemon slices in. It makes a lovely lemon syrup to use in drinks.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups water (plus more to blanch the lemons)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 to 7 lemons

Optional Sugar and Chocolate Coating

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 8 ounces semi sweet or milk chocolate

Instructions

Blanch the Lemons (Optional)

  1. Slice the lemons into 1/8 to 1/4  inch slices and remove the seeds. 
  2. Place the lemon slices in a saucepan and cover them with water. Bring the water to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer the lemon slices for 30 to 60 seconds.  
  3. Drain the water off and fill the saucepan with fresh water. Simmer the lemon slices one more time for another 30 to 60 seconds. Blanching the lemon slices twice (or even three times) will help reduce the bitterness. 

Make candied lemons

  1. Combine 1 cup of water and the sugar in an empty saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat then reduce the heat to a simmer. Add the lemon slices and simmer uncovered for 40 to 50 minutes. The rinds will be soft, shiny, and almost translucent. 
  2. Transfer the lemon slices to a wire rack that is placed over a sheet of parchment paper. Space them apart so air can circulate around them. Let them dry overnight or about 8 hours. 

Coating the Lemon Slices:

  1. Toss the lemon slices in sugar to coat both sides thoroughly. 
  2. To dip the slices in chocolate, melt the chocolate in the microwave or a double boiler. Dip half of a lemon slice in the chocolate and set it on a piece of parchment or wax paper to dry. 

Notes

  • Blanching the lemon slices first will remove some of the bitterness in the rinds. 
  • The long boil time will infuse syrup deeply into the cells of the lemon and they will last longer since sugar preserves them. The thinner you slice the lemons, the more the centers will deteriorate as you boil them but when you coat them in sugar, the centers will appear to be “filled” again. 
  • The lemon slices will not be quite as sticky after you dry them overnight but they will still retain some stickiness. Coating them in sugar will prevent them from sticking together.

Storing the Lemon Slices:

  • Store the candied lemons in an airtight container. For best results stack them with parchment paper between the layers. They can sit at room temperature for 3 to 5 days or in the fridge for a month. You can freeze them for up to 6 months. If they accumulate moisture and get sticky, toss them in granulated sugar again. 
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 60 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 55Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 4mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 0gSugar: 11gProtein: 0g

Nutrition information is a guideline only, is calculated automatically by third-party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.

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