These candied lemon slices are perfectly sweet and tart! This quick and easy recipe is great for any occasion. Add these lemon slices to cocktails, drinks, cakes, cupcakes and cookies. They are fun and festive!

Candied lemon slices.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • These candied lemon slices are quick and easy.
  • This recipe takes just over 30 minutes to make.
  • It is made with only 3 pantry staple ingredients.
  • These are great as a garnish or topping.
  • They are both sweet and tart.
  • This recipe is Vegan, gluten free, dairy free and nut free.
  • If you have leftover lemons, make these Vegan Lemon Cookies!

Ingredients & Substitutions

These are the main ingredients and substitutions for candied lemon slices. Scroll down to the recipe card for full ingredients list and instructions.

Both regular lemons and Meyer lemons work well. Meyer lemons tend to be slightly sweeter than regular lemons. In addition, they are more round and typically more orange than regular lemons.

Use whichever you prefer.

Water and granulated sugar combine to make a simple syrup. I do not recommend substituting for the sugar. Coconut sugar or brown sugar will significantly darken the lemon slices.

If desired, feel free to garnish the candied lemon slices in more sugar after making.

This recipe works for other citrus fruits as well. Try oranges or grapefruit too!

Lemons with sugar.

Meyer Lemons and Regular Lemons

There are several key differences between Meyer lemons and regular lemons.

First, Meyer lemons have a deeper skin color. They are almost orange hued. Regular lemons are a bright yellow color.

Meyer lemons tend to be very round, while regular lemons can be oval shaped.

Regular lemons are bitter and sweet in taste. Meyer lemons are more mild and slightly sweet.

Meyer lemons are more difficult to find in grocery stores. They are typically only available in winter and spring. Regular lemons are readily available all year long.

Taste & Texture

Simmering the lemon slices in simple syrup eliminates some of the bitter and tart flavor. These are slightly sweet and slightly tart. Obviously, they are very lemon forward!

The texture is slightly chewy. The lemon slices are pretty thin.

How to Make

Step 1

First, slice lemons very thinly using a sharp knife or a mandolin. Discard any seeds.

Step 2

In a large skillet, add water and granulated sugar. Bring this mixture up to a boil, stirring frequently.

Sugar in skillet.

Step 3

Once sugar has dissolved, reduce heat to a simmer. Add in lemon slices.

Dissolved sugar in pan.

Step 4

Simmer lemons on low medium heat for 25 to 30 minutes or until lemons have slightly deepened in color. Flip every 8 to 10 minutes to prevent burning.

Lemon slices in skillet.

Step 5

Finally, carefully remove lemon slices from skillet. Then, place on parchment lined pan to fully cool.

Candied lemons in pan.

Expert Tips & Tricks

For best results, slice lemons into very thin slices. The slices should be uniform in width.

If needed, use a mandolin or very sharp knife. Please be careful!

Remove any seeds from lemons.

Allow the sugar to dissolve into the water before adding lemon slices.

Be patient as the lemon slices caramelize. This process takes anywhere from 20 minutes to 30 minutes.

Keep an eye on the lemons. They will need to be flipped a few times.

Gluten free lemon bars.

Uses for Candied Lemons

There are so many great uses for candied lemon slices! In addition, they can be eaten by themselves. They are a great garnish for desserts and drinks, including the following.

Cocktails

Cakes

Cookies

Cupcakes

Smoothies

Smoothie bowls

Gluten free lemon bars

How to Serve & Store

Serve candied lemon slices once they have cooled completely. They are great by themselves or as a garnish.

Feel free to garnish with a little extra sugar on top. Or, sprinkle salt on top.

Store candied lemon slices in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Slices of candied lemons.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are candied lemons bitter?

Candied lemons are much less bitter than fresh lemons. Since they are simmered in simple syrup, they are slightly sweeter.

Are lemons fruit?

Yes, lemons are considered fruit.

Which lemons should I use?

Either regular or Meyer lemons work well.

Are lemon peels safe to eat?

Yes, lemon peels are edible.

Can I use another fruit?

Sure! Both oranges and grapefruits work well.

You May Also Like

If you make this recipe, I would really appreciate a review! You can find me on InstagramFacebook, and Pinterest. I would love for you to follow along!  For more ideas, check out these Snack Recipes.

Candied lemon slices.

Get the Recipe: Candied Lemon Slices

These candied lemon slices are perfectly sweet! This easy recipe is a beautiful garnish for drinks, cupcakes, cookies and cakes. This recipe is made with only 3 ingredients!
5 from 7 votes

Ingredients

  • 2 lemons, sliced very thinly
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup granulated sugar

Instructions 

  • First, slice lemons very thinly using a sharp knife or mandolin. Discard any seeds.
  • In a large skillet, add water and granulated sugar. Bring this mixture up to a boil, stirring frequently.
  • Once sugar has dissolved, reduce heat to a simmer. Add in lemon slices.
  • Simmer lemons on low medium heat for 25 to 30 minutes or until lemons have slightly deepened in color. Flip every 8 to 10 minutes or so to prevent burning.
  • Finally, carefully remove lemon slices from skillet. Place on parchment lined pan to fully cool.

Notes

  • Both regular and Meyer lemons work well.  Meyer lemons tend to be slightly sweeter.
  • I used a very sharp knife to slice lemons.  Use a mandolin if desired.
  • The sugar will dissolve in the water fairly quickly.  Stir frequently to prevent burning.
  • To prevent burning, flips lemon slices every 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Allow lemon slices to fully cool on parchment lined pan.
Calories: 37kcal, Carbohydrates: 10g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 1mg, Potassium: 25mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 9g, Vitamin A: 4IU, Vitamin C: 10mg, Calcium: 5mg, Iron: 1mg

Love these candied lemon slices? You can sign up here to receive healthy meal plans, exclusive new recipes and updates!