Lemon Chips: Easy Professional Candied Lemon Slice Recipe


Candied Lemon Slices are a beautiful and delicious treat used by professionals to add a wonderful visual dimension to foods and drinks. Lemon chips have a perfect balance of delicious sweetness and the punch of sour flavor from the lemon. Though the outcome looks impressive, this recipe is simplified so that any beginning cook will be successful. This process can be used for any citrus fruits to achieve a beautiful garnish or snack.

Lemon Chips: Professional Candied Lemon Slice Recipe
Lemon Chips: Professional Candied Lemon Slices. Photo by CookThink.

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frying pan
parchment paper

What Can Candied Lemon Chips Be Used For?

Lemon chips can be used for a wide variety of items, such as baked goods, for presentation, as a garnish, and much more. Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing.

Cupcake or Dessert Toppers

If you’re making lemon cupcakes, pie, cake or any kind of lemon dessert, lemon chips might be the perfect garnish to give an extra fancy flair.

Drink Garnish

Feeling for a visually attractive addition to your drinks, such as cocktails or sparkling lemonade? Garnish using your batch of lemon chips. You’re sure to enjoy it and your guests will be impressed. You can cut a slit in your lemon chip and hang them on the rim of the cup or simply float them on the top of the beverage itself.

Eat Them Plain

Why not eat them plain. They are so delicious with their just right punch of sweet and sour. This is my kids’ favorite way to enjoy them. They love to pop them plain.

As A Gift

Need a Christmas or anytime gift for your neighbor? Consider dropping them into a small jar and giving them as a gift. Your recipient will be impressed.

Dip Them In Chocolate

If you want to add another flavor dimension, consider dunking them in melted chocolate and then drying them on parchment paper in the refrigerator. Dip them halfway or fully cover in chocolate. These will look like a gourmet candy shop favorite.

Simmering Lemon Chips: Professional Candied Lemon Slices. Photo by CookThink.
Simmering Lemon Chips: Professional Candied Lemon Slices. Photo by CookThink.

Why This Recipe Works

This recipe is a keeper because it is easy and provides beautiful results. You might have wondered how those professional bakers on your favorite baking show make lemon chips. Or maybe you’ve noticed them in magazine photos. This step-by-step post will allow you to create the same results, with minimal effort.  

What To Do With Leftover Lemon Syrup

There are so many uses for the leftover lemon syrup that you might find yourself wondering about when you finish simmering your delicious lemons.

Use the lemon syrup in drinks such as tea or coffee. It will add a delicious lemony sweet flavor.

You might consider drizzling it on desserts such as ice cream or cake.
And why not drizzle on fruit such as fruit salad or fruit kababs?

How To Store Lemon Chips

After your lemon chips have been cooled and dusted with sugar, the best way to store them is in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Place sheets of wax paper or parchment paper between each layer to prevent them from sticking together. They should keep for 3-4 weeks.

Can I Freeze Lemon Chips?

You can freeze lemon chips, but proceed with caution. They freeze fine. That is not the concern. It’s that you might be disappointed if you plan to thaw them out again after you freeze them.  With the thawing they tend to emit moisture which makes them sticky again. If you do plan to freeze them, consider using them in their frozen state for best results.

What Other Items Can Be Made Into Candied Chips?

If you’re like us, you’re going to love the beauty and flavor of these simple to make lemon chips. And you’ll be wondering what other items you can make into candied chips. To answer that question, this recipe will work with any citrus fruits. So, you can put the exact same process and recipe to work using oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit and tangerines. Any kind of citrus. Literally. Have fun being creative!

Can This Recipe Be Made Gluten Free?

Yes. This recipe is naturally gluten free. With just three ingredients of lemon, sugar and water, if you’re making them for someone who needs gluten free food, you’re good to go.

Can This Recipe Be Made Sugar Free?

That is a good question.  Because of the syrup aspect that sugar provides in this recipe as it simmers, you might consider altering the recipe completely, rather than substituting the sugar with an artificial sweetener.

To make a sugar free version, I recommend tossing thin lemon slices with a few tablespoons of rice bran oil and frying them on a baking sheet in the oven at 300F for 10 to 15 minutes, until crispy.  This outcome will give you good lemon chips that are more like dry chips than candied chips. But they’re delicious and beautiful too.  

Lemon Chips: Professional Candied Lemon Slices. Photo by CookThink.
Lemon Chips: Professional Candied Lemon Slices. Photo by CookThink.

Expert Tips

Here are some troubleshooting tips that I have learned over time, from trial and error, that will help you be successful with this recipe.

Use Low Heat

When simmering, use as low heat as possible to keep the syrup from burning. It can get away from you quickly so be sure to stay nearby to monitor the simmering progress.

What To Do If The Syrup Becomes Too Thick

If the syrup thickens too much during the simmering process, you can add a bit of water to thin it out. It is better to add a bit a time so as to not dilute it too much and completely remove it from the syrup state.

Use Thin Lemon Slices

Use as thin of lemon slices as possible for faster cooking and for an effective translucent effect.  The lemon chips are done when they become translucent. The lemon slices will be quite sticky before coating them with sugar.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Safe To Eat The Lemon Peel?

Yes. It is totally safe to eat the lemon peel. As a part of the cooking process, the peeling becomes a part of the candied lemon. In fact, it adds vitamins and nutrients that are valuable. Like any fruit, it is good to wash it before cutting into it.

How Long Can You Keep Candied Lemon Slices?

Lemon chips can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 weeks. Place sheets of parchment paper or wax paper between the layers to help prevent sticking.

How To Make Lemon Chips

Making lemon chips takes about 1 hour for them to simmer but the process is very easy and one you’re sure to return to.  Candied lemon chips present an essence of elegance that you and your guests are sure to enjoy. They resemble fancy without much effort.


3 lemons
2 cups granulated sugar
1 ½ cups water
¼ cup sugar (for garnish)

Step By Step Instructions

1. Using a sharp knife, slice lemons as thin as possible. Thick pieces will take longer to cook.

2. In a large frying pan, whisk together 2 cups granulated sugar and water until the sugar is dissolved. Turn heat on medium until the sugar mixture begins to simmer. Lower heat to low and maintain simmer.

3. Place lemons in a single layer in the bottom of the frying pan. Let simmer on low for 1 hour, flipping them every 15 minutes.

4. Remove from heat and place on parchment paper to cool.

5. Dust with remaining ¼ cup sugar to help prevent them from sticking.

6. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 weeks. Enjoy!

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Sarah is known for her extra fancy yeast breads, melt in your mouth pies, and everything salads. She has won awards as a home cook, and is passionate about helping others feel smarter in the kitchen. Sarah is the cooking genius of the sister duo.

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