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I don’t think I’ve mentioned that I have a thing for sour candy. Give me a good movie, a bowl of buttery popcorn, and some Sour Patch Kids and I’m in heaven. So it’s no surprise that I like grapefruit – sweet and sour at once. But then imagine grapefruit, well the peels anyway, boiled with spicy sweet ginger slices and honey for two hours. And to finish, rolled in more sugar.

Sour Patch Kids, eat your heart out.

Candied Ginger Grapefruit Peels

When I started dreaming of these ginger and honey candied grapefruit peels, I hadn’t considered the added bonuses of candied ginger slices and a lovely honey/grapefruit/ginger syrup for sweetening my tea. But that’s just what I got and the recipe couldn’t be simpler. 

grapefruit and ginger

When you quarter a grapefruit, it’s very easy to remove the peel. You get one of the corners separated from the flesh and then, with a spoon, you can pry out the fruit in about two seconds. A sharp knife is helpful to thinly slice the peels and ginger thin and then your work is nearly done.

grapefruit on a white plate
grapefruit peels and gingers lices
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Honey Ginger Candied Grapefruit Peels

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 2 hours 10 minutes
Total: 2 hours 30 minutes
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Calories: 109
Servings: 20
This recipe makes a lot of candied peels – plenty to share. Don’t throw the cooking syrup away, it’s perfect for sweetening tea or making an Italian soda.


  • 2 large ruby red grapefruits
  • 2 1/2 cups natural cane sugar divided
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 2-inch pieces fresh ginger peeled and very thinly sliced


  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place a cooling rack inside. Set aside.
  • Cut each grapefruit in quarters, from top to bottom. (reserve for another use or eat them now!)
  • Separate one corner of peel from flesh and use a spoon to pry out the fruit. Repeat with remaining quarters.
  • With a sharp knife, cut the the peels into long, thin strips.
  • Place the peels in a medium sauce pan and add enough cold water to cover. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes. Drain. Repeat this process twice more.
  • Remove the peels from the pan and add 2 cups water, sugar, and honey; bring to boil. Stir in grapefruit peels and ginger slices; reduce heat to low. Simmer on low for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until grapefruit peels are translucent. Remove from heat.
  • With a slotted spoon, lift peels and ginger slices from syrup and arrange on cooling rack so that all have space between.
  • Allow to dry for a few hours or even overnight.
  • Scoop remaining 1/2 cup sugar into a bowl. Add grapefruit peels and ginger slices a few at a time, pressing them in to the sugar to coat.
  • Store at room temperature in an air tight container.


Calories: 109kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 14mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 1mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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  1. Nfonca says:

    I’m making this for a 6th time. I prefer your technique to others I have read/tried. I use grapefruit & lemon to make my own candied peel for fruit cake & panettone, but without the final sprinkling of sugar.

    I serve this on top of bacon salad for a real wow! We munch on these for the heck of it and it’s a lovely amuse bouche.

    Thank you!

    P.S. in my opinion, those that ask about replacing the sugar are ones experienced in cooking like that. I wish they would share their ideas with us instead of just asking questions. There’s so much we can learn together.

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      So glad you’re enjoying these, Nfonca! I bet that bacon salad is incredible – such a complex flavor combination with these on top.

  2. Gnus says:

    What can I use as a replacement for sugar? Is it necessary, or can it be replaced with more honey?

    1. Marissa says:

      Sure, you can use all honey and skip the sugar. Just add honey to the water until it tastes as sweet as you’d like. Let me know how it goes. 🙂

  3. Shikha @ Shikha la mode says:

    Honestly, way better than Sour Patch kids!