Sugared Lemon Twists

I love adding decorations to the top of cakes and pies, and these Sugared Lemon Twists are wonderful!  They are so whimsical to look at and so very tasty!

My father, of blessed memory, loved candied orange peels (to which I very childishly responded “ewwwww”).  I never understood the appeal, considering the sour taste.  How could something sweet also be so sour?  But, now that I’m grown (sort of), I get it.  These twists are very similar to the candied orange peels that he loved and I have to say that I love these!

Sweet, chewy, slightly sour…it all works.

So, if you need to garnish a cake or elevate a cocktail, try making these Sugared Lemon Twists.  They look adorable on this No-Bake Lemon Icebox Pie.

Begin by slicing the ends off of a lemon.  Then, with a filet knife or other sharp knife, cut through the lemon, without cutting in half (stop when you get the the peel on the other side).

Make small cuts along the lemon so that it can flatten somewhat (I like to cut in between the membrane).  Then, with your sharp knife, remove as much of the lemon flesh as you can.

Using your sharp knife, try to get as much of the white bitter pith off of the lemon, without cutting into the thin peel.  Then cut peel into thin strips.  I use a pizza cutter for this.  And, if you want to obsess, you can also use a ruler and cut 1/8-inch strips.  I didn’t bother…I’m not that nuts!

Gently simmer the lemon strips in simple syrup.  Once softened (about 10 minutes), remove and let them cool down for a few minutes and then twist tightly around plastic straw pieces.  Let these cool for a bunch of hours and start to harden.  Then remove from the straws and garnish your pie, cake or cocktail!

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Lastly, if you make Sugared Lemon Twists, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is one of my favorite things to do!

Sugared Lemon Twists

Makes: 10 twists

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes plus drying time overnight


  • 1 lemon
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 3-4 plastic drinking straws, cut into 3-inch lengths


Cut off the ends of the lemon. Carefully, cut down one side of the lemon, but don’t cut all the way through.

Open up the lemon, and make more cuts through the fruit so that it will lay as flat as possible.

Use your knife to carefully remove the fruit from the peel. Try to remove as much white pith as possible. The peel should lay flat now.

Cut the peel into 1/8-inch wide strips, using a pizza cutter.

Make the simple syrup by bringing sugar and water to a simmer in a small saucepan. Add the lemon strips and gently simmer for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes, lay the peels on a cooling rack, set inside a sheet pan. let them cool slightly and then wrap each peel around a piece of plastic straw. Make sure the curl is slightly separated so that it doesn’t stick to itself. Let curls dry for 8-12 hours or overnight.

Slide curls off straws and onto parchment paper. They might still be slightly sticky. Use the twists to decorate cakes, cocktails or to snack on. You can use them right away or store in a bag with a little bit of sugar for up to one week.


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