These candied kumquats just became our go-to citrus condiment. Swirled into morning oatmeal. Muddled into cocktails. Elegantly perched atop dessert. That’s just a few of the mind-blowingly countless possibilities when it comes to incorporating these honeyed jewels into as many different parts of your day as possible.Angie Zoobkoff

How To Use Candied Kumquats

We can’t stop thinking about these candied kumquats. Or about how we’re going to use them next. We’ve actually come up with a list of things we intend to do with future batches, and while we mentioned a few inspirations above, we couldn’t stop ourselves from jotting down even more potential ways to wow yourself and others with these spectacular and sweet little lovelies. We’re not done brainstorming yet, mind you, but here’s what we’ve got for starters…

  • Stirred into yogurt
  • Plopped atop pound cake
  • Tucked inside crepes
  • Spooned over ice cream
  • Added to a cheese platter
  • Tossed with a green salad
  • Dropped into a cup of tea
  • Perched atop shortbread cookies
  • Spooned over pancakes, waffles, or French toast
  • Dipped in melted chocolate
Candied Kumquats

Candied Kumquats

4.91 / 10 votes
These candied kumquats are, quite simply, sliced citrus that’s simmered in sweetness until tender and just like candy. And we can’t get enough of ’em.
David Leite
Servings12 servings | 1 1/2 cups
Calories67 kcal
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time50 minutes


  • 8 ounces kumquats
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1/4 cup mild honey, such as clover
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped


  • Trim the ends from the kumquats and discard. Slice the remaining kumquats into rounds 1/8 inch (3 mm) thick. Remove the seeds with the tip of your knife.
  • Combine the sugar, water, honey, and the vanilla bean and seeds scraped from the vanilla bean in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, swirling occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Toss in the sliced kumquats. (Depending on the size of your pan, there may be barely enough liquid to cover the kumquats at this point. That’s okay. Just give the pan a good shake or press the slices down with a spatula to evenly submerge them.) Return the mixture to a gentle simmer and cook for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat, cover the pan, and let the mixture steep for 15 minutes.
  • Strain the kumquats and vanilla bean into a heatproof bowl or jar. Return the syrup to the pan and gently simmer over medium heat, frequently tilting the pan to swirl the syrup, until it bubbles thickly and measures about 1/2 cup (120 ml), about 10 minutes. Pour the syrup over the drained kumquats and vanilla bean and let cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until chilled through. The candied kumquats will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
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Serving: 2 tablespoonsCalories: 67 kcalCarbohydrates: 17 gProtein: 0.4 gFat: 0.2 gSaturated Fat: 0.02 gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.03 gSodium: 3 mgFiber: 1 gSugar: 16 g

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

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2016 Alanna Taylor-Tobin. Photo © 2016 Alanna Taylor-Tobin. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

These candied kumquats are delectable little morsels of goodness, made even more so thanks to the thrill of the chase to track down the kumquats! Nibble, garnish, or decorate—there are lots of terrific uses for these little slices. In addition to the suggestions provided, these would gussy up a cheese platter, enliven a green salad or a fruit salad, and create a lovely surprise in a cup of tea. I’m certain there are drinks that could be made more special by floating a slice (or two or three) in the glass. They would work well atop baked goods, including cookies. They could decorate an open-faced sandwich. They would, beyond merely adding them to yogurt, work atop other breakfast options, such as pancakes, waffles, or French toast. And they could be an alternative to the cherry atop an ice cream sundae, or, if used with the syrup, a topper for a scoop of ice cream or sorbet. They could top a very buttery buttered English muffin, or a toasted bagel with cream cheese, or any other sort of toast. They would be fantastic dipped in chocolate— I envision several (or more!) slices held together by the chocolate, or one or several atop a handmade/homemade chocolate candy. And, it being the holiday season, I’m certain they could be an ingredient in almost any type of fruit cake!

I was excited to find kumquats in the grocery store this week specifically so that I could make this sumptuous candied kumquats recipe. This type of recipe is perfect for the holiday season in terms of entertaining and also gift giving. I topped my warm bowl of oatmeal this morning with some of the candied kumquats (yumsters!) but have big plans to use some later this week as an accompaniment to a bourbon-glazed pound cake recipe. (Other ideas I think the kumquats would be really great with are in crepes, on vanilla ice cream, perhaps muddled into a bourbon cocktail, or even as a garnish for a flourless chocolate cake.) The recipe does take a few minutes in terms of prepping the kumquats, but it’s well worth the effort to slice each kumquat and remove the seeds. I’m definitely going to enjoy this recipe this holiday season, but I’m also going to dog-ear it for next year in terms of holiday gifts for friends and family!

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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4.91 from 10 votes (8 ratings without comment)

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  1. I have a question. The instructions say to remove the seeds then say to add the seeds to the sugar mixture. Is this right?

    1. Magnus, it’s referring to the vanilla bean seeds, but I can see how that could be confusing.

  2. Only just seen thus recipe. Pur kumquat season just started and I had one punnet which I made but I added two sliced jalapenos. Absolutely delicious thank you for recipe