Watermelon Rind Candy Recipe

Watermelon Rind Candy Recipe


  • 4 cups watermelon rind, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)


  1. Prepare the Watermelon Rind:
    • Peel the green outer skin off the watermelon rind and remove any pink flesh. Cut the peeled rind into 1-inch cubes.
  2. Boil the Rind:
    • In a large pot, combine the watermelon rind cubes and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes until the rinds are tender.
    • Drain the watermelon rind cubes and set them aside.
  3. Make the Syrup:
    • In the same pot, combine the granulated sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest (if using). Stir until the sugar dissolves.
  4. Cook the Rind in the Syrup:
    • Add the cooked watermelon rind cubes back to the pot with the sugar mixture.
    • Place the pot over medium heat and bring the mixture to a simmer. Let it cook for about 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the watermelon rinds become translucent and the syrup thickens.
    • If using vanilla extract, stir it into the syrup during the last few minutes of cooking.
  5. Dry the Candy:
    • Once the watermelon rind cubes are translucent and the syrup has thickened, remove the pot from the heat.
    • Using a slotted spoon, transfer the candied watermelon rind cubes to a wire rack set over a baking sheet to cool and dry. Allow them to cool completely.
  6. Store and Serve:
    • Once cooled, the Watermelon Rind Candy is ready to enjoy! Store any leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks.
    • Serve the candied watermelon rind as a sweet snack or dessert, or use it to garnish cakes, cocktails, or other treats for a burst of flavor and color!

FAQ Related to Watermelon Rind Candy

  1. Can I use any type of watermelon rind?
    • Yes, any type of watermelon rind can be used. Just make sure to peel off the green outer skin and remove any pink flesh.
  2. How long does the candy last?
    • The candied watermelon rind can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks.
  3. Can I freeze the watermelon rind candy?
    • Freezing is not recommended as it can change the texture of the candy.
  4. What if my syrup doesn’t thicken?
    • If the syrup doesn’t thicken, you can continue to simmer it for a few more minutes until it reaches the desired consistency.
  5. Can I use other citrus fruits instead of lemon?
    • Yes, you can use lime or orange juice and zest for a different flavor.
  6. Can I reduce the amount of sugar?
    • Reducing the sugar may affect the candying process and the final texture, but you can experiment with less sugar if desired.
  7. What can I do with the leftover syrup?
    • The leftover syrup can be used as a sweetener for beverages, drizzled over desserts, or even mixed into cocktails.
  8. How do I prevent the candy from sticking together?
    • Ensure the candied rinds are fully dried before storing them. You can also dust them lightly with powdered sugar to prevent sticking.
  9. Can I use honey or another sweetener instead of sugar?
    • Using honey or another sweetener will alter the flavor and texture. It’s best to stick with granulated sugar for this recipe.
  10. What is the best way to peel the watermelon rind?
    • Use a vegetable peeler or a sharp knife to remove the green outer skin.
  11. Can I make this recipe with other fruit rinds?
    • Yes, similar methods can be used to candy other fruit rinds like orange, lemon, or grapefruit.
  12. Is the lemon zest necessary?
    • The lemon zest adds extra flavor but is optional.
  13. Can I add spices to the syrup?
    • Yes, adding a cinnamon stick or a few cloves to the syrup can add a warm spice flavor.
  14. How can I ensure the rinds are tender?
    • Boil the rinds until they are fork-tender before adding them to the syrup.
  15. What consistency should the syrup be?
    • The syrup should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon but not too thick that it turns to caramel.
  16. Can I use pre-cut watermelon rind?
    • Pre-cut watermelon rind can be used if it meets the recipe’s requirements for size and preparation.
  17. How do I serve the candy?
    • Serve as a snack, use as a garnish for desserts, or include in a fruit salad.
  18. Can I use this recipe for pickling watermelon rind?
    • This recipe is for candying, not pickling. Pickling requires a different method and ingredients.
  19. Can I add food coloring?
    • Natural food coloring can be added to the syrup if you want to enhance the color of the candy.
  20. Is it necessary to let the candy dry?
    • Yes, allowing the candy to dry ensures it has the proper texture and prevents it from being too sticky.

Secrets to Achieve the Perfect Watermelon Rind Candy Recipe

  1. Choose the Right Watermelon:
    • Use a ripe watermelon with a thick rind. This makes it easier to peel and provides more substance for candying.
  2. Properly Peel the Rind:
    • Ensure you remove all the green outer skin and any remaining pink flesh. Only the white part of the rind should be used.
  3. Uniform Size:
    • Cut the watermelon rind into uniform 1-inch cubes to ensure even cooking and consistent texture.
  4. Tenderizing the Rind:
    • Boil the rind until tender before candying. This helps achieve the perfect texture for the final candy.
  5. Sufficient Cooking Time:
    • Simmer the rinds in the sugar syrup until they become translucent. This can take anywhere from 30 to 40 minutes.
  6. Flavor Enhancements:
    • Use fresh lemon juice and zest for a more vibrant flavor. The acidity helps balance the sweetness.
  7. Use of Vanilla Extract:
    • Adding a touch of vanilla extract in the last few minutes of cooking can enhance the flavor complexity.
  8. Consistent Stirring:
    • Stir occasionally while simmering the rinds to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pot and to ensure even coating with the syrup.
  9. Proper Drying:
    • After cooking, transfer the rinds to a wire rack to cool and dry completely. This step is crucial for achieving the right texture.
  10. Avoid Overcrowding:
    • When drying, ensure the rind pieces are not touching each other to allow even airflow and proper drying.
  11. Use a Slotted Spoon:
    • Use a slotted spoon to transfer the rinds from the syrup to the drying rack. This allows excess syrup to drain off.
  12. Storing Properly:
    • Store the fully dried watermelon rind candy in an airtight container to keep it from becoming sticky or drying out too much.
  13. Optional Coating:
    • For an added touch, you can lightly dust the dried candy with granulated or powdered sugar to prevent sticking and add a decorative finish.
  14. Add Spices:
    • Consider adding a cinnamon stick or cloves to the syrup for a warm, spiced flavor.
  15. Check Syrup Consistency:
    • The syrup should be thick but not caramelized. If it starts to caramelize, reduce the heat.
  16. Patience with Drying:
    • Allow the candy to dry thoroughly. Rushing this process can result in sticky candy.
  17. Use a Candy Thermometer:
    • If you’re unsure about the syrup’s consistency, use a candy thermometer to ensure it reaches the right stage (around 220°F or 104°C).
  18. Cooling Time:
    • Let the candy cool to room temperature before storing to avoid condensation inside the container.
  19. Add a Touch of Salt:
    • A small pinch of salt can enhance the flavors and balance the sweetness.
  20. Experiment with Citrus:
    • Try using orange or lime zest for different citrus notes.