Candied Kumquats

It’s raining kumquats. Literally. My pal and neighbor Garrett found a fully loaded kumquat tree on his campus and now we are quite flush with them. A few days ago Garrett brought a jar of these candied kumquats over and we’ve been nibbling on them ever since. Ridiculously easy to make, candied kumquats are half condiment, half candy. You can use them on salads, pork, chicken, cheesecakes, or even with chocolate ice cream. Or you can do what I do, which is to sneak a couple out of the fridge and just eat them straight. Sticky gooey goodness.

Candied Kumquats Recipe



  • 4 cups of roughly chopped kumquats (roughly 1-1½ lbs.)
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 cups of sugar


1 With a pairing knife roughly chop the kumquats. Discard any seeds you can that are easy to get too, but they're edible so don't fret if some get chopped up or stay in the fruit. Feel free to leave any small kumquats whole.

2 Heat the water and sugar over high heat until it comes to a boil. Simmer for 4 minutes. Add the kumquats and simmer for 10 minutes.

3 Drain the kumquats through a sieve set over a bowl. Return the syrup to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes to reduce the syrup. Combine the kumquats and 1/4 cup of the syrup together.

Serve or jar and refrigerate. Can be stored for up to two weeks.

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Candied mandarinquats from C(h)ristine of Muffin Top
Garrett's Kumquatinis
Candied kumquats and mandarinquats from Pim of Chez Pim
Candied citrus in blood orange syrup from The Tomato Tart


  1. Garrett

    I am going to also add that if you want, you can add spices such as cinnamon, cloves or star anise to the cooking syrup if you want to fragrantly spice these.

    I recently added some of these to a chicken tagine. Very, very tasty!

    I plan to use some for some cocktails later. Yum!

  2. Marina

    Hi, I love kumquats and can’t wait to try this recipe out! When heating the water and sugar, do I have to keep stirring constantly? Does the same apply for after when simmering the syrup? Thanks!

  3. Amanda

    This sounds very tasty. I bet these would be great with chocolate ice cream. I would love to try these with limequats and add them to mojitos.

  4. SusanV

    This looks terrific! My parents grow kumquats, and we never know what to do with them all. They’re out of season now (they peak in December here), but I’m saving the recipe for next year.

  5. Pieg!rl

    Makes a soothing tea for the throat, especially with honey!

  6. Zoe

    Wow, you are so lucky! I wish I could have a free source of kumquats. They are so expensive at the store where I live, I only get a small carton as a treat occasionally.Your recipe looks great though.

  7. katy

    Oh yum! I bought kumquats this weekend but wasn’t crazy about their flavor raw. I bet I would like these much better!

    PS — I didn’t realize the seeds were edible! That would have made eating them much more enjoyable, rather than picking through the halved fruits to get rid of all the seeds!

  8. Jen

    How did you know I was wanting to make this? Been stocking up on an over abundance of kumquats this month. I’ve searched for just the right recipe last week only to follow up on your rss to see this.

    Thanks a bunch. Looks simple enough

  9. Liz

    Do they need to be peeled first? My only real experience with kumquats in the past is being pelted with them (by my much older step-brother)as a kid – somehow I think eating the candied ones would much more enjoyable!

  10. Liz

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. We’ve had a kumquat tree for about 10 years, and every year we’re inundated by buckets upon buckets of kumquats. Sometimes we struggle to give them all away, but now we have a reason to keep some!

    I made this recipe and added a little clove and cinnamon. The kumquat skins aren’t nearly so bitter and the syrup is incredible. I have a feeling that I’ll be using this simple recipe over and over.

  11. Janie

    I love these halved in a favorite cup of tea with honey for a soothing drink. I bet a speck of Grand Marnier (orange liquer) would be awesome in it as well. :o)

  12. Trivia

    These are remarkable! Strangely, I would never have thought of using kumqauts to candy, but I guess it makes perfect sense. I relate the fruit to when I was little and living in Florida. My dad’s mother had a kumquat tree in her backyard and we’re run out barefoot to collect as many as we could, eating them there.

    I made them with cloves and cinnamon stick, and I gave them to my parents to try. We all have the mutual opinion of “Yum.” Thanks so much for the recipe!

  13. franklin (mr pancake)

    I always thought you could only buy these beauties in a chinese restaurant in Brooklyn. They are delicious!

  14. Kathy

    These are ripe down here in the deep south. I have a few friends who have trees that are so loaded they don’t know what to do with them. Last year, I made a small batch of kumquat marmalade, which was delicious. This year, in an effort to preserve more of them quickly, I will try this. Thanks! It is the simplest recip I have found yet.

  15. Joan mace

    This is a great recipe. You can also add, dried fruit and a hint of fruit liquer. *note* No need to peel, and you can rough chop, our slice. Depending on the size of fruit, you may want to remove larger seeds.

  16. Jon

    Love this simple recipe Elise, this was my first effort with kumquats and it is delicious! Will now explore other kumquat options such as marmalade, and cooking these little gems with microwave. At some point I’ll try blending in other citrus or ginger/cloves/cinnamon.
    Thank you!

  17. Paul

    That campus wouldn’t be San Diego State would it by any chance. When I was there ’74 to ’78, there was a kumquat tree on campus that made LOTS of kumquats.


  18. Paul

    Thanks for the reply. I’m using your recipe as we ‘speak’.


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