How to Make Flavorful Orange Sugar

If you love easy like I love easy, this orange sugar is going to be your new favorite thing. With just two ingredients, you can pull it together in just five minutes. 

Once you’ve zested the oranges, use the juice to make some of this delicious orange liqueur!

glass jar with orange flavored sugar and a green ribbon

This is one of those no-waste recipes that allows us to enjoy a part of the orange that might otherwise be tossed in the compost. Orange sugar also makes a sweet little gift! 

Making orange sugar

Have I mentioned how easy this is? You’ll need two ingredients, a small mixing bowl, and an airtight container in which to store the finished product. 


Sugar — Use granulated sugar for this recipe. Regular table sugar works, but if you’ll be using this for sprinkling on baked goods, a slightly coarser sugar with larger crystals will give a bit more crunch. I prefer to use an organic sugar.

Orange zest — This is the colored part of the orange peel. You’ll want to use just the zest, not the white part inside the skin, which can be bitter.

microplane on a cutting board with orange zest

As you can see, I used a microplaner to accomplish this, but there are a number of methods you can use. I go into detail on how to zest an orange here

white bowl filled with sugar and orange zest

Mix it up!

Combine sugar and zest in a small mixing bowl. Use a fork to thoroughly combine the ingredients, then store orange sugar in an airtight container. 

fork mixing orange zest into sugar
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Using orange sugar

  • Use it to top your favorite muffin recipe (like these orange muffins!)
  • Stir it into tea
  • Sprinkle it on buttered toast
  • Press some into sugar cookies before you bake them
  • Sprinkle it on ice cream
  • Use it as part (or all) of the sugar in your favorite baked goods
white bowl with orange sugar and a fork

Giving gifts

As gifts go, this is one of the nicest, easiest, least expensive gifts you can make in your kitchen. Choose a decorative jar, fill it with sugar, and tie on a tag! Super simple. If you wanted to, you could package it with a loaf of fresh bread and instructions to make orange sugar toast! 

decorative glass jar with sugar and orange zest inside

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small glass jar with orange sugar.

Easy and Flavorful Orange Sugar

Yield: 1 cup
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

This flavored sugar takes on the essence of orange, making it a delicious addition to baked goods or stirred into tea.


  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest (from 1 orange)


  1. Measure sugar into a small bowl.
  2. Zest orange using a microplane or the smallest side of a box grater.
  3. Stir together until well combined.
  4. Store in an airtight container. Use within a month or so, as the flavor of the orange zest will dissipate over time.


Allow for extra time required for gift packaging, if that's what you plan to do with it!

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1 tablespoon
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 49Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 0mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 0gSugar: 12gProtein: 0g

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About the author: Kris Bordessa is an award-winning National Geographic author and a certified Master Food Preserver. If you want to send Kris a quick message, you can get in touch here.

2 comments… add one
  • Anna Mar 2, 2022 @ 9:05

    How long does this keep?

    • AttainableSustainable Mar 3, 2022 @ 8:18

      Around a month, after that, the orange flavor will diminish.

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