Leftover lemon zest sugar

Lemon and sugar are, to my mind, the best pancake day filling. Sweet and sour, everyone can add more lemon or sugar to their taste. Simple. Minimum effort required by the cook. But what about the leftover lemon zest and juice-less fruit? What next?

I’ll tell you.

Lemon sugar, and two more ideas to come. Having a jar of delicately scented lemon sugar will be heaven for an elderflower and gin drink. How about profiteroles with lemon scented cream whipped up inside those craggy shells? I think I’m going to have to make those this weekend. Also – last minute gifts to friends or teachers can be easily and cheaply dealt with by 250 grams of lemon sugar in a leftover jar. Pennies people, this costs pennies.

If you have a fancy pants microplane, this will be easy. You don’t? No worries. The side of your box grater that does the thin strips will be best here.

Let me know what you use your leftover lemon zest sugar for, I hope you enjoy it.


Leftover lemon zest sugar

Ann Storr
Zest your leftover lemon rinds to make a simple jar of citrus sharp sugar. If you can't bear to zest before cutting up the lemon, you'll get less zest but it'll be good enough
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 10 mins


  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 50 grams granulated or caster sugar


  • Grater or microplane
  • bowl
  • clean jar with a lid


  • Preferably, take your lemon and grate the zest off before you cut it up. If you can't bear to, don't worry about it
  • If your lemons are already squished and squashed, you'll need to half grate/half smoosh 
  • Grate the zest into the bowl and add the sugar. Mix it together with your hands.
  • Place in the jar and leave for at least a week, if possible, to let the flavours develop


  • Will keep for a few months

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