The BEST Orange Extract Substitutes To Use

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Have you ever been in the middle of baking something and realized you are out on one of the extracts needed? I sure have been there! And today, on The Substitute Foodie, we are going to cover how we can find the best Orange extract substitutes. We will look at various options that will give you that orangey flavor or another citrus alternative. So, you don’t need to worry about your recipe! Continue reading, and you will find something special and unique to add to your dish.

But before we do that, let’s understand the flavor and taste of the orange extract. This will help us pick the best replacement.

What Does Orange Extract Taste Like?

Orange extract is a common baking ingredient that gives food a desired orange flavor without adding a ton of liquid, like orange juice. It can be found in a wide variety of recipes, from cakes and cupcakes to tarts or other sugary treats. Though it’s often considered interchangeable with orange zest, extract actually has a more pungent taste that stands out even when added in small amounts.

Usually made with pure orange extract oil, it has an intense citrus flavor that brightens up desserts without overpowering the other ingredients. Many also use the orange extract to make homemade creamsicles or add more punch to smoothies and cocktails. A few drops of this powerful concentrate will add natural citrus and floral sweetness. I love adding just a drop or two into my yogurt.

Orange Extract Substitutes

Substitutes For Orange Extract

All the options below are for 1 Teaspoon of Orange Extract. Feel free to play around with the ratios, as each recipe will react differently.

Orange Oil

2 to 4 drops of orange oil for one teaspoon of orange extract.

Orange oil is a great substitute for orange extract in many recipes. It has a distinct, sweet, and citrusy flavor that adds zesty punch to baked goods, glazes, desserts, drinks, and more. Unlike artificial flavoring or extracts, orange oil is made from real oranges and has no added chemicals.

It is also much more concentrated than its extract counterpart – meaning you need only a few drops of orange oil compared to a teaspoon of extract for the same effect.

As an added bonus, some people find that orange oil can help relieve anxiety and stress due to its pleasant scent!

Orange Zest

1-2 teaspoons of zest for one teaspoon of orange extract.

Orange zest is a great substitute for orange extract in many recipes. Unlike extract, the bright, citrusy flavor of orange zest comes from the essential oils found in its skin. Compared to extract, it is less concentrated but provides a fresh and natural burst of flavor.

It also adds color to recipes, creating bright visuals in baked goods and glazes. Zesting your oranges allows you to control the intensity of the flavor since you can always add more zest if needed.

Side Note – If your recipe is for a drink, I would recommend not using zest as it will leave pieces of orange skin floating in your drink. A large slice of the orange rind placed in the cup would be a better option.

Orange Liqueur

1 tablespoon of orange Liqueur for one teaspoon of orange extract.

Orange liqueur is another great substitute for orange extract. I’ve used it several times when I have been out of the extract. It can offer a mild but more complex depth of flavor than extract and works well in baked goods. I used mine in a cheesecake I made.

Due to the slight warmth and booziness of the liqueur, it can be used to elevate desserts and drinks to create something special that your guests are sure to love. Or so it might be something you need to avoid if you cooking for littles. Keep that in mind, especially if the dessert doesn’t cook out the alcohol.

Orange Flower Water

1/2 to 1 teaspoon of orange flower water for one teaspoon of orange extract.

Our last option for orange extract is using orange flower water. This fragrant liquid is distilled from the blossom of the bitter orange tree, and it offers a delicate floral flavor that can be used to lend brightness to many dishes.

Orange flower water also has subtle citrus notes. Many liken it to chewing on an orange peel. It can be used to give drinks like cocktails and mocktails an exotic taste and will work in recipes as well.

orange extract substitute infograph

Other Extracts You Can Use Instead of Orange Extract

If you don’t have those orange options above, you can swap out the orange extract with another type of extract. Here are several that I recommend.

Lemon Extract

Lemon extract makes a great substitute for orange extract. Its tart and zesty flavor can offer the same tangy and citrusy taste as the orange extract. Lemon extract can be more potent than orange extract, which means a smaller amount is needed in recipes to get that desired citrus taste.

But please realize the flavor will no longer be orange but lemon. If you are ok with that, then go for it. If that’s not the flavor you want, then stick with the orange extract substitutes above or try a different citrus extract.

Other Citrus Extracts

Citrus extracts are a great way to substitute orange extract in any recipe. They come from a variety of fruits, such as lemon, lime, tangerine, and grapefruit. Citrus extracts have a strong citrus aroma and taste that pack a powerful punch of flavor.

When using any citrus extract in place of orange extract, it’s important to keep in mind that these flavors can either be stronger or weaker than orange. Each brand is different. So, to avoid overwhelming the dish, start off by adding a small amount and then adjusting according to taste.

Vanilla Extract

Vanilla extract makes a great substitute for orange extract.. Vanilla extract is more subtle than orange extract in terms of taste, so it won’t overpower the dish but will instead add complexity to your dish’s flavor. When substituting vanilla for orange extract, use about double the amount of vanilla compared to the amount of orange extract called for in the recipe. Vanilla extracts come in different strengths, so you can also adjust the amount depending on how strong you want the flavor to be. Vanilla is very subtle and has a flavor well enjoyed. So if none of these options work, vanilla is a safe option to use.

Rum Extract

Rum extract is another great alternative to orange extract. It doesn’t taste like orange, but in most dessert recipes, it will work nicely in place of orange extract. When substituting rum extract for orange extract, use half the amount of rum as you would with orange extract and taste as you go.

You can also mix rum and orange extracts to give your dish a unique flavor combination that’s sure to rock your baked goods.

My Final Thoughts On Substitutes For Orange Extract

Overall, there are many substitutes for an orange extract that can offer a unique flavor to your dishes and drinks. You can zest an orange or add a few drops of orange oil to get that flavor.

Or you can jump ship and try a citrus extract like lemon or lime, vanilla, and rum.

You have plenty of options when it comes to adding zing and complexity to your recipes without using the traditional orange extract. Experiment with different combinations of these ingredients until you find the perfect balance of flavors for your dish or drink. Happy Cooking!

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