6 Best Lemon Extract Substitutes To Try

Note- This post may contain affiliate links, we earn from qualifying purchases made on our website. If you make a purchase through links from this website, we may get a small share of the sale from Amazon and other similar affiliate programs.

Have you run out of lemon extract while baking a lemon cake? There is something about the taste of citrusy lemons; the flavor hits the spot. If you enjoy lemon desserts but don’t have lemon extract at home, I have the best lemon extract substitutes you can use in your recipes. 

lemon extract on table

Lemon extract has a sweet and tart taste and is refreshing. You know the saying, “When life gives you lemons, make a lemonade!” Well, when life gives you lemon extract, make delicious desserts. But if you have run out of it, what else can you make in time? In that case, this article will give lemon extract alternatives. 

If you enjoy lemon desserts, the lemon extract is an excellent ingredient to keep on hand alongside your other extracts. Lemon cupcakes, cakes, bread, custards, ice creams, and sorbets are especially delicious. It is used to enhance the flavor of various recipes.

Now you must be wondering, what can be used in place of the lemon extract? The best lemon extract substitutes you can use are lemon juice, lime juice, lime extract, orange juice, orange extract, and lemon essence.

But, I think that before we discuss the substitutes for lemon extract, I should tell you a little more about this beautiful yet underrated lemon extract. Knowing how the lemon extract tastes and its texture will make it much easier to pick a substitute for the same. 

Quick Peek: Lemon Extract

lemon extract in a bottle

This section will help you with all the vital information about lemon extract. You will get to understand the basic cut, its flavor and texture profile uses, and nutritional information. So, gear up, and let us discuss lemon extract!

What Is Lemon Extract?

Lemon extract is a lemon-flavored liquid typically based on alcohol or oil made from lemons. The process of making lemon extract includes marinating lemon peels in a flavorless spirit, usually with vodka.

The essential oils in the lemon peels get released, which then gets infused into the oil or alcohol. This lemon-infused alcohol is then distilled, yielding a pale yellow or transparent liquid with a concentration of 77 percent. This method produces a lovely lemon flavor and texture without fresh lemon juice’s tart and acidic taste.

Lemon extract can be found in various baked and cooked dishes, ranging from main courses to side dishes to desserts. The use of lemon extract benefits a wide range of foods. A lemon flavor enhances a dish’s natural flavors without drawing attention. Lemon extract is also an excellent addition to lemon-flavored desserts such as pies and curds. 

Describing Lemon Extract: Flavor And Texture

Lemon extract is made from ripe lemons. Hence, it has the concentrated refreshing lemony taste but without the sharp tart and bitter flavor. It is also devoid of the acidity of lemon and will add the great lemony taste to your recipes without actually changing the flavor profile too much.

The lemon syrup has a liquid consistency. When added in the right amount, it adds the lemon-like aroma and refreshing taste to your desserts, custards, and bakes goods without actually hijacking their taste. Lemon extract has a clear color but it won’t be weird to find a pale yellow lemon extract.

Uses of Lemon Extract

Only a drop or two of the lemon extract is required to infuse a dish with lemon flavor. It works well as a substitute for lemon juice in desserts where the lemony flavor is important. However, you can use other substitute options because it is highly concentrated.

The fresh lemon flavor is extracted from fresh lemons. To add lemon flavor to baked recipes and other desserts, use pure lemon extract in bread, cakes, cookies, muffins, pies, frostings, glazes, custards, sorbets, sauces, yogurt, and mousse. This will give a fantastic taste and fresh flavor.

Lemon Extract On The Health Radar | Looking Through The Wellness Telescope

Lemon extract is a concentrated form of oil made from lemon peel. Look at the amazing benefits of pure lemon extract. Citric acid is one of the main ingredients in lemon extract. It has shown an effective change against various skin problems, including acne. This citrus fruit promotes healthy, glowing skin due to vitamin C.

Moreover, lemon extract aids in the reduction of psychological stress. So, the consumption of lemon extract in your dishes is a great idea to prevent you from any stress and also promote health conditions. It’s great for chronic diseases and increases our metabolism. 

Many people dislike the sour taste of lemon and dislike it for its extreme tartness. However, sour fruit has a variety of health benefits. Lemon extract has many health benefits, including weight loss, lowering blood pressure, and improving the appearance of the skin.

Why Should We Substitute Lemon Extract?

Despite all its amazing qualities, the lemon extract has a major setback. Firstly, When substituting dairy products for recipes, you should be extra careful. Lemon extract is acidic, so you should fold it at the end to prevent your bake mixture from curdling. 

Second, your recipe may need to be slightly modified depending on the substitute you use. Some substitutes do not have the same potency as lemon extract, so you will need to use more of them to achieve the desired flavor. 

Lastly, don’t worry if you want to make a recipe that calls for lemon extract but doesn’t have any on hand. Several lemon extract substitutes can be used in a pinch to replicate or replace the flavor—and many of them are probably already in your kitchen. Continue reading to discover the best lemon extract substitute for you!

Other Food Substitutes You Can Try

6 Best Lemon Extract Substitutes

This section has the best substitutes you can use in place of lemon extract. You will get to understand the flavor and texture of each substitute, what recipe they would work best in, and the substitution ratio. 

1. Lemon Juice

lemons on wooden chopping board

Lemon juice is the juice from freshly squeezed lemon. It is the most genuine substitute for lemon extract. Lemon juice has a more acidic and sour flavor than lemon extract. However, the lemon extract has the highest concentration.

So, you need to add more lemon juice to get the same taste. We substituted two tablespoons of lemon juice for each teaspoon of lemon extract. Lemon juice is, of course, the best substitute for lemon extract. As it is more acidic, you must carefully mix it with dairy. Otherwise, your recipe can fail.

There are two types of lemon juice available. One is packed, and the other is fresh. Packed lemon juice has fewer nutrients and more chemicals. Even if you dislike squeezing fresh ones, you’ll still enjoy using them.

2. Lime juice

lime juice in bowl

Lime juice looks and tastes so similar to lemon juice. Lime juice can be a good substitute for lemon extract. Lemons and limes are slightly different in that lemons are sour, and limes are more bitter. Due to their similar acidic ph levels, lime juice and lemon extract can be used interchangeably.

You should know how to integrate lime juice into dairy products to easily decrease the liquid component and save your dish. Lime juice works well for sauces and marinades. This ingredient is also fit for savory recipes.

Using this ingredient in a ratio of 2 tablespoons of lime juice to 1 teaspoon of lemon extract is recommended. To avoid curdling in your dairies, add lime juice only and stir it constantly.

3. Lime Extract

limes on the table

The lime extract can make your cooking game just like lemon extract. This substitute of the lemon extract is bitter and citrus in flavor, exactly like lemon extract. Lime extract is the second best thing to use instead of lemon extract after lemon oil or lemon juice.

You can use the lime extract in cakes, desserts, and ice creams. You should use the same quantity of lime extract as you use lemon extract.

Make sure your lime extract is fresh and perfect. So always taste it before using it. The lime extract can add a citrus taste with a hint of bitterness to your cheesecakes and custards. Taste the flavors before adding lime extract every time.

4. Orange Juice

orange juice in jug

Orange juice is the most common and easy substitute to find in your kitchen. Orange juice is a combination of sweet and sour tastes. It comes with a bit of a tangy finish which works best for desserts. Orange juice is not as concentrated as lemon extract.

Using two teaspoons of orange juice for every teaspoon of lemon extract will work best for you. Orange juice can be acidic and sometimes sweet if it is freshly squeezed. This ingredient will add a different texture and consistency to your dish. 

Orange juice is not as acidic as lemon extract. Whenever you make a recipe with orange juice, you do not need to use that much sugar. Checking the freshness of the orange juice is always a good idea.

5. Orange Extract

removing orange extract

Orange extract is the king ingredient for baking recipes. Its citrus aroma and sweet taste will add extra flavor to your dish. So, the orange extract is the best alternative to lemon extract. You can use the same amount of orange extract without lemon extract. And you can still achieve good taste.

Let us talk about the goddess of orange extract. This magical ingredient is good for cakes, muffins, frosting, and cookies. We should note that orange extract is always sweeter than lemon extract.

If you are thinking of having a tart or sour taste, you will not be in favor of orange extract. But if you already have orange extract in your pantry, it can be a great substitute. It will not change the texture and consistency of the recipe.

6. Lemon Essence

Lemon essence in the bottle

Lemon essence is made with chemical compounds and synthetic flavors. It can be the best alternative for lemon extract. And it is cheaper too. Lemon essence provides the same scent and taste. But it has a different texture than lemon extract.

Lemon essence does not have the same tartness as lemon extract. You can use it for cakes, cookies, frostings, pies, and custards. If you are looking for an acidic flavor. You will skip this alternative if you are running for a tart lemon taste.

Lemon essence has the scent of lemon, which will blow your mind. Let me tell you the measurements of lemon essence. You can use it when there is no need to think for sure.

Short Recap For Best Lemon Extract Substitutes

That was a great list of substitutes for lemon extract. I am sure you must have read through all of them and probably already picked the best one you like. However, I know it still may be confusing for some of you. So, to make it easy for everyone, I have broken it down. 

Best Lemon Extract Substitutes In Terms Of Flavor and Texture-

  1. Lemon juice
  2. Orange juice

Best Lemon Extract Substitutes That Are Not Lemon Based-

  1. Orange juice 

Best Lemon Extract Substitutes Should Be Least Considered-

  1. Lime extract

How To Use Lemon Extract Substitutes In Recipes

lemon extract on table

Lemon Extract Substitutes

Have you run out of lemon extract while baking a lemon cake? There is something about the taste of citrusy lemons; the flavor hits the spot. If you enjoy lemon desserts but don't have lemon extract at home, I have the best lemon extract substitutes you can use in your recipes.
5 from 3 votes


  • Lemon Juice
  • Lime Juice
  • Lime Extract
  • Orange Juice
  • Orange Extract
  • Lemon Essence


  • Go through the substitutes and see which one seems fit for the recipe.
  • Collect your ingredients and use your preferred substitute.
  • Use the substitute in the required amount and proceed to make the dish according to the recipe.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Final Word

Lemon extract is an ideal ingredient that works as a tangy ingredient for your baking recipes. Its flavor, texture, and consistency make it a versatile ingredient that can be used for experiments in the kitchen. Its sweetness is a boon that complements a lot of recipes. 

Also, if the recipe needs a different flavor other than lemon extract, you can use these substitutes in your recipes to maintain the tangy flavor.

Just manage the taste profile accordingly and use the measurement of other substitutes. Most of the lemon extract substitutes listed above are healthy, & some are fruit-based. Choose a substitute based on your recipe, and let me know what turned out the best for you. See you soon with another write-up!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is Lemon Extract the Same As Lemon Juice?

No! They are not the same. Lemon extract is made in a different way than lemon juice. Lemon juice derives its flavor from the fruit, whereas lemon extract derives its flavor from lemon zest.

Is Making Lemon Extract Expensive?

No, you can make lemon extract at home with the minimum ingredients needed.

What Ingredients Are In The Lemon Extract?

Lemon extract has 83% of alcohol, water, and oil of lemon. 

Is Lemon Extract Good For You?

Yes! Citric acid is one of the main ingredients in lemon extract and it is quite effective against a variety of skin problems, including acne.

Should Lemon Extract Be Refrigerated?

Freshly squeezed lemon juice should be refrigerated in an airtight container immediately after juicing.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating