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11 Best Orange Extract Substitutes That You Should Try

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Let me guess! You are here for the best orange extract substitutes. It is that we are often at the mercy of food extracts. Why? They are the magical concoctions that can smoothly perk up the taste and flavor of our dishes. Did you know they also render taste but not calories? All these make them simply irreplaceable.

Orange Extract

While we have discussed before the substitutes for butter extract (do check out the article), today we will deal with a personal favorite of mine; the orange extract and its best substitutes. Some of the best orange extract substitutes are orange juice, orange zest, orange liqueur, and orange oil.

Orange extract is a concentrated solution of orange in an alcoholic or non-alcoholic solution. It is used in recipes for a concentrated flavor of oranges. It is almost indispensable in cakes, pancakes, desserts, syrups, and many more.

Can you forego the orange cake you promised your sister just because you are out of orange extract? Never! I will take care of that for you, and you need to read this whole article for me.

Quick Peek: Orange Extract

Orange Extract

The following scribbles tell you what orange extract is, its flavor, culinary uses, and health benefits.

What Is Orange Extract?

Orange extract is nothing but the concentrated solution of a pile of orange zestfully drenched in vodka for about six weeks. Many also use glycerine instead of vodka to prepare the orange extract. 

Describing The Flavor of Orange Extract

The taste and essence of orange come to us in many forms. Orange extract is prominently used among them. Others include orange oil and orange flavor powder, which find use in baking recipes. The orange extract has a strong sweet, and slightly acidic flavor with undertones of herbal aroma. For sure, it is overly sugary!

Uses of Orange Extract

The orange extract has the intense flavor of pressed orange zest that is hard to beat. It enhances the taste and flavor of whatever you are baking; cakes, muffins, pancakes, cheesecakes, cookies and sauces, desserts, and jams.

To put it simply, when you are too lazy to grab a bunch of oranges for any recipe, the orange extract is the Lord who gets you saved. It easily emulates the citrusy flavor of oranges and can be substituted for oranges, orange juice, and vanilla extract.

Hey! Orange extract can also work as a great addition to your ingredients in a marinade. You can also use this extract to give your veggies or meat a sweet flavor. Slip it into your iced tea or cocoa, and I am sure you will feel heavenly. 

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

There aren’t many health benefits to avail from extracts. Extracts are basically used for flavoring food products and beverages. The same goes with the case of orange extract. That doesn’t mean it is fully devoid of health benefits. Orange extracts have the potential to reduce sunburn, dark spots, and blemishes. It can also prevent acne and scarring. 

Why Should We Substitute Orange Extract?

Orange extracts are usually available at any time around the year at local grocery stores. But if you are out of time to run to the store, you need the help of some best orange extract substitutes so that your recipes come out yummy and flavorful.

The best orange extract substitutes are helpful in emulating the much-loved citrus flavor of orange extract without actually using it. So, shall we discuss them now?

Other Food Substitutes You Can Try

11 Best Orange Extract Substitutes

Now that you know everything you need to know about orange extract let us discuss the eleven best substitutes for orange extract.

1. Orange Juice

Orange Juice

Possibly, orange juice is the closest, easily available substitute for orange extract. Orange juice is made by either pressing, crushing, or squeezing oranges. Usually, navel oranges, valencia oranges, and blood oranges are the orange varieties used for making orange juice.

You have the option to either blend some oranges in a food processor to get the juice or get bottled orange juice. Either way, orange juice can work as a good alternative, provided you can substitute it in larger quantities.

2. Orange Zest

Orange Zest

Orange zest is the bright, orange-colored portion of an orange peel. It is often deemed, wrongly, to be the same as orange peel. Orange peel comprises both the zest and the pith, while orange zest is simply the outer layer of the orange peel.

Orange zest is a great orange extract substitute since it can undoubtedly give the fruity, tangy flavor of orange extract. It is also the source of the orange extract itself. However, it may have a less sour taste compared to orange extract. To balance this, add extra slices of zest and be sure to omit the white pith (it would make everything bitter!).

3. Orange Liqueur

Orange Liqueur

Orange liqueur is an alcoholic drink made using orange flavoring. Grand Marnier and Cointreau are the most famous brands of orange liqueur. Orange liqueur is a good shot as an orange extract substitute, considering the bittersweet flavor. 

Orange liqueur has a syrupy consistency with a bittersweet flavor with added herbs and flavorings. While there is a guarantee of orange flavor, its cost and availability are the biggest downsides.

4. Orange Oil

Orange Oil

Orange oil is prepared by extracting the oil from the rind of the oranges. Also known as an orange essential oil, this oil is obtained from the sweet orange trees native to China. Bitter orange essential oils are also available.

Two drops of this substitute will suffice to match the flavor of orange extract; behold the powerful orange oil, another orange extract substitute. It can simulate the orange flavor in your recipes but with the addition of a glossy oil. But, it isn’t a thing to be worried about since oil blends easily with other ingredients. It is less expensive as well as easily available as orange extract.

5. Orange Marmalade

Orange Marmalade

combination of sweet and bitter flavors with a distinctive aroma. You can enjoy some orange deliciousness with this substitute. 

Orange marmalade has a thick consistency similar to jam. It has almost similar sugar content compared to orange extract but less acidity. For the subtle sour taste, you may have to double the amount of orange marmalade while substituting for orange extract.

6. Clementine


Clementine is a North African variety of mandarin oranges. It has a sweet, juicy flavor with an acidic taste. It is deemed to be sweeter than other varieties of oranges. It contains a good amount of Vitamin C, which is beneficial in reducing inflammation.

Oranges and clementines differ from each other majorly based on size – clementines are smaller than oranges, with a sweet taste and thin skin. You can easily use clementine as a substitute for orange extract, considering its sweet flavor. It can be used in sauces, desserts, cakes, glazes, and marinades.

7. Tangerine


Tangerine is a citrus fruit that is the hybrid of mandarin orange and pomelo. It has a sweet and tart flavor and a stronger taste than other types of oranges. It is large and flat in shape with a rough texture. Tangerine peel is good for treating indigestion, asthma, and liver diseases.

Tangerine can also be a considerable substitute for orange extract in drinks, baked goods, desserts, and sauces due to the sweet, tart flavor. Tangerine peel is used in famous dishes such as Szechuan dish and orange chicken.

8. Meyer Lemon

Meyer Lemon

Meyer lemon is a sweet hybrid lemon of a regular lemon and a mandarin orange. It is native to China and has a sweet, floral flavor. It renders a subtle hint of acidity but lacks the characteristic sharp, bitter flavor of regular lemons. It has a soft, smooth texture. 

Meyer lemon can be a good alternative for orange extract due to the sweet, floral flavor it has. It can be used in sauces, salads, dressing, baking recipes, desserts, and marinades. The zest and juice of Meyer lemon can be considered for replacing orange extract.

9. Mandarin Orange

Mandarin Orange

Mandarin orange is also known as mandarin or mandarine. It is a citrus variety of orange, which is small in shape with loose skin. It is quite easy to peel and hence is also called a zipper orange. It has a sweet taste and a pebbly texture. 

Mandarin orange has a strong flavor and aroma similar to a regular orange and thus is a considerable orange extract substitute. These oranges can be used to make teas, potpourri, jams, and salad dressings. 

10. Bergamot Orange

Bergamot Orange

Bergamot orange is another citrus fruit that is derived from the Citrus bergamia plant. It resembles an orange in size and lime in color. The flavor of bergamot orange is a combination of the sour taste of orange and lemon. It has a smooth texture, almost like lime.

Although the flavor of bergamot orange is not similar to that of orange extract, it can be an option worth trying as an alternative to orange extract. It can be used in salad dressings, seafood marinades, cookies, pastries, and sauces.

11. Citrus Extract

Citrus Extract

Citrus extracts can be of lemon, lime, grapefruit, and many others. These extracts have a fresh and balanced flavor profile with a blend of both sweet and acidic notes. These extracts are a naturally good source of helpful antioxidants. 

Citrus extracts can be your last resort as an orange extract substitute. They render a distinctive flavor to your recipe alongside the orange flavor since they have different fruit bases as sources. 

Short Recap Of Best Orange Extract Substitutes

That must have been an exhaustive read on the best orange extract substitutes, right? Let me make it easy for you to remember the details with the help of some points.

Best Option: The best orange extract substitute to consider is orange juice. 

Closer Option: The next best orange extract substitutes are an orange zest and orange liqueur. 

Types of Oranges: Mandarine, clementine, tangerine, and bergamot are the various types of oranges that can be used as best orange extract substitutes.

Other Fruits: Meyer lemon and citrus extracts are orange extract substitutes based on other fruits.

How To Use Orange Extract Substitutes In A Recipe

Orange Extract

Orange Extract Substitutes

Orange extract is a concentrated solution of orange in an alcoholic or non-alcoholic solution. It is used in recipes for a concentrated flavor of oranges. It is almost indispensable in cakes, pancakes, desserts, syrups, and many more. If you don't have orange extract handy, try using one of its substitutes!
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  • Orange Juice
  • Orange Zest
  • Orange Liqueur
  • Orange Oil
  • Orange Marmalade
  • Clementine
  • Tangerine
  • Meyer Lemon
  • Mandarin Orange
  • Bergamot Orange
  • Citrus Extract


  • 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 Musings

Well, now you have the best substitutes for orange extract. You need to be mindful of the sweet and acidic flavor of the substitute while choosing to replace orange extract. What more? Let’s get that delicious orange cake baked for good! See you soon!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What can I replace orange extract with?

Orange extract can be replaced with orange zest, orange oil, orange juice, citrus extract, and orange liqueur.

Can you substitute orange extract for orange peel?

For half a teaspoon of orange extract, use a tablespoon of orange peel. 

What is the alcohol content in orange extract?

The alcohol content in orange extract is 33%.

What is orange extract made of?

Orange extract is made of orange rind, water and alcohol.

How do you make orange extract without alcohol?

Instead of using alcohol, glycerin with water can be used to make orange extract. 

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