Are you searching for the best lemon extract substitute to finish up a recipe but have no clue what to use?
No worries, we are here to help and have six great alternatives when you find yourself in a jam.
Six substitutes for lemon extract include lemon, lime, and orange juice. Lemon, orange, lime zest, or dried lemons.
With that in mind, let’s discuss why these are the best options to try and how you can use them to your advantage.
- What is Lemon Extract?
- Give Lemon Juice a Try.
- Orange or Lime Zest is a Great Option.
- Use Lime Juice Instead.
- Try Using Lemon Zest.
- Lemon Peels Will Work Wonders.
- Orange Juice (Yes, Really)
- Bonus: Apple Cider Vinegar
- Lemon Extract Substitutes FAQs
- Summing Things Up
What is Lemon Extract?
To decide which alternative works the best for your recipe, let’s discuss what lemon extract is and how we use it.
Lemon extract is a concentrated lemon flavor that comes from the lemons zest. Lemon zest is the outer layer of the yellow peel.
First, you have to remove the zest. Then, it goes into a container with alcohol which extracts the potent flavor and aroma.
You use lemon extract in baked goods and desserts because of its sweet but tangy taste. We also suggest using lemon extract in any recipe that requires a tart taste with a sweet flare.
In this article, we have provided you with a list of six great products that can take the place of lemon extract. These products can enhance the flavor of any dish and keep it citrusy and delicious.
- Lemon juice
- Orange and lime zest
- Lime juice
- Lemon zest
- Dried lemon peels
- Orange juice
- Bonus: Apple cider vinegar
Give Lemon Juice a Try.
Why lemon juice? Lemon juice is an excellent substitute for extract because it has the same strong flavor.
When using lemon juice in place of lemon extract, always add more since the flavor isn’t as concentrated. More of the product will offer a stronger, lemony taste.
Something we would like you to consider is that lemon juice is a lot more acidic than lemon extract. Lemon juice comes straight from the inside of the orange and isn’t mixed with alcohol like extract is.
How to substitute lemon juice for extract- 1 TBSP juice to ½ TBSP extract
- Lemon juice is less concentrated than lemon extract.
- Lemon juice is more acidic
- Use lemon juice in savory dishes or in dressings.
Orange or Lime Zest is a Great Option.
Why orange or lime zest? Lemons are part of the citrus fruit family, along with limes and oranges. Because they are so similar, you can substitute them and produce very similar flavors.
You can buy orange or lime zest from the grocery store, or you can create your own with a zesting tool or a grater.
Since lemon extract comes from the zest, you won’t need to change up the amount you add to the recipe. With that said, when using orange zest, you might want to add a pinch extra. You should do this when you are using it in desserts to provide a little extra kick.
How to substitute lemon zest for extract- 1 TBSP of zest to 1 TBSP of extract
- Orange and lime zest are very similar in flavor to lemon.
- Orange zest is ideal for sweet dishes.
- Lime zest is great for savory dishes.
- You can get lime and orange zest from fresh fruit or buy it at the store.
Use Lime Juice Instead.
Limes are very similar in flavor and acidic content to lemons. Because they are so much alike, it makes them easy to interchange when needed.
You can use lime juice to replace lemon extract in almost any recipe. But remember that lime juice doesn’t offer the same strong flavor or aroma. This means you will have to double the amount used.
We love how lime juice provides a citrusy yet delectable and fresh flavor to any recipe.
How to substitute lime juice for lemon extract- 1 TBSP of lime juice to ½ TBSP of lemon extract.
- Lime has a very similar flavor to lemons.
- Lime juice is not as concentrated as lemon extract.
- Lime juice is perfect for almost any recipe calling for lemon extract.
- You can buy lime juice or buy it from your local grocery store.
Try Using Lemon Zest.
Why lemon zest? We mentioned above how well lime and orange zest work wonders as a lemon extract replacement. But we didn’t mention lemons.
If you have a whole lemon lying around, you can zest this piece of fruit yourself. By doing this, you will create an ingredient similar in every way to extract.
Because the extract comes from the peel of this tangy fruit, it makes sense to simply use the peel in its place.
If you decide to use lemon zest in place of an extract, remember that the texture will be quite different. For that very reason, we would suggest sticking to baked goods when using this option.
How to substitute lemon zest for extract- 1 TBSP lemon zest to 1 TBSP lemon extract.
- The lemon extract comes from lemon zest
- Lemon zest has a coarse texture, ideal for baked goods where it isn’t easily noticed.
- Lemon zest is strong and citrusy.
Lemon Peels Will Work Wonders.
Yes, lemon zest does come from lemon peels, but they are not at all the same thing. More often than not, you will dehydrate lemon peels before storing, selling, or using them.
Dried or dehydrated lemon peels offer the advantage of using preserved lemon flavors. Aside from that, they are not diluted or toned down by alcohol, preserving their citrusy tang.
When using lemon peels, always keep in mind the texture will be noticeable in most recipes. Thus, making it best to use in marinades, dressings, or baked goods.
How to lemon peels for extract- 1 peel for ½ TBSP of extract substitute
- You can buy lemon peels from the store or make them in a dehydrator at home.
- Lemon peels are potent and can add a strong but tangy touch to any dish.
- Lemon peels offer a course texture, making them ideal for marinades. You can also use them in other recipes where thick pieces aren’t going to be a problem.
Orange Juice (Yes, Really)
Orange juice is one of the best substitutes out there for lemon extract. Because so many homes already have this item in the fridge, it is a great option when you find yourself in a pickle.
Orange juice will give your recipe a citrusy and tangy yet sweet flavor. Thus, providing a similar taste to lemons.
We suggest that before adding orange juice to your dish, you give it a quick taste. Doing this will give you a good idea about how sweet or tangy it is.
How to substitute orange juice for lemon extract- 1 TBSP of juice to ½ TBSP of extract
- Orange juice is both tangy and sweet and great for desserts.
- Orange juice is the most common substitute because it is readily available in most homes.
- You can use orange juice in almost any recipe.
Bonus: Apple Cider Vinegar
Most people do not think to grab the apple cider vinegar when they run out of lemon extract. Despite this, we found it is a fantastic substitute.
Apple cider vinegar is a staple in many homes. It’s recognized for its many benefits regarding your health, cleaning your home, and cooking.
If you decide to use apple cider vinegar in place of lemon extract, keep in mind the acid is strong. Aside from this, apple cider vinegar can provide a sweet, zesty taste.
How to substitute apple cider vinegar for lemon extract. 1 TBSP of apple cider vinegar to 1TBSP of extract.
- Apple cider vinegar is very accessible.
- Apple cider vinegar offers tons of great benefits.
- Apple cider vinegar is very citrusy.
Lemon Extract Substitutes FAQs
Can You Make Your Own Lemon Extract?
Yes. To make lemon extract, you will need 2 pounds of fresh organic lemons and 3 cups of 80-100 proof cups of vodka.
- First, zest the lemons (peel the outer yellow layer, not the white inside of the peel).
- Next, add them to a tight locking container and shake well.
- Finally, let the lemons sit in a dark, cool location for 4-6 weeks.
What is the Best Lemon Extract Substitute?
The best substitute for lemon extract will depend on the recipe you are attempting to make. For the most part, lemon juice makes the best alternative.
What is the Best Way to Zest a Lemon to Use as an Extract Alternative?
The best way to zest a lemon is with a lemon zester tool or a cheese or vegetable grater. You can also use a peeling knife and cut the outer layer. Remember not to use the white inside layer of the lemon peel.
Summing Things Up
Just because you run out of lemon extract doesn’t mean you have to give up on the dish you are trying to prepare. There are tons of great substitutes that are most likely sitting in your pantry or fridge right now. They are waiting for their moment to shine.