7 Substitutes for Orange Flower Water (#4 MIGHT HAVE NOW!)

image of replace orange blossoms water

When you run out of orange flower water, don’t panic right away. There are many different ingredients you might have in your kitchen that can take its place.

Whether you are preparing a large meal or looking for a way to flavor your mixed drinks, we have options for you! Before rushing to the store, try one of the great substitutes for orange flower water listed below. Each ingredient can take the place of orange flower water if you run out. 

Keep reading!

What is Orange Flower Water?

image of orange blossoms

Orange flower water is a mix of distilled water and oil extracts found in orange blossoms. This extract is often found in oriental dishes and adds a citrusy touch to many different dishes.

The most important thing to remember when cooking or baking with this product is that it is very potent. Like other “flower waters,” orange flower water has a strong taste. Due to its strength, it only requires a small amount in any recipe. 

Contrary to the taste, orange flower water has a mild citrus scent. The aroma is very deceitful when it comes to taste. But that natural and subtle scent makes it popular in sprays, beauty products, and water.

The 7 Best Substitutes for Orange Flower Water

Now you know what orange flower water is, what it tastes like, and how it packs a punch. So, let’s discuss what to do when you run out.

With so many different options on the grocery store shelves, we decided to hand-pick the top 6.

1. Orange Zest is the Best

Orange zest is shavings or peels from the outer part of the fruit. While zest isn’t a liquid like a flower in water, it does have the same strong citrus flavor and aroma.

Keep in mind orange flower water is clear. Whereas orange zest offers the same bright orange color as you see when holding a whole orange.

You can use orange zest in any dish that is not texture specific. The best way to use it is when flavoring marinades, sauces, and dressings.

How to Substitute: ¼ tablespoon of orange zest for every 1 TBSP of orange blossom water.

Tip: Make your own orange zest by shaving the outer peel of an orange with a zester or food grater. 

2. Orange Oil is a Close Comparison

Orange oil is the extraction of oil from the rinds cell. This is the most potent form of the extracted oils and is the only oil extracted as a by-product of the fruit.

This oil is often found in cleaners, skin care products, or to provide an intense flavor when cooking. This orange water substitute is ideal for beverages, pastries, and salad dressings.

How to Substitute: one drop of orange oil for every tablespoon of orange blossom water

Tip: Too much orange oil can lead to digestive discomfort; use sparingly.

3. Orange Extract is an Amazing Option

Many people confuse orange oil with orange extract. But they are, in fact, two different products. Each provides a powerful orange flavor and smell, but the extract is much closer in texture. 

Orange extract is thinner than oil and will not affect the consistency of any recipe. Use this product in dishes with vegetables, soups, or stews and in beverages.

How to substitute: Use ½ TSP of orange extract for every 1 TSP of orange blossom water.

Tips: Orange extract is thicker than orange water but thinner than oil. This product is also a very healthy option to use in food. 

4. Use the Orange Juice in the Fridge

Most orange juices are full of added sugars, which is going to be much sweeter than natural extract. Yet, if you want to use them in recipes that need to be sweet anyways, this is a great replacement.

Next time you are baking desserts or creating a sweet oriental dish, add a little orange juice in place of water.

How to substitute: Use 1 TSP of orange juice for every 1 TBSP of orange flower water.

Tip: This should be your last choice, and only use it when you are in a huge crunch. The flavor profiles between these two ingredients are very different.

5. Orange Liqueur Works Very Well

Orange liqueur is a popular spirit made from oranges with a sweet flavor profile. The flavor in this product typically comes from dried orange peels, zest, or oil. This flavor is then added to vodka, rum, or other neutral grain spirits. (*)

Orange liqueur isn’t always the most popular option for a substitute for orange flower water. With that said, it can work well in many recipes if needed. Although the product does have a similar flavor, it isn’t as concentrated.

This is a great choice for mixing drinks or cooking meals needing orange flower water for a citrus taste.

How to substitute: Use 2 TBSP of orange liqueur for every 1 TBSP of orange flower water.

Tip: Choose the best orange liqueur based on the recipe. There are different volumes of alcohol and citrus flavor in every bottle. 

6. Use Other Citrus Fruit Extracts

If you are in a bind and don’t have orange flower water on hand, you can always use lemon or lime extracts instead. This option might not offer the exact same flavor, but it will give your recipe a nice citrus touch.

Like orange extract, these ingredients will also be much stronger than water. To avoid an overpowering lemon or lime taste, add a very small amount to your meals. These options are perfect for stir-fries, beverages, and salad dressings.

How to substitute: Use ½ TSP of citrus extract for every 1 TSP of orange citrus water. 

Tip: Lemon and Lime extract will not provide the same sweet undertones. So only use it in recipes that aren’t looking for extra sweet flavors.

7. Make Your Own Orange Flower Water

Get recipe: tastessence.com

Why buy orange flower water when you can make it yourself? Making this ingredient is easy and can happen from the comfort of your kitchen.

There are plenty of ways to create orange flower water, but this one is our favorite.

  • Place some orange flower blossoms in a clean filter in the basket of your coffee maker.
  • Add a cup of distilled water into the reservoir and brew.
  • Do this a few times to get as much flavor as possible from the petals.

Learn more: The Best Rosewater Substitute for Your Recipe Needs


What is the Best Orange Flower Water Substitute for Baking?

When it comes to baking, orange extract or oil is the best substitute for orange flower water. You can also use fine grated orange zest.

Can you Use Rose Water as a Substitute for Orange Flower Water?

Yes, rose water is a good substitute for rose water. Yet, your dish will have hints of roses in it instead of oranges. So, consider other alternatives if you are looking for a citrus flavor.

Can You Cook with Orange Flower Water?

You can cook many different dishes with orange flower water. This is a great flavor to add to savory, sweet or even spicy dishes. This ingredient will work well when marinating, simmering, or baking your food. 

What does orange blossom water taste like?

Orange blossom water tastes floral and sweet, with a slightly citrusy note. It can be used as a flavoring in both sweet and savory dishes, or simply enjoyed as a refreshing drink.

image of orange blossoms water

Up Next: The Most Common Baking Ingredient Substitutes

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