9 Best Lemon Extract Substitutes

Most of us know that Lemon Extract is a great way to add some fresh flavor to your recipes, but it’s expensive and hard to find.

Lemon extract is a popular flavoring agent for many desserts but if you don’t have any on hand, there are plenty of other lemon extract substitutes to try!

Some of the best substitutes for lemon extract are Lemon juice, Lime juice, Lime extract, Orange extract, Lemon essence, Lemon oil, Lemon zest, Orange juice and jest, and Lime oil.

If you’ve any of these available in the pantry, read below to understand how you can swap it in place of the original.

What is Lemon Extract?

Best Lemon Extract SubstitutesBest Lemon Extract Substitutes

Lemon extract is an oil that is derived from the lemon rind or peel. This product is known for its intense citrus flavor and fragrance. It has a slightly sweet and bitter taste.

Lemon extract is commonly used to flavor baked goods, beverages, candy, sauces, and main dishes. It is also used as a fragrance in antiseptic soaps and creams, perfumes, and cosmetics.

Here are 9 substitutes to use in its place so you can still enjoy your favorite recipes!

9 Best Lemon Extract Substitutes

1. Lemon Juice 

Lemon Juice

What could be a more perfect substitute than lemon juice, right?

Lemon juice is a great substitute for lemon extract. The taste is very close to that of the real extract so you will not have any problems with flavor or aroma.

To use, substitute two teaspoons of lemon juice for every teaspoon of lemon extract.

2. Lemon Oil

Lemon oil is made from the rinds of lemons and has a very distinct scent and taste. It can be used to add flavor to both sweet and savory dishes. 

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This alternative has a similar composition as lemon essence and can be found in specialty baking shops.

You can also use this as a homemade cleanser, air freshener, and as an ingredient in homemade soap. 

To use lemon oil as a substitute for lemon extract, try using 10 to 15 drops of oil for every teaspoon of extract.

3. Lemon Zest

Lemon Zest

Lemon zest is the finely grated skin of lemons and has a much stronger flavor than lemon juice. It’s commonly used as a garnish or to give dishes an extra boost of freshness.

To substitute lemon extract with lemon zest, try using 1 teaspoon of zest for every teaspoon of extract.

4. Lemon Essence

Another good substitute for lemon extract is lemon essence. This product is made by using alcohol to extract flavors from the rind of lemons.

To use it as a substitute, add as much essence you like for every teaspoon of lemon extract in your recipe.

5. Lime Extract

The flavor of lime is similar to that of lemons but it’s slightly sweeter. Like the other two, you can find lime extract in the baking aisle of supermarkets.

You can also use lime juice or zest as substitutes but the flavor isn’t as strong. To substitute, use the same quantity of lime extract as you would use lemon extract.

6. Lime Juice

Lime Juice Substitutes

This is another great option for those looking to cut costs instead of spending on expensive extracts.

The flavor of lime juice is slightly sweeter than lemon extract and it also contains some pulp. However, it may not be as potent as the real thing so you will need to add more lime juice than extract in your recipe.

Use 2 teaspoons of lime juice for 1 teaspoon of lemon extract.

7. Lime Oil

Lime oil is a little different from other citrus oils because it has a sweet and woody taste.

You can also substitute lime oil for lemon extract, but the flavor may be slightly different. To substitute, use 10 to 15 drops of oil instead of one teaspoon of lemon extract.

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8. Orange Juice and Zest

Orange Juice

Just like lemons, oranges are also members of the citrus family. They have a very sweet and tangy flavor which can be perfect for pies or cakes!

You can use orange juice or zest as substitutes for lemon extract in your baking recipes. Just replace one teaspoon of lemon extract with one tablespoon of orange juice or half a teaspoon to one teaspoon of orange zest.

9. Orange Extract

Lastly, you can use the orange extract as a substitute.

This is another popular citrus-based extract that you can use as a replacement for lemon extract. It’s known for its tangy and sweet taste.

Just like the other substitutes, you can find this in your baking aisle or specialty stores. To substitute, use one teaspoon of orange extract for every teaspoon of lemon extract.

What Does Lemon Extract Taste Like?

Lemon extract is usually used as a flavoring agent in baked goods, beverages, candy, sauces, and main dishes.

It has a slightly sweet and bitter taste but it also smells really good! It’s commonly used in soaps, perfumes, and cosmetics.

What’s the Difference Between Lemon Juice and Lemon Extract?

Lemon extract is an oil that is derived from the lemon rind or peel. This product is known for its intense citrus flavor and fragrance. It has a slightly sweet and bitter taste.

This ingredient can be found in some grocery stores, specialty baking shops, as well as online retailers.

On the other hand, lemon juice is made by crushing and squeezing lemons. This ingredient is simply squeezed out from the actual lemon fruit so it contains natural pulp, seeds, and a more acidic flavor that can be used for cooking.

Lemon juice is commonly used in salad dressings, marinades, sauces, desserts, beverages, and as a flavoring agent in other dishes. You can find lemon juice in the produce section of your local supermarket.

How Do You Make a Lemon Extract?

Lemon extract is made by first steeping lemon peels in a solution of alcohol and water. This mixture is then boiled down until it becomes thick and syrupy.

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After boiling for several hours, the liquid is strained to remove any residue such as pulp or seeds.

The remaining product is mixed with sugar syrup to add sweetness before being filtered several more times until it becomes clear and syrupy once again. Once the liquid is clear, it’s bottled up for sale.

Can You Make Your Own Lemon Extract?

Who doesn’t love things that are homemade?! If you’re a die-hard DIY fan, you can actually make your own lemon extract at home as long as you have patience and the right ingredients.

To make your own, you will need:

  • 1 cup of vodka (Don’t have it? Here are vodka substitutes to try)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest

Directions: Mix together lemon zest and vodka in a clean container. Store this in a cool, dark place for two weeks to one month so that the flavors can develop.

Strain the mixture using a cheesecloth or fine mesh to remove any pulp and zest. Store your extract in an airtight container and keep it refrigerated.

What is Lemon Extract Used For?

Lemon extract is often used as a flavoring agent for foods, candies, drinks, desserts, bakery items, marinades, salad dressings, and baked goods.

It can be added to cocktails, soft drinks, fruit smoothies, sweet potatoes, oatmeal, fish dishes (tuna salad), pickles, relish, jellies, jams, marmalades, and even savory dishes such as spaghetti sauce and meatballs!

It’s also common in cosmetics like facial cleansers, soaps, toners, and scrubs to add a refreshing scent.

Final Words   

Lemon is a popular flavoring agent for many desserts, drinks, and main dishes. However, if you don’t have any lemon extract on hand, there are plenty of other options!

Lemon juice, lemon oil, lime extract, orange extract, and lime juice can all be used as substitutes. Just remember that these substitutes may not have the same flavor or aroma as real lemon extract so you will need to adjust the amount accordingly.

Some substitutes are more potent than others (lemon juice for example), so you will need to use more of the substitute than the extract.

You can easily find these substitutes in any supermarket or specialty store so there’s no excuse not to have them on hand.

Hope this article has helped you! 🙂

Which substitute works best for you let me know in the comments below. 

I’m a passionate food blogger on a journey to become a go-to person who can help others prepare delicious foods. I share recipes, food substitutes, and other cooking tips. Read more about my journey...

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