12 Best Orange Zest Substitutes for Baking You Can Use Right Now

Orange zest adds a distinct, zesty taste to a variety of baked sweets, baked foods, salads, and beverages. If you don’t have orange zest on hand, here are several substitutes that will work just as well.

Orange Zest Substitutes

1. Orange Juice

If you have orange juice (particularly fresh orange juice) in the fridge, you may completely replace the orange zest with it, especially in baked goods or salad dressings. The orange taste will be more prominent, but this is not a cause for concern.

Look for fresh juice that is free of sugars and colors. Substitute 1 teaspoon orange juice for 1 teaspoon orange zest.

2. Lemon Zest

If you run out of orange juice, try another citrus fruit, such as lemon. If you want something more refreshing and acidic, try lemon zest. The zest of a lemon (the lemon rind) is more bitter than that of an orange, but it works as well.

Simply use a 1:1 ratio to replace orange zest with lemon zest. One teaspoon of orange zest replaces one teaspoon of lemon zest.

3. Lemon Juice

You may also substitute lemon juice for the orange zest. Just a reminder that freshly squeezed lemon juice has a tart and harsh flavor when no sweets are added. If the lemon juice is too tart for you, you may sweeten it with sugar or honey.

You can also purchase lemon juice at the supermarket, but I believe that purchasing fresh lemons is always the preferable option.

When substituting these two components, use a 1:1 ratio. For example, if your recipe calls for 2 teaspoons of orange zest, use 2 tablespoons of lemon juice instead.

4. Lime Zest

Lime is essentially the same as lemon, but with a smaller, rounder shape and a green tint. Both have a zesty fragrance and are sour.

When making sweet meals like lemon cakes and cheesecakes, lime zest is a terrific way to go. To add a tangy taste to your favorite drinks, grate some fresh zest on top.

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The lime zest, like the lemon, is powerful and bitter. To avoid the sharp flavor of orange zest, use half a teaspoon of lime zest.

You may also use a lime juice and water combo as an option. The water combination essentially dilutes the lime’s very acidic flavor.

5. Extracts(Orange Or Lemon)

This is never my preferred solution, coupled with food coloring, but it is occasionally necessary. If you already have orange essence at home, you may absolutely use it, particularly when preparing desserts.

Stick to pure extracts, which are considerably healthier and have little to no artificial coloring. They are often produced from the natural oils of the orange peel, alcohol, and sometimes food coloring.

When it comes to extracts, a little goes a long way since they are concentrates and hence rather potent. Your home will smell wonderfully delicious when you put your baked products in the oven.

Orange zest may be replaced with orange or lemon essence.

6. Grapefruit Juice

Grapefruit juice provides the ideal balance of sweet orange and acidic lemon taste. The deeper the grapefruit color, the better. Simply juice it and use it into your dishes.

Grapefruit juice complements sweets as well as salad dressings and certain gravies.

7. Apple Cider Vinegar

Most of you probably have vinegar in your kitchen. The odor and flavor of apple cider vinegar are very strong. Let me tell you, it’s unthinkable to create a salad without at least a splash of apple cider vinegar (or any other vinegar).

With its acidic qualities, apple cider vinegar serves a variety of functions in the kitchen, most notably in savory meals, salads, burger sauces, and even soups.

Of course, apple cider vinegar should not be used in sweet foods or sweets. Simply replace a teaspoon of orange zest in a recipe with a teaspoon of vinegar.

8. Fruit Concentrate

Fruit concentration and fruit juice are not the same thing. Concentrate refers to juice that has been factory-produced, preserved, and confined.

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Fruit juice, sugar, and food coloring are the key constituents in concentrates. To get a thick consistency, the water from the fruit juices is removed.

The fruit concentrate is effective on several levels. It may be used to make your favorite sweets, drinks, salads, sweet and savory foods, and so on.

Because this is a highly concentrated product, the taste is condensed. As a result, I would advise you to use extreme caution while putting ingredients into your meals. Take 1 teaspoon of concentrate for 1 teaspoon of orange zest.

9. Alcoholic Vinegar

If you don’t have apple cider vinegar on hand, ordinary vinegar will suffice. Because vinegar has a strong sour flavor, use half the quantity for orange zest instead.

honey, and a splash of water to dilute the vinegar’s powerful fragrance and flavor.Using some sugar, you may form a combination (almost like a dressing).

10. Grapefruit Zest

There isn’t much to say about grapefruit zest and its applications. It serves the same purpose as orange or lemon zest. It imparts a zesty taste and scent to your foods.

To replace grapefruit for orange zest, just use the same quantity that your recipe asks for. Grapefruit’s citrus taste is perfect in salads and baked pastries.

11. Fruit Juices

This alternative is much better for stir-fry and pan-fried veggies or poultry, but it also works well in baking. To replicate the sourness and zestiness, use a fruit juice with citrus undertones.

12. Take It Out

If you can’t locate any of the above-mentioned substitutions, just leave out the orange zest from your baking recipe. Of course, without the orange zest, your baked products may lack brightness and lift.

Be aware that the overall flavor of your baked products may be impacted and will not taste as wonderful. You may also attempt to produce your own orange zest at home.


Orange zest is easy to get since it is made from orange peel, which is a fruit that is readily accessible in any market or supermarket. But there are times when you need to improvise and add something different in your baked products; I think this is a great learning tool; after all, how would you discover what you enjoy if you never try anything new?

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When fresh oranges are unavailable, feel free to substitute any of the kinds listed above. Because of their comparable zesty flavor and scent, fresh lemon, lemon zest, grapefruit juice, and grapefruit zest are the finest substitutes for orange zest.


Can I use lemon juice instead of orange zest?

Oranges and lemons have the same texture and appearance as lemon zest, but they have a distinct taste profile. If your recipe asks for more than a teaspoon of zest, the end result will be a different hue.

Can you use dried orange peel in place of orange zest?

Orange peel, which is sweeter and less acidic than lemon peel, adds a vibrant, citrus taste to everything from desserts to major courses. Use it in place of orange zest in recipes that call for both fresh and dried orange peel.

How much dried orange peel equals orange zest?

When fresh zest is called for in a recipe, use 3 times the quantity of dried peel.Suggestions for Dried Orange Peel Substitutions

Because dried orange peel is much more strong than fresh orange peel, you only need one.

What can I use instead of zest in recipe?

2 teaspoon of lemon essence or two tablespoons of lemon juice. It will provide you with the most accurate taste match possible. If you have dried lemon peel on hand, it may be used in place of fresh lemon zest.Making a Successful One. 1 teaspoon lemon zest for each teaspoon of lemon zest called for in your recipe

How much lemon juice to substitute for zest?

Can Lemon Juice be used instead of Lemon Zest? Yes! For every teaspoon of lemon zest called for, substitute 2 tablespoons lemon juice.

Can you use bottled lemon juice instead of lemon zest?

Bottled juice, even if derived from concentrate with chemicals, may be a good alternative for lemon zest in many recipes when the quantities are the same as fresh juice. The less zest needed for, the more successful the dish is likely to be.

What does orange zest do in baking?

Orange zest is the colorful outer layer of the orange peel. It gives dishes a zesty, acidic taste. It’s delicious in salad dressings like our Citrus Salad Dressing and baked goods like our Orange & Fennel Cake.

What’s the difference between orange peel and orange zest?

As I indicated before in this piece, orange zest and orange peel are not the same thing. Orange peel contains the white inner layer of the peel that zest does not. In most situations, dried orange peel is really dehydrated orange zest with the white component intact.

How long does dried orange zest last?

Dried orange peels may be stored in an airtight container in a dark, cool, dry area for up to 3 years if stored in an airtight container.

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