10 Best Lemon Extract Substitutes for Baking & Cooking

Lemon extract is a common ingredient in baking and cooking. It’s used to add lemon flavor to dishes, but what do you do if you’re out of lemon extract or don’t have the time to go to the store?

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

In this blog post, we’ll list a variety of substitutes for lemon extract that you can use in your recipes. We’ll explain the differences and similarities, and provide the exact ratios to use when substituting.

Plus, we’ll give you some examples of how to use them in your own recipes!

List Of Substitutes For Lemon Extract

  1. Fresh Lemons
  2. Lemon Zest
  3. Lemon Oil
  4. Fresh Limes
  5. Lime Extract
  6. Lime Oil
  7. Lemon Peel
  8. Orange Extract
  9. Vinegar
  10. Lemon Essence

Let’s get into the details

Fresh Lemons


In many cases, you can use fresh lemons as a substitute for lemon extract. For two teaspoons of lemon extract called for in a recipe, you can use 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice.

Fresh lemons are a great substitute because they are less expensive and easy to find in most stores. Another benefit of using lemons as a substitute is that they are always available throughout the year.

Lemon Zest

One common substitution for lemon extract is lemon zest. 1 teaspoon of zest can be used in place of 1/2 teaspoon of lemon extract.

Lemon zest is less potent than lemon extract, so you may need to use a bit more of it to get the same flavor. However, it can be a good option if you don’t have lemon extract on hand.

Lemon Oil

Lemon oil is a more concentrated form of lemon flavor than lemon extract, so you only need to use 1/8 teaspoon of lemon oil to replace 1 teaspoon of lemon extract.

Additionally, because it’s more potent, you may find that using lemon oil provides a more intense flavor to your baked goods than using lemon extract. When substituting lemon oil for lemon extract, be aware that the oil may also add a more pronounced tartness to your recipe.

Overall, we find that substituting lemon oil for lemon extract can be a great way to boost the flavor of your favorite recipes.

Fresh Limes


Most people think of lemon extract as a key ingredient in cooking, but did you know that fresh limes can be used as a substitute?

Even though they have a similar taste, limes are more potent, so you won’t need to use as much. Simply add the juice of one fresh lime to your recipe. Taste as you go, and add more lime juice if desired.

With a little experimentation, you’ll be surprised at how well fresh limes can work as a substitute for lemon extract.

Lime Extract

If a recipe calls for lemon extract but you only have lime extract on hand, don’t worry – in most cases, you can use the lime extract as a substitute.

The main difference between the two extracts is their flavor; lemon extract has a tart, acidic taste while the lime extract is bitter and citrusy. However, both extracts can be used to add a bright flavor to baked goods and other dishes.

When substituting lime extract for lemon extract, use equal amounts. Lemon and lime extracts are also both used for their health benefits. Both citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C, which is known for boosting immunity.

In addition, lemon and lime juice can help to improve digestion and promote weight loss. So, if you’re out of lemon extract, reach for the lime instead – your dish will still be delicious and nutritious.

Lime Oil

Similar to lime extract, lime oil can be used as a substitute for lemon extract in many cases. It is very potent, so you only need to use 1/8 teaspoon of lime oil for every teaspoon of lemon extract called for in a recipe.

In addition to being a great flavor enhancer, lime oil can also help to prevent oxidative damage and preserve the color of fruits and vegetables. As a result, it can be a great way to add extra flavor and nutrition to your cooking.

Lemon Peel

There are quite a few cases where you can use the lemon peel as a substitute for lemon extract. For one, it can be used to add flavor to frosting or icing.

Simply grate the peel of a lemon and mix it into your frosting recipe. You can also use lemon peel to flavor tea or coffee. Just grate a bit of it into your cup before brewing.

Finally, lemon peel can also be used in marinades or salad dressings. Again, just grate the peel into your recipe and enjoy the fresh flavor of lemon. Not to mention, using lemon peel is a great way to add some extra vitamin C to your diet!

Orange Extract

If you’re out of lemon extract but need it for a recipe, orange extract makes a good substitute. The sweeter taste of orange extract can be a nice change in some cases, and you can use equal amounts in most recipes.

There are also potential health benefits to using orange extract instead of lemon extract. Orange extract is a good source of vitamin C with a milder flavor. This proves to be a better alternative to lemon extract which has high levels of citric acid which can be irritating to the digestive system.


Vinegar can be used as a substitute for lemon extract in some cases. It will not impart the same citrus flavor, so it is not recommended for use in desserts.

However, it can be a useful substitute in other recipes. To replace one teaspoon of lemon extract, use a half teaspoon of vinegar.

Other important benefits of using a vinegar substitute are that it is less expensive and has a longer shelf life.

Lemon Essence

You can use lemon essence as a suitable substitute for lemon extract in many cases, especially when it comes to desserts.

Lemon essence has all the benefits of lemon extract without the acidity, so it won’t adversely affect the flavor of your dish. You can also add lemon essence to your dish based on preference, rather than worrying about measurements.

Overall, using lemon essence as a substitute for lemon extract can be a great way to enhance the flavor of your dessert without having to worry about any unwanted flavors or aromas.

FAQs About Substituting Lemon Extract

How much lemon juice equals a lemon extract?

In most cases, you can use equal amounts of lemon juice and lemon extract. However, there are some cases where you might want to use more lemon juice or less lemon extract, so it’s always best to check the recipe.

How do you make lemon extract with lemon juice?

To make lemon extract with lemon juice, combine 1 cup lemon juice with 3 cups vodka (or baking soda) in a jar. Shake well and store in a cool, dark place for 6 weeks. Strain and bottle.

Can I use apple cider vinegar in place of lemon juice?

Yes, apple cider vinegar can be used as a lemon juice substitute. When substituted 1/2:1, there is no real difference in taste. However, if you are looking for a more acidic substitution or need to add more lemon flavor, increase the ratio to up to 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar for every 1 tablespoon of lemon juice called for in the recipe.

What’s the difference between lemon juice and lemon extract?

Lemon extract is a more concentrated form of lemon juice and has a stronger flavor. It is made by extracting the lemon oil from the lemon rinds. Lemon juice is made by juicing lemons. It has a weaker flavor and is less acidic. lemon extract can be used in place of lemon juice, but you may need to use more of it to achieve the desired taste.


When looking for a lemon extract substitute, it’s important to consider the flavor profile you’re trying to achieve.

If you want something that tastes similar to lemon extract, then our recommendation would be either lime or orange extracts. Both of these flavors are citrusy and will give your baked goods or recipes a similar taste.

However, if you’re looking for something with a more intense lemon flavor, then we recommend using lemon zest or lemon juice.