6 Best Lemon Extract Substitutes To Try
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When it comes to lemon extract substitutes, the best part is that you will not need any hard-to-find or uncommon ingredients to use as an alternative. So you will save yourself from a quick run to the grocery store. You will not miss lemon extract at all, along with getting a similar refreshing flavour with these substitutes. Every alternative works just fine. But before we get into the substitutes, let's learn exactly what lemon extract is.

Lemon extract is essentially a concentrated lemon flavouring and is commonly used to provide dishes with some vibrant and strong lemon flavour. It is a common ingredient in desserts, baking, and even beverages to add a citrus touch to them. But how is lemon extract made? It is a simple process of infusing lemon zest in alcohol and letting the oils blend to make a strong extract.

Lemon Extract Substitutes

Lemon Zest

Many bakers choose to use lemon zest in place of lemon extract, despite the latter being the go-to choice for many. The reason? As lemon zest is obtained straight from the lemon, it adds a more natural and delightful flavour without any additives. Along with that, it has a more potent flavour and aroma than the extract, as it contains essential oils.

Apart from that, it adds a light colour to the food along with a little crunch.

Lime Zest

Just like lemon zest, lime zest works fantastically in place of lemon extract since the flavours are similar. It is a great alternative, especially when used for baking. It is hard to tell the difference between lemon extract and lime zest as both have similar flavour profiles, making it a wonderful substitute for lemon extract.

Lemon Juice

Using freshly squeezed lemon juice right from a lemon will undoubtedly give you the most genuine lemon taste. It packs a lot more sour flavour than lemon extract while also being more acidic.

You can use lemon juice in place of lemon extract in many dishes, like dressings, marinades, and pickles. You may find it a bit difficult to substitute lemon juice in dishes like frozen desserts, baked goods, and more.

Lemon Essence

There's a belief among many people that lemon extract and lemon essence are the same but that's not the reality. It is understandable since both ingredients sound similar but are different.

When it comes to lemon extract, it is produced by using the lemon directly, whereas lemon essence is created by using artificial colours, chemicals, and flavours.

Lemon essence also has a longer shelf life and is cheap on the market. You can use lemon essence to lighten up your desserts that require lemon extract in the recipe. Make sure you get the essence from a trusted brand to get the most genuine taste and flavour.

Orange Juice And Zest

You can switch the citrus fruit with another citrus fruit. Orange juice or zest makes for a great substitute for lemon extract since it adds a lovely flavour and vibrant touch to the dishes that you will incorporate it into. This will add a tangy yet sweet touch to your desserts and marinades.

Not only that, but the aroma and citrus notes will make sure your dishes reach a whole other level. But one thing you will need to consider is that orange zest or juice doesn't have the same acidic nature as lemons so the overall flavour of the dish may alter a bit.


To put it simply, limoncello is nothing but a traditional liqueur that is prepared from sugar, lemon zest, and alcohol, which is quite similar to lemon extract. Limoncello is an Italian speciality and is known for its ability to provide a vibrant lemon flavour to the dishes. Thanks to the sugar that is used to make limoncello, this extract also adds a sweet taste to the dishes, so you get both flavours in one.