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Unlock New Flavors: 5 Delicious Substitutes for Orange Zest

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Orange zest is a grated form taken from the orange peel.

It offers a distinctive tangy flavor when added to various dishes and desserts.

Many people even tried several experimental beverages using orange zest to enjoy the unique taste.

If you want to make an exception recipe using orange zest, but unfortunately you are out of oranges, then don’t worry, you can still make your exclusive dish using substitutes for orange zest.

What is Orange Zest?

what is orange zest

The Orange fruit contains two layers zest is the thin layer of the orange peel and the pith is another layer, and when you peel the orange skin, both the layers peeled off as one.

It is the thin outer layer, and it has a unique taste where you can get to taste a tangy flavor when used in your recipes.

The outer part of the skin of the orange also discharges some oils that come out with a grated peel called zest.

The study shows that orange zest is rich in Vitamin A.

However, if you are out of oranges when you want to make the orange-flavored dish, then you must look for what are the best substitutes for Orange Zest that can help you cook your favorite dish without any disappointment.

5 Best Substitutes for Orange Zest

1 – Orange Juice

orange juice

Orange Juice is one of the best substitutes for orange zest.

Orange juice comes from orange so it also contains the same flavor.

You can use orange juice as an alternative for orange zest for baking as it works well with baked foods or as filling or glaze.

You can also add orange juice to salad dressings, sauces, and dips.

When you are using orange juice in the place of orange zest, make sure to use pure and fresh orange juice only.

Do not use juice that contains extra flavors, additives, or preservatives.

Also, when you use orange juice as an alternative for zest, then take the same quantity of juice as much quantity of zest your take for the dish.

For instance, for one teaspoon of zest, take one teaspoon of juice as well.

2 – Other Citrus Fruit Zest

other citrus fruit zest

You can use other citrus fruit zest as substitutes for orange zest.

For instance, lemon and lime, they can offer you the same tangy flavor like oranges in your recipes.

You can add lemon or lime zest in your baking dish such as cakes, muffins, cookies.

Also add it in sauces and salad dressings for a nice touch of flavor.

If you are out of oranges, then use the same quantity of zest in your dish as well.

Use the zest of other citrus fruit that belongs to the orange family, like mandarins, clementines, or tangerines.

These substitute fruits also contain essential oils that are the same as orange zest.

You can also find other similar types of citrus fruits, including lemons, limes, or lemons.

However, these substitutes will give a bit different flavor, so before using these substitutes make sure to check the taste, before making in larger quantity.

You can as well do a few experiments to get a different taste so that you can enjoy the new flavor along with your family.

3 – Orange Extract

orange extract

It’s the best way to preserve the flavor of orange if you are just using a few oranges.

The extract is similarly made from the essential oil that contains many flavoring agents, so it can offer you the same sweet taste as oranges.

Orange extract offers a strong flavor as the orange extract is concentrated and well-preserved in alcohol.

You can try orange extract in the place of orange zest as it also works well in cocktails and marinades, and also use it in desserts and baked products.

The extract is a better option if you do not have zest. It will give the exact flavor and taste as orange zest.

As orange extract has a concentrated taste, it is advisable to use only ¼ teaspoon for each one teaspoon of zest or according to the requirement of the recipe.

4 – Citrus Fruit Juice

citrus fruit juice

Citrus fruit juice can be used as an alternative for orange zest, but it will affect the flavor of your dish.

While substituting orange zest with other citrus fruit juice make sure to use lemon or lime instead of oranges.

The taste of the dish will be different because you are using a different fruit juice.

The other citrus fruit juice also contains essential oils that are similar to orange zest, but you should also be aware of the fact that some of these citrus fruit juices are sweeter.

Use the equal quantity of other citrus fruit juice as zest to make dressings, marinades, etc.

If you are using citrus juice stronger than orange juice, like lemon or lime, then add a bit of sugar or honey to reduce the sourness.

5 – Apple Cider Vinegar

apple cider vinegar

In some recipes, orange zest is not so important.

In some cases, the flavor of apple cider vinegar is used in a dish, instead of orange zest.

For example, you can add a few drops of apple cider vinegar to give a slight citrusy taste to cakes and cookies.

Apple cider vinegar gives the exact tangy flavor as orange zest that is why many people use it as a substitute for orange zest.

It also works well with baked dishes.

You can substitute half a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar for one teaspoon of orange zest for better flavor and taste.

So, if you do not have orange zest in your kitchen, but you have apple cider vinegar, then go for this substitute without any doubt.


Orange zest gives you an outstanding flavor that can be added to any orange-based dish to get a tangy taste and flavor.

You can as well use the above-mentioned substitutes if you don’t have orange zest when you needed to make your favorite dish.

However, it is recommended to do a few experiments with different substitutions so you can enjoy the new taste, along with your family.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Orange Zest

Recipe by Kimberly Baxter Course: Substitutes


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  • Orange Juice

  • Other Citrus Fruit Zest

  • Orange Extract

  • Citrus Fruit Juice

  • Apple Cider Vinegar


  • Choose your preferred substitute from the list of options.
  • Organize all of your ingredients.
  • Follow the substitution ratio to determine how much is required in your recipe.

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