Substitute for Orange Juice: What Are the Best Options?

We know orange juice comes with a fresh and tasty flavor and also contains acidic properties, helpful for baking and cooking different dishes. Imagine you want to make a delicious recipe that has orange juice as one of the ingredients.

But if you don’t have the juice or don’t want to use it as you are not fond of the exact flavor, then the best solution would be to find a substitute for orange juice that comes with similar properties.

There are a good number of ingredients that you can use instead of orange juice in a recipe. Check out what they are.

The Role of Orange Juice in Recipes

Orange juice has a fresh and unique flavor that can make your recipes taste delicious. The acidity of orange juice helps in causing the leavening process and allows a cake or dough to rise and makes the mixture light and soft.

So, many recipes require orange juice for its acidic properties only, some for its zing flavor, and some for both.

What Are the Best Substitutes for Orange Juice?

Orange Concentrate

An orange concentrate can provide almost a similar flavor as orange juice. It is produced by processing fresh orange juice and removing the water content from it. They have a thick consistency, so you need to add water with them when using them in recipes.

If the recipe asks for ½ cup orange juice, then add 2 tbsp orange concentrate and 1/3 cup water. And for 1 cup of orange juice, you have to add ¼ cup orange concentrate and ¾ cup water.

Lime or Lemon Juice

Another close substitute for orange juice is lime or lemon juice. They also belong to the citrus family and contain a low pH level. Both the citrus fruits can add the acidity required in a recipe.

But since they are sour, you should make an equal mixture of lime/ lemon juice (whichever you use) with water to replace orange juice. For 1 tbsp of orange juice, add ½ tbsp of lime or lemon juice and ½ tbsp of water.

When replacing a high quantity of orange juice with lime or lemon juice in a recipe, add a sweetener like honey or sugar syrup to lower the sour flavor.

Orange Extract

The orange extract is produced with extracted oil from the orange peels, alcohol, and water. It contains a stronger orange flavor than orange juice and provides citrus and a clean flavor to the dishes.

This extract can be a good substitute for orange juice in cake recipes as you can use it for flavoring baked goods and also sweets. Make sure to mix water with the extract to lower the strong flavor.

Citric Acid

Oranges come with citric acid that makes baked goods such as bread, cake, and cookies rise. If you are not fond of orange juice flavor and require acidity, then you can replace it with citric acid. You can find citric acid powder in your nearest local market.

Meyer Lemon

This hybrid fruit belongs to the citrus genus and is a cross between mandarin and citron. They are not sour like lemon and are less acidic than them. The sweet flavor of the Meyer lemons will make any dish more delicious.

For making dishes more flavorful, you can use its thin zest. So, Meyer lemons can be an excellent orange juice substitute used in recipes, but they are not available everywhere.

Orange Zest

If you need to add orange juice for the flavor in a recipe, then you can put orange zest in replace of it. But the zests are stronger in taste than orange juice, so, add a little quantity according to the taste you need.


Vinegar is one of the most common ingredients in our kitchen. It is used in various dishes to make them more flavorful. You can use vinegar instead of orange juice and can get almost similar consistency as they are liquid and acidic too.

It is sour so you may have to add a little sweetener to tone down the sourness. You can also use Apple cider vinegar, which is less acidic than white vinegar.

Orange Marmalade Jam

You can use orange marmalade as an alternative to orange juice in marinades, sauces, or other dishes for attaining orange flavor. The jam is quite sweeter than orange juice, so you need to make some adjustments to make the flavor similar to the recipe.

Add less sugar to the recipe, or add a few drops of vinegar or lemon juice to tone down the sweet flavor. It is best not to use the orange marmalade jam for baking purposes.

Grand Marnier Liqueur

The citrus flavor of this French brand liqueur helps in using it in place of orange juice in your favorite recipes. You can use it in sauces, chicken, or desserts.

But the flavor in this liqueur is less strong than orange juice; you have to increase its quantity in recipes if needed. Since it is alcohol, you have to be careful while exposing it to the flame.

Coca Cola

It might sound bizarre, but yes, this carbonated soft drink is a useful ingredient that can be used as a replacement for orange juice.

You can use it in cake recipes to get a fluffy and moist cake. The acidity properties of the drink can help the cake to rise beautifully. All you need is one can of Coca Cola and make sure not to add too much sugar in a recipe while using it.

Wrap Up

Orange juice adds a rich and refreshing taste to recipes, but the above-listed substitutes for orange juice can also give an almost similar taste or provide the acidity required in the original recipe.

If you ask me what is a good substitute for orange juice in terms of flavor, then I will say orange concentrate and orange extract; and for baking cakes, lemon juice and critic acid are the best options.

When using an orange juice substitute in a recipe, it is recommended to taste it in-between to make sure you have attained the right flavor needed in the recipe.