Substitute For Orange Juice – Ultimate List For Cooking, Baking, Cocktails & More

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Orange juice is an ingredient that is punchy in flavor but also can be used for a wide variety of things. You can use orange juice as a drink, in other drinks as mixer, in baking and even in cooking savory dishes. Finding a substitute for orange juice can be a little tricky as you have to make sure your substitute has the same texture, acidity and of course, orange flavor. 

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In this article we will explore the different substitutes for orange juice that can working in baking, cooking and when making cocktails.

Orange Lemonade

Can I Substitute Orange Juice?

Orange juice is actually a pretty easy ingredient to substitute. This is due to the amount of other ingredients out there that either have the same acidity, flavor or texture.

The real answer is it really depends on what you are making. Replacing orange juice in a cocktail is very simple but replacing orange juice in baking is a little tricker.

Substitute For Orange Juice In Cooking

Orange juice has a very unique flavor and a unique texture. Luckily there are many other juices within the citrus family that have that same texture and acidity that you can use in your cooking and baking. If you want to match the orange juice effect of adding “zinginess” to your drinks or bakes then choosing another citrus fruit or an orange extract will be your best bet.

Here are a list of the best orange juice substitutes that will help you achieve that zing in your bakes and drinks:

  • Orange zest: Orange zest will give you a pretty exact flavor of an orange, just how orange juice would. Orange zest can create a slightly stronger, punchier flavor than orange juice there a little goes a long way. It is best to add water along with your zest. This will create that moisture that orange juice provides in other recipes.
  • Orange extract: Orange extract works very similarly to both orange zest and orange juice. You do not need to add water as it is already a liquid. Orange extract can be very sweet and very strong. Therefore if you are trying to replace orange juice in a recipe you will only need 2-3 drops.
  • Tangerine juice: Tangerines are very similar to oranges and can still provide that citrus orange taste. You may think tangerine juice is just another way of saying orange juice. But actually, tangerine juice is slightly sweeter and does in fact come from different fruits. Tangerine juice is your best bet for texture, acidity and taste when replacing orange juice.
  • Lemon juice: If you want the same effect that orange juice provides in your cooking but you are not too fussed about the orange flavor, then lemon juice is your best bet. Lemon is part of the citrus family. It is very acidic, which will react with the other ingredients in your cooking well. Lemon juice will provide a sweeter taste.
  • Pink grapefruit juice: This is an interesting substitute as grapefruits have a very particular, slightly tart taste. Nevertheless, grapefruits are part of the citrus family. It would certainly give your cooking that zing taste while adding the right amount of acidity to your bakes.
orange fillet with broccoli

Substitute For Orange Juice In Sauce

Here is a list of our top recommendations on substitutes you can use to replace orange juice in sauce:

  • Vinegar: Vinegar is a perfect substitute for orange juice if you are using it within either a cold or hot sauce. Vinegar matches orange juice’s acid content. It will react with the other ingredients in your recipe the same way orange juice would.
  • Orange juice concentrate: Orange juice concentrate provides a strong orange taste while also matching the acid content that orange juice provides.
  • Cream of tartar: Cream of tartar has a high acid content. It means it will create the chemical reaction when mixed with food that orange would. Cream of tartar will not provide any fruit flavor. It could change the overall taste as it is quite a tart tasting ingredient.

Substitute For Orange Juice In Marinade

Marinade can be made from pretty much anything . Using orange flavors can really bring a citrusy flavor to all your savory dishes.

Here is a list of our top recommendations on substitutes you can use to replace orange juice in marinade:

  • Pomegranate juice: Pomegranate juice has a very sharp taste when consumed alone. But when added to a marinade the pomegranate juice can really bring out the other flavors in the marinade itself. It provides a rich, deep taste. Some say using pomegranate juice can be better than using orange juice. 
  • Orange concentrate: Orange concentrate is the perfect replacement to orange juice if you want your marinade to taste citrusy and fresh. Orange concentrate can be slightly thicker than orange juice and will therefore need pairing with a watery liquid.

Substitute For Orange Juice In Cocktails

It is easier to find a substitute for orange juice in cocktails. Liquid alcoholic recipes tend to be able to blend together better, disguising the difference. 

  • Fruit juices: As a rule, fruit juice – such as apple and pineapple juice – are the best substitutes when used in cocktails. But there are other less obvious alternatives.
  • Orange liqueur: Orange flavored liqueur is the perfect choice for substituting orange juice when making a cocktail. The orange within the liquor will give a strong flavor. Meanwhile the liquor is strong enough to make the cocktail punchy.
  • Orange syrup: Another alternative is orange syrup. It can give a subtle orange flavor while adding sweetness to your cocktail at the same time.
A glass of orange juice

Substitute For Orange Juice In Glaze

A sugar glaze is a popular method for decorating baked goods that is more refined than traditional buttercream icing. A glaze is paired with cakes that have a citrus flavor such as lemon, orange or lime cake.

  • Lemon juice: If you are wanting to create a glaze without orange juice, lemon juice is a good alternative. It has the same consistency and citric flavor as orange juice.
  • Orange concentrate: If you are wanting an orange flavor rather than lemon, using orange concentrate will help as this will overpower the lemon.

What Is A Substitute For Orange Juice In Frosting

Orange frosting is an easier one to substitute ingredients for. You will want something sweet and thin in liquid texture.

  • Fruit juices: The most popular substitutes used for frosting are lemon juice, lime juice, apple juice and pineapple juice. All these juices offer a sweet taste that is perfect when making a sugaring icing for baked goods.
  • Orange extract: If you are wanting to keep the orange flavor to the frosting, you can add a couple of drops of orange extract.

Substitute For Orange Juice When Baking

It is harder to substitute an ingredient within a recipe. This is especially when baking and be able to get away with it. Normally when you substitute an ingredient when baking the texture or taste will change quite dramatically.

  • Citric acid: The best way to substitute orange juice when baking it is to use either citric acid the recipe calls for acidity. Orange extract and orange concentrate are fantastic substitutes if you are looking for that punchy orange taste.
  • Coke or vinegar: If the orange juice was designed to give a sharp taste then we would recommend substituting orange juice with Coca Cola or vinegar.
cupcake with orange candy on flower plate

Non Citrus Substitute For Orange Juice

If you would like to replace orange juice with a non citrus option, then pineapple juice is your best bet. Pineapple has a lot in common with the citrus juice family such as its high levels of vitamin C.

Nevertheless, pineapple juice is not a citrus fruit. It can be a great non citrus alternative to orange juice, especially when using it for drinks and baking.

Replacing orange juice will work better in baked foods. Dressings or marinades include other ingredients that can hide the change of ingredient well.

FAQs About Substituting Orange Juice

Can I Substitute Lime Juice For Orange Juice?

The easiest and most cost effective way of replacing orange juice is using lime juice. It is best to cut fresh limes and squeeze the fresh juice. Lime juice is a great replacement for orange juice as it is sweet in flavor, thin in texture and acidic. Lime juice may be more acidic than orange juice which could affect the end result of your recipe but this can be fixed by adding a teaspoon of honey to the lime juice.

Can I Substitute Apple Cider For Orange Juice In A Recipe?

If you do not want to use orange juice in your recipe then using apple cider vinegar is one of the best substitutes you can use. Apple cider vinegar works well in marinades, savory dishes and baked goods. The reason apple cider vinegar is a very good replacement for orange juice is that apple cider vinegar has the same amount of acidity as orange juice does. To make apple cider vinegar sweeter so it can be a closer replication of orange juice you can add some sugar or hornets to it. This sugar should add sweetness without losing apple cider vinegar’s distinct flavor.

Can I Substitute Milk For Orange Juice?

In most recipes, any liquid that is used can be replaced with milk as milk is commonly used in both savory dishes and baked goods. If you were to replace orange juice with milk, for every cup of orange juice that is used you should replace it with 1 cup of milk. Although, milk is a much thicker liquid than orange juice and would not be the best for sweeter recipes. If you were replacing orange juice for recipes like glazes and marinades then it is best to use other fruit juices instead.

Can Orange Juice Replace Apple Juice?

Orange juice makes a good option as a substitute for apple juice especially in an alcoholic beverage. If you are wanting to replace unsweetened apple juice, then fresh orange juice would be best. It is better to replace apple juice with fresh orange rather than concentrated orange juice as fresh orange juice can replicate apple juice. Fresh orange juice is slightly sweet, slightly sharp and very fruity, just like apple juice.

Can I Use Orange Juice Instead Of Orange Juice Concentrate?

This question is a little trickier as orange juice and orange juice concentrate are different in thickness. This difference in thickness could make it hard to replace orange juice concentrate with orange juice. If the dish you would like to make requires orange juice concentrate but you would like to replace it with orange juice then it may be more successful if the dish also requires heat. If you are heating your dish and therefore can heat the orange juice, the orange juice may start to thicken, making it a better replacement for orange juice concentrate.

How Do I Substitute Orange Juice For Orange Extract?

If you decide to use orange extract instead of orange juice you should know the difference between the two so that you know which recipes orange extract will be a great substitute for. 
Orange extract is made from the oils from an orange therefore it has a very strong flavor and can be aromatic. Orange extract is very similar to vanilla extract, whereas a little goes a long way. If you have used orange extract before, you will also know it can be sweet which makes it perfect when being used in baking.
The biggest benefit from using orange extract as a substitute for orange juice is that you will not need much orange extract to replace orange juice’s strong flavor as a few drops will match. Orange extract can add a strong orange flavor to your bakes, with just a few drops. 
This is also a great substitute if you are wanting to make savory dishes that require marinating or come with dressings. Orange extract will pair nicely with fish dishes and meat dishes.

Orange Juice

Orange Juice Is Easy To Substitute

An easy ingredient to substitute is orange juice. There are lots of options out there.

If you want to replace the taste of orange juice then you can choose ingredients like orange extract, tangerine juice or orange zest. If you are looking to use an ingredient that has the same acidity as orange juice then lemon, lime or grapefruit juice is your best bet!

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By Anna

Hey, I’m Anna; writer, editor and amateur cook extraordinaire! Food has been my life and my passion for the most of my life – it’s crazy to think I didn’t pursue a career in cooking. I’m obsessed! However, keeping cooking as an obsessive hobby has worked for me – my passion grows as the years pass by – maybe I wouldn’t say the same if it was also my day job! I hope you find cooking inspiration, entertainment and “stop and think interesting tid-bits” throughout my writing – and I’d love to hear from you if you’ve got anything you want to share. Food feeds the soul – so get eating!

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