10 Best Substitutes For Orange Juice That You’ll Love

Substitutes For Orange Juice

10 Best Substitutes For Orange Juice

Orange juice is more than a popular beverage. It’s also a remarkably useful cooking ingredient. But there are bound to be times when you need to use substitutes for orange juice. Whether you’re out of orange juice or want to try something new, it’s worthwhile to look at some alternatives.

Ideally, we want a substitute that handles texture, taste, and flavor the same way. Sometimes though, the job can be handled by working on specific aspects, like flavor. And let’s face it, the distinct (and strong) flavor of orange is rather difficult to replicate. 

Another notable quality is the acidity. So, alternatives for orange juice often present similar qualities, though with some changes.

Substitutes For Orange Juice To Use For Cooking And Baking

1. Lemon Juice

Orange and lemon juice are both citrus fruits and contain citric acid. This acid has an important role to play in baking, being a key for the production of carbon dioxide bubbles that help with leavening. 

So, it’s not just the flavor and effect to consider to substitute for orange juice in baking, it’s also the acidic content. Lemon juice has more citric acid, so substitution involves diluting it. 

As a rule of thumb, you can replace one spoon of orange juice with one spoon of a 50-50 mix of water and lemon juice. Of course, this also means that the flavor will change from orange to lemon.

2. Apple Cider Vinegar

Technically, any vinegar, including white vinegar can come into use here. However, apple cider vinegar is a better and healthier option. The key element here is again the acid. The acetic acid in vinegar plays the same role in baking and helps with leavening. 

If you want to mellow down the sour vinegar-ish flavor this will bring, add some honey or sugar to the mix. Apart from baking, apple cider vinegar is also good for dips and marinades.

3. Orange Liqueur 

Orange Liqueur is a good choice where you want the orange flavor and can afford to give up the acidity. This makes it suitable for marinades, sauces, and chicken recipes. 

Keep in mind, using liqueur also brings along alcohol to the recipe. If exposed to a flame, it will flame up. You may also want to reduce the sauce so that the alcohol evaporates, before serving it.

Liqueur won’t have the same flavor intensity, so adjust the quantity accordingly. Basically, you’ll need to use more liqueur by volume, as compared to orange juice. 

The most common (and quality) choice for orange liqueur is Grand Marnier. Although, others like Cointreau, Triple Sec, and Kirsch are good choices too.

4. Coca Cola

Now here’s a surprise! If the choice had to be a fizzy drink, we would expect something orange-flavored to show up. Yet, here’s Coca Cola – a surprisingly effective alternative. 

It’s especially a substitute for orange juice in baking. The carbonic acid in coca cola is an excellent agent for leavening. The inherent flavor of the cola plays a role too and leaves behind an excellent-tasting dish with a unique flavor.

Coca Cola makes for fluffier and moist baking and cakes. While the orange flavor and the acidity it brings will be gone, the unique flavor of cola is a plus by itself.

5. Orange Extract

Want orange flavor and can deal with the loss of acidity? Orange extract can be a perfectly fitting substitute. It’s usually available in oil, liquid, and imitation variants. You could use either of them, but keep in mind that each has a different level of potency. For example, the oil extract is stronger than liquid and imitation extracts.

Also, all extracts are going to have a more intense flavor. So, there’s a need to adjust the volume and quantity added. As a rule of thumb, use only one-fifth spoon of the extract where the recipe calls for a spoon of orange juice. Dilute the extract with water to get the full volume.

6. Citric Acid

Plain old citric acid can work as a replacement. It’s not the most ideal pick, but it will work as an alternative in a pinch. It can work with recipes that call for citrus zest. There’s also a use for fruit cakes and pies. 

You’ll have to accompany it with some sugar, so fruit cakes and pies are good choices for using citric acid. 

7. Orange Marmalade

Orange marmalade can be a good substitute, but it’s useful for only a few scenarios. There’s no acidity here and a ton of sweetness. Depending on your recipe, arrangements will be necessary to match either of these. 

It can go well with recipes like barbecue glaze and marinade. There isn’t much use for baking with marmalade, at least, not when using it in place of orange juice. Oh, and since marmalade is a worthy pick, you can as easily go with orange jam.

If there’s a need to counter the sweetness these alternatives bring, add a bit of lemon juice.

8. Orange Concentrate

Concentrates are usually made from fresh, high-quality oranges, so you’ve got a good start on the ingredients. Yet, using it will require a careful understanding of the product. The concentrate can vary by brand, so the user will have to be more careful in deciding what to pick. 

It works well with baking and cocktails. When using concentrate, the best way is to simply prepare it as instructed on the label. Then, use it in the same amount as orange juice, according to what the recipe calls for.

9. Orange Zest

Zest is an interesting alternative, especially for baking. The zest involves using the peel of the orange, without the white pith. The white part of the peel is very bitter, though the peel itself tends to be flavorful. Zesting takes some time and effort, but the result is usually great.

There are plenty of recipes where these come handy. Cocktails are good examples, but baking benefits a lot as well. 

Use orange zest in a baking recipe that calls for a strong citrus/orange flavor, but could do without the addition of liquid that the juice brings. The zest of orange tends to be more concentrated and bitter than its juice, so don’t use it where the recipe calls for a large quantity.

10. The Juice Of Mandarins, Tangerines, Or Clementines

The juice of fruits closely related to oranges can provide the right substitute for orange juice. If you don’t have oranges or the juice at hand, see if you’ve got some mandarins, tangerines, or clementines. These fruits are very closely related to the orange and their juice could very well be a suitable replacement.

Using these replacements will bring a small change in flavor, though it can be close enough to go unnoticed. While there is a small change in taste, the overall sweetness and acidity remains unaffected in using these juices in place of each other. 

FAQs And More On Orange Juice Substitutes

1. Can I Use Grapefruit In Place Of Orange Juice?

Ideally, no. Grapefruit is bitter and that is further highlighted when it’s used for baking. You could try to get it through by being careful of how much you use, but it’s rarely worth the trouble. With so many more competent substitutes available, there’s no reason to use grapefruit.

2. Is Lemon Juice A Good Alternative To Orange Juice In A Recipe?

Yes. Swapping orange juice for lemon juice is a possibility for many recipes. Of course, this means you’ll be sacrificing the orange flavor for lemon flavor. Also, lemon juice is more acidic, so adjustments are necessary, especially for baking. Use only half the amount of lemon juice and dilute it with water to reach the quantity the recipe used for orange juice.

3. Can I Substitute Apple Cider Vinegar For Orange Juice?

Apple cider vinegar is a viable substitute, but this change also depends on the recipe. Salad dressings and marinades will get along just fine with apple cider vinegar. Although, some changes might be necessary for others.

Choosing Orange Juice Alternatives

As we see here, there are plenty of substitutes for orange juice. Many of them are made from oranges, so the effect on flavor of the recipe won’t be as dramatic. However, don’t discount the others too. The possibility of new flavors can sometimes be useful, as are the changes to texture that they bring.

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