16 Best Orange Blossom Water Substitutes : From Sour to Sweet


If you love the smell of orange blossoms but can’t find the water to make your own, don’t worry!

There are plenty of substitutes that can be used in its place. From oils and extracts to DIY to store-bought products, there is something for everyone.

Try one of these 16 delicious substitutes!

So, here’s the list of alternatives.

16 Orange Blossom Water Substitute

1. Orange Oil

Orange oil has a more concentrated flavor.

But it closely resembles the fragrance and taste of orange blossom water.

It also provides similar health benefits and is, therefore, a suitable alternative that you can readily add to ice creams, salads, pastries, cakes, puddings, and many other beverages.

How to Substitute

For every one tablespoon of orange blossom water, take only 1 drop of orange oil.

Check out this video to make Olive Oil Orange Cake:

2. Orange Extract

A great substitute for baking

The flavor of the orange extract is similar to orange flower water but it is not as concentrated as orange oil.

Hence, you can use it for lighter cooking needs, especially baking.

It also works great with savory dishes such as beans, carrots, broccoli, peas, and other vegetables and offers an amazing citrus flavor to sauces, chutneys, and marinades.

How to Substitute

Use half a teaspoon of orange extract to substitute 1 teaspoon of orange blossom water.

Here’s how you can make orange ice cream using orange extract:

3. Orange Liqueur

An alcoholic substitute

Orange liqueur is yet another great alternative but since it contains alcohol so it’s not suitable for people who are non-drinkers and if you’re preparing food for kids.

Nevertheless, it adds a great flavor to your baked dishes, marinades, sauces, salads, puddings, cakes, and ice creams.

Also, since its taste can sometimes be too sharp so you might have to add some quantity of sugar while preparing desserts to balance it out.

How to Substitute

To replace 1 tablespoon of orange blossom water, use two tablespoons of orange liqueur.

Watch this video to make an orange liqueur Cake:

4. Orange Zest

A highly versatile substitute

Orange zest offers a delicious tangy taste and can be used with both sweet and savory dishes, including desserts and marinades.

It fits readily into baked items, vegetable dishes, and salad dressings. And you can also use it as a topping for ice creams and sauces. 

You can also make your homemade orange zest by simply grating an orange peel.

It not acts as a brightly colored garnishing element but is also as nutritious as a fully ripened orange.

How to Substitute

Use one-fourth tablespoon of orange zest for each orange blossom water. Use one-fourth tablespoon of orange zest for each orange blossom water.

Try out this recipe of Orange Sponge Cake made using orange zest:

5. Cherry Extract

The cherry extract has a more robust flavor than orange blossom water, and sometimes, it might also contain a specific quantity of alcohol.

So, you must check the label carefully before buying. 

Regardless, it works well for baked items, desserts, and ice creams and has a rich amount of vitamins and minerals.

How to Substitute

Take one-fourth tablespoon of cherry extract to replace 1 tablespoon of orange blossom water.

Check out this video to make a DIY cherry extract:

6. Orange Juice

Orange juice contains citric acid and has a sour and tangy orange flavor. It works great for preparing dishes like whipped toppings, syrups, custards, and meat glazes.

Other recipes that go well with orange juice include meat marinades, salad dressings, bread, frostings, orange popsicles, and pickles. 

Here’s how you can prepare a delicious orange pound cake using orange juice:

7. Rose Water

Rose water contains a more floral flavor and isn’t as citrusy as orange blossom water. But it still works as a good substitute for mixing with vanilla or orange extract, especially while baking.

Rose water is a primary ingredient in Indian, Middle-Eastern, and French Cuisine.

Hence, it fits well into desserts like puddings, pomegranate syrup, french pastries, and macrons.

You can also add it to beverages and savory dishes like cold drinks, strawberry daiquiri, lemonades, and lamb stews.

Try this delicious rose water cardamom cake recipe:

8. Orange Bitters

Orange bitters, as the name says, taste more bitter than orange blossom water but can be used in a pinch as an alternative. 

You can use it for making beverages like traditional adonis cocktail, chocolate orange cocktail, Medjool Date Cocktail, etc. 

Its cooking uses include preparing marinades, salad dressings, ketchup, and barbeque sauces.

Check out this video to make the old-fashioned cocktail using orange bitters:

9. Vanilla Extract

An ideal dessert substitute

If you’re preparing desserts and using orange blossom water just to add more flavor, then vanilla extract acts as a good sweet substitute.

Some dishes that you can make using vanilla extract include cookies, cakes, cream pies, cheesecakes, frosting, cranberry sauce, bread pudding, custard, candied sweet potatoes, and french toast.

Try this vanilla cappuccino recipe:

10. Almond Extract

Almond extract has many health benefits, from lowering blood pressure to improving thinking. That is why it is a nutritious alternative.

Also called almond essence, you can use it to enhance the taste of desserts like cakes and pastries.

Other recipes to try using almond extract include cherry bars, almond fudge, coffee cake, hot chocolate, and black bean brownies.

Try out this Cherry Clafoutis Recipe made using almond extract:

11. Lemon

Lemon matches the citrusy flavor and brightness of orange blossom water and offers a fresh and clean taste.

The citric acid content in lemon juice is great for changing the texture of food which is a useful property for tenderizing meat and macerating berries.

It works great for dishes like lemon curd, roasted fish, grilled chicken, pasta, lemon curd tart, lemon meringue pie, muffins, stews, stuffed cabbage, and salad dressings.

Here’s how you can make lemon loaf cake using lemon juice:

12. Peppermint

Peppermint has a more intense flavor than orange blossom water and it also possesses antibacterial properties. Its refreshingly sweet taste goes well with a lot of dishes.

It not only pairs well with dishes like lamb, carrots, curries, cauliflower, and zucchini but also fits well into many beverages like lemonades and mojitos. 

Check out this peppermint patties recipe:

13. Triple Sec

A perfect cocktail substitute

Triple sec is the perfect alternative for cocktails. Its sweet and sour flavor instantly enhances the taste of any alcoholic beverage.

Apart from cocktails, it is also good for making savory dishes and desserts like meat glazes, sweet sauces, stews, crepes Suzette, and cakes.

Here’s how you can make a cosmopolitan cocktail using Triple Sec:

14. Distilled Water

If you cannot find any other alternatives, then distilled water works in a pinch. However, it wouldn’t provide you with the same taste and flavor.

You can use distilled water to make iced tea, soups, coffee, hot drinks, broths, desserts, steamed vegetables, homemade bread, and rolls.

Check out this video to brew Czech Amber Lager using distilled water:

15. Orange-Flavored Sparkling Water

A substitute for fluffier desserts

If you want a fluffier texture in your cakes then using orange-flavored sparkling water is a good idea.

It enhances the softness and fits amazingly into waffles, pancakes, and other baked dishes. 

To elevate the texture of your batter, all you have to do is reduce milk’s quantity by half and then add sparkling water instead. 

For a richer taste, you can combine it with fruits and herbs like rosemary and mint. It is ideal for making fruit juices, lemonades, and alcohol-based mocktails like margaritas.

Check out this video to make a DIY homemade fruit sparkling drink:

16. Homemade Orange Blossom Syrup

A DIY substitute

To make this DIY substitute, take one cup of sugar and add half a cup of water to it. Next, mix some orange zest into it and heat the mixture until it melts. Bring it to a boil and then let the blend cool.

After that, filter the syrup.

You can store it for up to two weeks and use it while making cold drinks, desserts, and cocktails to add an excellent natural floral flavor to them.

Here’s a video that shows how you can make fresh orange syrup:


Q1. Is orange blossom water the same as orange extract?

Ans. No, orange blossom water and orange extract are not the same because the orange extract is produced directly from orange fruit, whereas petals are used to make orange blossom water. 

Q2. What is the difference between rose water and blossom water?

Ans. Orange blossom water contains a citrusy fragrance, while rose water has the fragrance of a rose bouquet.

Q3. What does orange blossom taste like?

Ans. Orange blossom water has a nuanced taste with a slight and mild orange flavor than orange extract.

Bottom Line

That’s it! Thanks for reading!

I hope you found this information useful in finding the right orange blossom substitute for your needs.

If you did, please share this post with your friends and family. It might just come in handy for them one day.

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About Karen Wilson

Karen is a foodie to the core. She loves any variety of food - spicy or junk! Her slender body and height are deceiving, as she enjoys eating hearty meals that would leave most people gasping for air. She has an appetite for life, and wants everyone around her to share in it too.