10 Super Rose Water Substitutes

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If you’re on the hunt for a rose water substitute in your recipes, you’re in luck.

There are plenty of options out there that can provide similar flavors as rose water.

Here are a few of my favorites:

10 Rose Water Substitutes

1. Rose Essence 

When you don’t have rose water to work with, then the best option is to go for rose essence. It gives you the same flavors and aroma, and a small bit can go a long way.

It is great for baking and making sweets as well.

How to Substitute? 

You can use half or less the measure of rose essence to substitute rose water in your recipes and add more as you see fit. 

Here is a rose syrup recipe that you can use to make other rose-flavored drinks and desserts – 

2. Jamaica Flower Water 

Jamaica flower water or Hibiscus flower water is a popular alternative to rose water and is more commonly used in Mexican and Caribbean cuisines.

It offers the same level of sweetness and intensity as rose water, and apart from mild flavor differences, it should work just as well in most recipes.

How to Substitute? 

You can use the same measure of Jamaica flower water as you would have used rose water in your recipes. 

Here is a hibiscus tea recipe that you can easily make at home when you have run out of rose water – 

3. Orange Flower Water

Orange flower water, much like Jamaica flower water, works just as well as rose water in any recipe that you like.

It is mildly sweet and aromatic, especially great if you love more summery and citric flavors.

It can work with a wide range of cuisines, ranging from African and French to Spanish.

How to Substitute? 

You can use the same measure of orange flower water to replace rose water in your recipes and it should work just as well. 

To make orange blossom water from scratch, check out this YouTube video – 

4. Lavender Essence 

A small bit of lavender essence can go a long way in terms of flavoring your desserts or ice cream.

It offers a floral note that is different from that of a rose if you are looking for something experimental.

But taste-wise, they are more or less similar.

How to Substitute? 

You can use half the measure or less of lavender essence to replace rose water in your recipes and add more as you see fit.

For a lovely lemon lavender pound cake recipe, check out this video – 

5. Vanilla Essence or Extract

Vanilla extract is an easy find and quick-fix solution if you want to replace rose water in your baking.

It is also great if you are not fond of floral notes and want to go with something that is still sweet and understated.

How to Substitute? 

You can use half the measure or slightly more to replace rose water in your recipes, but you might want to play around with the ratio.

To make some vanilla extract at home, you can try referring to this YouTube tutorial – 

6. Almond Extract 

Almond extract is commonly used in Middle Eastern cuisine, and it can be used to replace rose water in most recipes that you can think of.

It is a slightly stronger flavor than rose water, so you might want to experiment with the flavor before you find the balance you prefer.

How to Substitute? 

You can use half the measure or less of almond extract to replace rose water in your cooking and it should work just as well. 

For a simple and quick dessert recipe, check out this almond cake recipe video – 

7. Lemon Juice 

If you are adding rose water as an element of acidic notes and aroma, like sprinkling it on rice or salad at the end, you might want to try and replace it with lemon juice.

If you are looking to add it to a sweeter recipe, then you might want to add some sugar to get the flavors right.

How to Substitute? 

You can use more or less the same measure of lemon juice to replace rose water in your recipes. 

8. Pandan

If you are familiar with South Asian cuisine, you might have some pandan lying around and its essence is a perfect alternative to rose water, much like vanilla essence.

It goes really well with savory recipes and dessert recipes if you are feeling experimental.

How to Substitute? 

You might want to add a little more than the required measure pandan to replace the rose water you would have added to your recipe. 

Here is an easy pandan pudding recipe that you can try at home when you have run out of rose water – 

9. Cinnamon 

Cinnamon is another great option to try to replace rose water. It has a mild sweetness and is perfect for both sweet and savory recipes.

It is especially great for baked goodies, and you can reduce the measure of sugar to get the flavors right.

How to Substitute? 

You might want to experiment with the cinnamon ratio to find the exact balance of flavors you are looking for. 

For a lovely cake recipe with cinnamon instead of rose water, check out this recipe video – 

10. Cardamom

Cardamom, much like cinnamon, has a mild sweetness that can blend well with both sweet and savory recipes, working well in dishes like meat stews or your favorite baked goodies.

But cardamom can be more flavorful than rose water, so a small bit would go a long way.

How to Substitute? 

You will want to experiment with the ratio of cardamom, starting with a pod or two, and then building on it as you see fit.

If you want to try a cardamom dessert instead, you can try this YouTube recipe video – 

Bottom Line 

We hope this article helped find substitutes for rose water.

Please let us know in the comments below if you have any experience using substitutes for rose water.

And please share this article with your friends and family if you found it helpful.

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About Jane Lewis

Jane loves spending time with her family, cooking delicious meals, traveling to explore new cultures and wines, and tending to her backyard garden. She's a passionate home cook who enjoys trying out recipes from all over the world.

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