Many homes use the orange extract in their cooking. They do this to get the lovely orange flavor in their food without using the actual oranges. Orange extract gets extracted from the orange as the concentrated orange flavor that is preserved by adding alcohol to it. The alcohol later burns off while cooking and it makes it safe for children to eat from meals that it is added to. Orange extract is not the most popular ingredient that you can have in the pantry but in any case that you find it lacking in your meal and you cannot find any around you, you may have to get a reliable substitute.
This brings us to the question of what we can substitute for our orange extract. Consider alternative citrus extract, orange liqueur, orange oil, orange zest, and orange juice as the five best alternatives for your orange extract. You must, however, know that each of these replacements has its upside and downside and may be slightly different in volume for any recipe.
Cooking and Baking with Orange Extract
You can use the orange extract in many savory meals, but it is most popularly added to baking dishes. Check below for some common recipes that have orange extract in them:
- Orange chicken
- Meat Stirfry or Vegetable
- Salad dressing
- Orange marmalade
- Waffles and Pancakes
- Quick bread or Fruit scones
- Muffins, cupcakes, cheesecakes, and some other cakes.
- Chocolates, hard candies, and fudge.
- Biscotti and orange extract cookies
The highlighted list above is only a few of the most common uses of orange extract. You can try using the orange extract on all kind of meals, you don’t have to limit your imagination if you really over the orange flavor that it gives. One or two drops of the orange extract can also be added to your hot cocoa or your tea.
How Much Orange Extract to Use
The orange extract has potent flavor and you will only need a little to get your desired taste. To know the amount of orange extract you will need in a recipe, you must know the recipe very well. The amount required depends on how strong your orange extract should be when added to the recipe, how much of a size per batch you are cooking, and the constituents of some other ingredients added because some ingredients could either highlight or overpower the orange flavor.
If you want to get the best possible flavor, endeavor to purchase the orange extract that is made of the fewest listed ingredients. You should get a sugar-free orange extract, any kind of sweetening should get added to your recipe, not to the orange extract which could affect the taste.
The 5 Best Substitutes for Orange Extract
As earlier stated, each substitute that we made mentioned has own upside and downside, but they will all work just like orange extracts. The ratio might vary, find out more in the reference chart below:
|To replace a Half teaspoon of your Orange Extract:|
|Alternative Citrus Extract||Orange Liqueur||Orange Oil||Orange Zest||Orange Juice|
|½ teaspoon||½ tablespoon||2 drops||1 teaspoon||Varies|
Alternative Citrus Extracts
If you possess some alternative citrus extract, it could be the easiest alternative for your orange extract. Any extract can be used in an equal amount to get the same result. Using lemon will make your baked goods have a lemon flavor rather than orange. Using vanilla will give the baking a vanilla flavor rather than the orange flavor.
Orange Liqueur vs Orange Extract
The alcohol contained in your orange liqueur will burn off when in the process of baking and this makes it conducive to use. Curacao and Triple Sec are the types of orange liqueur flavors that are usually made using neutral spirit and they will give a type of flavor closely similar to that of orange extract. The most popular orange liqueur you will find around is the Grand Marnier that is made with brandy but this would give the recipe a distinctive flavor. The main downside of using orange liqueurs is that it could be very expensive but the good thing is that if you have it in your mini-bar, it is good for emergency purposes.
Orange Oil Substitute
Using orange oil as an alternative for your orange extract will give the impact of your extract thanks to its high concentration. The only downside of using orange oil is that it will also add oil to the recipe but this will be just in a small amount and should not have a huge impact on the recipe’s outcome. Orange oil is less expensive per the quantity required as a replacement for the orange extract though it is not as pure as the orange extract. All you need is just two drops of your orange oil as an equal flavor of the orange extract needed.
Orange Zest vs Orange Extract
Use one teaspoon of your orange zest as a replacement for ½(half) teaspoon of your orange extract. You should know that each of the oranges will have different levels of flavor contained in the peels. If you want to ensure that the flavor spread out well and that large rind chunks are not in the baking, be sure to use some finely chopped shavings rather than using large chunks or long strips of your orange peel. Be careful and ensure that the white pith of the orange peel does not get into the baking because it could be bitter.
Orange Juice Substitute
You can commonly find orange juice in oranges that are yet to be squeezed or in the fridge. The good thing about the orange juice is considered that it is readily available to use as an alternative. The considered biggest threat of using orange juice as a substitute for your orange extract could be that you will need a higher content of liquid to get a similar flavor. In case what you are looking for is just to have an orange hint, then orange juice is your best bet as a replacement. Take for example a recipe of pancake, that needs one cup of water and half a teaspoon of your orange extract, you should use one cup of your orange juice to replace the needed cup of water. You can combine orange zest with orange juice if what you want is a stronger flavor. If your orange juice is frozen concentrated type, it will give more flavor without adding much liquid but this will still not be strong like enough like an orange extract. If what your pancake recipe needs is not water but milk, you will not swap milk for juice because it will not give the same consistency. You can instead use one tablespoon of frozen concentrated orange juice with possibly orange zest.
You can as well reduce the orange juice just before you use it. This is to help remain only the flavor by removing some liquids. All you need to achieve this is to add the orange juice in a pan simmering it by frequently stirring. We might not recommend how much you may use because depending on the amount you have reduced, the content of water and flavor will vary. You may be required to add some orange zest to the reduction so that the flavor will be enhanced though you will have to do trial and error by taste testing for the best results.
How to Make Orange Extract
Most people use inexpensive vodka as the constituent of alcohol to make their extracts. It is safe, cheap and it doesn’t need to have a special taste because the alcohol burns off when cooking. Use the zest of an orange and ensure you do not retain its white zest that possesses a bitter flavor. Put all your zest in a Wick jar or mason jar and proceed to cover the jar zest with a cup of your alcohol. Ensure the orange completely submerges. Proceed to seal your lid tightly before you place the jar in a dry and cool cupboard for a minimum of two months. The flavor of the orange will become stronger the longer your solution sits. Immediately you are well happy with your orange flavor, strain out the zest carefully, and transfer your resulting liquid into your extracts jar; this is a brown glass that has a special cap to ensure that the seal is really tight and the extract is protected from sunlight by the dark glass.
How to Make Orange Extract Without Alcohol
You can also make your extracts without using alcohol but you may need to get your ingredient from your specialty retailer or online. The alcohol can be replaced by three parts food-grade of liquid glycerin and one part of water. Ensure that the glycerin and water are well combined before you add it to the citrus rind. Your liquid glycerin will be more consistent like syrup but it is still quite sugar-free. It will also have the same impact on the flavor and it can be used in the recipe in equal ratio.
Can you use the orange extract for skin conditions?
What is commonly used is the orange essential oil and not an orange extract which is majorly about the fruit’s flavor. The oil can be extracted from the fruit’s skin. The orange oil works perfectly for conditions of the skin because the nutrients contained in it are very excellent to protect and heal the skin against any kind of damage including sun damage and acne. It also helps to keep the skin clean and healthy, serving as an anti-inflammatory that helps with anti-septic and puffiness.
Does orange extract go bad?
Your orange extract has its constituents mainly as alcohol and it does not go bad. The orange extract does not expire but if anything toxic contaminates it, it could be tainted. To properly store the orange extract, keep it inside your dark glass jar that has only one valve or a dropper and also keep in a dry and cool place that is not in contact with direct sunlight. After three to four years which could be its life span, there is a tendency that the extract will lose the flavor. It will not necessarily go bad.
Is orange extract healthy?
Your orange extract does not carry any negative or positive benefits to the health because it is just essential for the fruit’s flavor. It is regarded to be health-neutral. To enjoy the orange’s nutritional benefits, it is better to serve the fruit, drink the juice, use the rind, and even use the essential oils.