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The 5 BEST Substitutes for Lemon Juice in Cheesecake

Have you ever pondered on the ways to make your next cheesecake unforgettable? Well, here’s a little secret: it might just be as easy as adding a bit of lemon juice.

What makes this citrusy addition so special is that its subtle yet robust flavor gives cheesecake an extra dose of brightness.

But what if you don’t have any lemon juice? Don’t worry; there are several easy substitutions that can give your cheesecake the same levels of flavor.

Whether you use ingredients like white vinegar or fresh orange juice in desserts, there are a plethora of ways to give your dish some zing.

Read on and discover how to incorporate lemon substitutes into your cheesecakes with ease.

Why Use Lemon Juice in Cheesecake?

If you are making a cheesecake, there is one ingredient that might have you perplexed: lemon juice.

Although it may seem like an odd addition, lemon juice can actually provide great taste and texture to your cheesecake.

It helps balance the sweetness while also enhancing the creamy texture of the dessert.

Lemon juice is even sometimes used to reduce the amount of sugar needed in baked goods by adding a natural tartness while still providing flavor to the dish.

The best way to use lemon juice in a cheesecake is by adding some directly into the mixture and then garnishing it with fresh slices of lemon for a burst of flavor and presentation.

Not only does it add great flavor, but lemon juice also helps keep your cheesecake from becoming dry or tough.

So go ahead and give this delicious and simple ingredient a try – your tastebuds will thank you.

The 5 BEST Substitutes for Lemon Juice in Cheesecake

For cheesecake lovers, the tartness of lemon juice is essential in creating the perfect balance to its creamy-rich base.

But what if you don’t have any fresh lemons on hand? Don’t worry.

There are plenty of other ingredients that can be used as an alternative to lemon juice in cheesecake recipes.

1 – Lime Juice

Limes, often compared to their citric cousin lemons, are incredibly versatile and can be used for a range of tasks.

The juice of limes is tart, making it a great addition to any recipe that requires extra zing.

For example, when added to cheesecake or other desserts as a substitute for lemon juice, it gives any dish a unique tangy twist.

Adding lime juice brings nuance to the flavor and creates an intriguing flavor profile.

Moreover, this impressive citrus fruit is also high in Vitamin C and healthier than most citric substitutes available.

In order to substitute lime juice for lemon juice in cheesecake recipes, remember that one lime produces around two tablespoons of liquid, so plan accordingly before you begin baking.

2 – Orange Juice

Orange juice is a breakfast staple, but its uses go far beyond that.

It’s an incredibly versatile juice with a bursty flavor and sweet taste.

Not only can it be sipped alone, but it’s also perfect for blending with other juices or adding a citrus kick to all sorts of recipes.

The texture of orange juice can range from pulpy to smooth, depending on the type you buy, and this thick liquid adds moisture to whatever you’re cooking or baking.

One unique use for orange juice is in cheesecake; it helps provide the tanginess that comes from the lemon juice but without the acidic aftertaste.

To substitute orange juice for lemon in cheesecake recipes, just be sure to add more sugar as well to offset the acidity.

3 – Vinegar

Vinegar is one of those under-appreciated kitchen ingredients that can be a staple for many recipes.

Its tart and acidic flavor balances perfectly with dishes like salad dressings, marinades, and sauces; however, it’s also a great substitute for lemon juice when baking cheesecake.

It adds texture and depth to the taste without being oddly flavored.

To substitute vinegar for lemons in a cheesecake recipe, simply reduce the amount of sugar by half a teaspoon per tablespoon and add an equal amount of white vinegar.

The result is an incredibly creamy and rich finished product – perfect for dessert.

4 – Citric Acid

Citric acid is often used as a preservative, flavor enhancer, and pH balancer.

Its crystal-like powder form has a tart, acidic taste, which can add tanginess to its ingredients.

It also helps in reacting with the dairy proteins present in cheese to give it an intensely creamy and smooth texture.

When substituting citric acid for lemon juice in a cheesecake, use 1 part citric acid for every ten parts of lemon juice.

Make sure to adjust the amount according to the given recipe.

Be mindful that citric acid imparts a sharper taste compared to lemon juice, so it’s best not to substitute more than suggested, or else you might end up with an intensified sourness in your cheesecake.

5 – Lemon Zest

Lemon zest is a fabulous addition to many dishes, adding a delicate citrus flavor that is hard to replicate with anything else.

The peel of the lemon provides both a fresh, fragrant smell and an array of different flavors to amplify any recipe – from ice cream to cocktails.

Lemon zest is finely grated, revealing the sugary white pithy part beneath the main yellow rind.

This results in a soft texture that casually joins your dish as it cooks.

To substitute for fresh lemon juice in cheesecake recipes, combine equal parts sugar and freshly grated lemon zest.

Allow it to sit at room temperature until it starts to exude some liquid – no more than fifteen minutes – before mixing it into your batter.

Make sure not to overwork the mixture, as you don’t want it too gummy or overly sweet.


In conclusion, there are many substitutes for lemon juice in cheesecake recipes.

Whether you’re looking for a bursty flavor with orange juice or something more subtle like lemon zest, there is sure to be something that fits your taste buds and preferences.

With these five options, you can make the perfect cheesecake without having to worry about the acidic aftertaste of regular lemon juice.

Experiment with all five of them and find the one that works best for you.

Yield: 1 Serving

The 5 BEST Substitutes for Lemon Juice in Cheesecake

The 5 BEST Substitutes for Lemon Juice in Cheesecake
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • Lime Juice
  • Orange Juice
  • Vinegar
  • Citric Acid
  • Lemon Zest


  1. Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  2. Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
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