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The 5 Best Substitutes for Orange Flower Water

Who doesn’t like some citrusy aroma and flavor in their food? With so many citrus products being available, the choice is endless.

Orange flower water is one of the items that you can use to enhance your dish.

It’s a versatile product, and you can use it in many dishes according to preference and necessity.

But the thing is, even though it’s becoming quite popular now, it can be difficult to obtain it.

So, what can you do when you can’t find any orange flower water?

The answer is simple. There are several items that you can use when the ingredient you want isn’t at hand.

Check out the 5 best substitutes for orange flower water in the following sections.

What is Orange Flower Water?

what is orange flower water

The transparent and fragrant by-product of distilled fresh orange blossoms is orange flower water.

It’s also popularly known as orange blossom water, so both mean the same thing, and you shouldn’t be confused.

It’s an edible ingredient and also used in many industries.

You can add it in desserts, bread, baked products, ice creams and vegetable salads.

Orange flower water brioches are also quite popular.

They are tender, fluffy with a floral aroma.

It’s also present in hand fresheners, baby care products, and perfumes.

You can also use it in bath water or as a toner/cleanser to get a refreshing experience.

Orange flower water also contains medicinal properties, so regular consumption can be excellent for health.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Orange Flower Water

The following items can stand in for orange flower water when you don’t have it.

1 – Orange Oil

orange oil

Suppose you don’t have orange flower water; the next best option is orange oil.

It’s an extract from the orange’s rind, and it’s more concentrated in flavor.

It’s also a healthy ingredient, just like the other product, so you can use it regularly.

Orange oil can replicate the flavor and aroma of orange flower water almost in the same way.

So, you can use it in any dish that asks for the latter.

If you’re up for experiments, you can even add it to the dishes that you create.

Orange oil can work great in ice creams, puddings, cakes, pastries, salads and beverages.

You can add it to different types of bread and pancakes too.

It’s also useful as a natural household cleaner, hand freshener and skincare.

Proper dosage can help get rid of stress, stomach problem and lower inflammation and pain.

When using it as a substitute, make it less than orange flower water.

Suitable ratio.

  • 1 tablespoon orange blossom water = 1 drop orange oil.

2 – Orange Extract

orange extract

The next option is orange extract, an ingredient very similar to orange flower water.

It’s a flavor extracted from oranges and used in different products.

It’s lighter than the oil version and suitable for most recipes that ask for orange blossom water.

You can also include it in vegetable dishes like green beans, broccoli, peas, and carrots.

If you love the citrus flavor in your food, add it in marinades, sauces, syrups, chutneys and chocolate sauce.

Besides its culinary uses, orange extract is good for the skin and offers several health benefits.

Though lighter than orange oil, it’s heavier than orange flower water.

So, equal quantities may not work.

Suitable ratio.

  • 1 teaspoon orange blossom water = 1/2 teaspoon orange extract.

3 – Orange Liqueur

orange liqueur

It may not be the perfect substitute, but it can work when other options are out.

You can add it to any recipe that demands orange flower water.

However, add something else if children intend to consume the food you are preparing.

Orange liqueur contains alcohol, so it isn’t suitable for kids’ consumption.

Other than that, you can use it in baked products, salads, cakes, ice creams, and puddings.

You can also add some to marinades and sauces if you want complex flavors.

There are different types of orange liqueur available on the market, but all varieties may not be suitable for some recipes.

So, do a thorough check before adding it a specific recipe.

They also have a long-shelf life, but the flavor may diminish over time, and so it’s best to use them up while they taste great.

Suitable ratio.

  • 1 tablespoon orange blossom water = 2 tablespoons orange liqueur.

4 – Orange Zest

orange zest

One is solid while the other is liquid, but orange zest can substitute orange flower water in many dishes.

The zest is the brightly colored outermost part of the orange.

It’s also a healthy option as it contains all the nutritional values of a whole orange.

Orange zest can work great in baked products, marinades, vegetable dishes and salad dressings.

You can also add it to desserts, ice creams, and sauces.

The choice is more extended when you use the zest instead of water.

You can use the zest from a fresh orange while cooking.

You can also grate a substantial amount and store it in the freezer using a safe plastic bag.

The quantity may vary from one recipe to the other, so it’s always best to put a small amount so that you can add later if required.

Suitable ratio.

  • 1 tablespoon orange blossom water = 1/4 tablespoon orange zest (add if needed).

5 – Cherry Extract

cherry extract

The flavor of cherry extract might be more intense than orange flower water.

But when everything else is unavailable, it can be a suitable replacement.

Many products are available on the market, but not all are top-grade, so be careful when you buy a bottle.

Some varieties may also contain alcohol, so if you have kids and intend to feed them the dish you are making, it’s best to choose another substitute.

Otherwise, you can add it to desserts, baked products, ice creams and other dishes.

Cherries contain plenty of nutrients, including vitamins and minerals.

So, using cherry extract in your food can also be beneficial for your health.

Suitable ratio.

It’s always a good idea to start with less quantity so.

  • 1 tablespoon orange blossom water = 1/4 tablespoon cherry extract (taste and add more if necessary).


So, you have five items that you can use if it’s difficult to find orange flower water.

Follow the recipe and correct ratio so that a particular flavor doesn’t overpower your dish.

Add it to desserts and savory dishes if you want to be experimental.

It can be fun, and you may even like the new taste of a specific dish.

Other alternatives for orange flower water include rose water, almond extract, vanilla extract, orange bitters and orange flavor enhancements.

You can also try some other citrus products when nothing else is available.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I make orange blossom water?

Yes, you can make orange blossom water at home! The process is relatively simple and it requires only three ingredients: distilled water, fresh orange blossoms, and a few drops of vodka or brandy.

Start by washing the orange blossoms to get rid of any dirt or debris that may be on them.

After this, place the blossoms in a jar and add the vodka or brandy. Fill the jar with distilled water and leave it to infuse overnight.

The next day, strain the mixture and place it into a spray bottle for easy use.

Is orange blossom water the same as orange extract?

No, orange blossom water is not the same as orange extract.

Orange blossom water is a floral distillate made from the flowers of the bitter orange tree, Citrus aurantium.

It has a distinctive aroma that can be used in many dishes and desserts.

On the other hand, orange extract is made from oranges and is used for flavoring food, beverages, and desserts.

What can I use instead of orange emulsion?

If you do not have orange emulsion on hand, there are several great substitutes that can be used.

These include rose water, almond extract, vanilla extract, lemon juice or zest, and even white wine.

All of these ingredients will impart a unique flavor to your dishes so experiment until you find the perfect substitute for your recipe.

Is orange blossom water similar to rose water?

Yes, orange blossom water and rose water do have similarities. Both are floral distillates produced from the flowers of a respective tree or shrub.

They both have a subtle aroma that can be used to flavor food and desserts, although the flavors are not identical.

Orange blossom water has an earthier taste than rose water and can also be used to make perfumes and fragrances.

Rose water is often used as a facial toner or in aromatherapy, while orange blossom water is mainly used in cooking and baking.

Overall, both orange blossom water and rose water are great substitutes for each other when creating dishes with a unique flavor profile.

Yield: 4 Servings

The 5 Best Substitutes for Orange Flower Water

The 5 Best Substitutes for Orange Flower Water
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • Orange Oil
  • Orange Extract
  • Orange Liqueur
  • Orange Zest
  • Cherry Extract


  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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