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11 Best Orange Blossom Water Substitutes

Maria Foster
Last Updated on
by Maria Foster

Orange blossom water is an incredibly popular cooking ingredient, especially in Middle Eastern and French cooking.

While it isn’t impossible to get hold of, finding a decent bottle of orange blossom water can be a bit of a challenge, especially when you run out when you are least expecting it. 

11 Best Orange Blossom Water Substitutes

But what you might not know is that there are plenty of orange blossom water substitutes out there that work almost as well as the real thing!

From vanilla extract to orange zest, there is no shortage of substitutions you can use when you can’t find any orange blossom water. 

If you are looking for the perfect substitute, then you have come to the right place! We have put together a list of 11 of the best orange blossom water substitutes that you can use when you run out of the real thing. So read on to find out a bit more about them! 

11 Best Substitutes For Orange Blossom Water

As orange blossom water adds a citrusy flavor to dishes, you really want to use substitutes that will emulate the same sort of flavors.

Each of the substitutes we have included on this list is going to get you as close as possible to that citrusy taste and even the ones that aren’t so citrusy will still add a lot of flavor to your dish. 

Read on to find out a bit more about each of the orange blossom water substitutes. 

SubstituteProteinSubstitute RatioCalories
Almond Extract0gN/A0 kcals
Vanilla Extract3mgN/A12 kcals
Orange Flavor Enhancements0g1 Drop0 kcals
Orange Juice2g1:1112 kcals
Orange Bitters0g2:11 kcals
Orange Flavored Liqueurs0gTwice the amount0 kcals
Rose Water0g¼ tablespoon0 kcals
Cherry Extract0gSmall amount0 kcals
Orange Extracts0g½ tablespoon44 kcals
Orange Oil0.9g1 Drop47 kcals
Orange Zest0.1g¼ 5.8 kcals

What Does Orange Blossom Water Taste Like?

Orange Blossom Water is a kind of flavored water that is made by distilling petals of bitter orange blossoms in water. It is also sometimes called by the name “orange flower water”. 

It might sound like orange extract, but both substances are actually different. The orange extract comes from the actual fruit, whereas orange blossom water comes from bitter orange blossoms.

Regardless though, orange blossom water still tastes and smells just like oranges. 

Orange blossom water is usually used in cooking, especially in Middle Eastern and French dishes, but it can also be used for other things. It is especially popular as an ingredient in skincare products. 

It is great to use in dishes when you want a refreshing burst of bitter citrus, and it can really add a whole new depth of flavor to any dish you add it into. 

Nutritional Value Of Orange Blossom Water


Orange Blossom Substitutes

1. Almond Extract

First on our list, we have almond extract. Of course, almond extract is going to be a bit different in flavor from orange blossom water, but it has a place on this list because it is still an excellent flavoring option that will really add extra depth to your dish when orange blossom water isn’t available. 

Just bear in mind that almond extract will not be bitter, citrusy, or orange in taste, so you may need to add in another ingredient if the orange taste is specifically what you are looking for. 

2. Vanilla Extract

Like almond extract, vanilla extract is not going to give you a similar flavor to orange blossom water, but it is still an excellent substitute to use, especially when you do want to include an ingredient that has a unique flavor. 

Vanilla extract is especially great when you are dealing with bland food. It will enhance the flavor and give your whole dish another level of flavor that you will absolutely love. 

One thing you should keep in mind when using vanilla extract is that it is not a direct substitute for orange blossom water, and you can only really use it in baked goods and desserts. 

3. Orange Flavor Enhancements

Orange flavor enhancements are basically any orange flavor drink. You would be surprised how well they work as a substitute for the real thing! 

The only thing you really need to be mindful of when using orange flavor enhancements is that lots of these orange-flavored ingredients tend to have artificial ingredients, so if you do decide to use this substitute, you should really aim to find ones that are as natural as possible. 

You can use the ones with artificial ingredients, but they won’t taste as good and they could ruin the flavor profile of your dish. 

4. Orange Juice

If you are looking for a substitute that is incredibly accessible, then you should definitely try using orange juice in place of orange blossom water.

You have probably already got orange juice in your kitchen, and it can be used in the place of the real thing really easily. 

Orange juice is perfect for those dishes where you need a strong orange taste, but it is important to note that it won’t be as bitter and floral as orange blossom water.

If you do want it to taste more like the real thing though, the easiest thing you can do is add some orange zest to the juice. 

5. Orange Bitters

Orange bitters are perfect to use in the place of orange blossom water, especially if you want to use something with a bit of an alcoholic kick! Bitters are basically liqueurs flavored with herbs and spices, and you can use almost any herb or spice to make them. 

Orange blossom water is already quite bitter, but orange bitters are a lot more bitter, so if you plan on using them in the place of the real thing, you may want to consider using less and you may even want to add some form of sweetener to stop your dish from being too bitter. 

If you do add sweeteners, just make sure to add them gradually and in small amounts. Perform a taste test as you go to make sure you don’t ruin the taste of the overall dish. 

6. Orange Flavored Liqueurs

Another great substitute that you can use in the place of orange blossom water is orange liqueurs. The only issue with this substitute is that it does contain a lot of alcohol, so depending on what you are using it for, it may not be suitable for children. 

Orange liqueurs are perfect to use in the place of orange blossom water because they are filled with all the citrusy flavor you will need. If you really take the time to find the right liqueur, you can even get some floral notes coming through too! 

You will need roughly twice the amount of liqueur as you do orange blossom water, so keep that in mind when you are using it. 

7. Rose Water

When you think of substitutes for orange blossom water, rose water might be one of the last ones you would expect, but it might surprise you to know that rose water actually works incredibly well! 

Rose water actually has the same intensity and consistency as orange blossom water, which is why it’s such a great substitute.

Because it is made from roses though, it is important to note that this substitute is incredibly floral in taste, so you don’t want to use too much in your recipes. 

8. Cherry Extract

Cherry extract is always a great substitute for orange blossom water, especially when you just want a substitute that is all about flavor enhancement. This substitute won’t really help with the orange flavor, but it is very strong in its floral taste. 

You can use cherry extract in practically any recipe that you would use orange blossom water, and as long as you are ok with the lack of citrus and change in flavor, it is a fantastic substitute to keep in your kitchen when you can’t get hold of the real thing. 

9. Orange Extracts

Made from the zest of oranges, vodka, and water, orange extracts are one of the best orange blossom water substitutes that you can get.

It is close in flavor to the real thing, but as it does have vodka in it, it may not be suitable for everyone. 

If you specifically want a substitute that is going to be full of citrus flavor, then this is the perfect one for you to use.

You can even make orange extract at home if you have the time, and having it on standby when you can’t get hold of orange blossom water is always a great idea. 

10. Orange Oil

Lots of people regard orange oil as being the best substitute for orange blossom water.

It is perfectly balanced in its orange and citrusy flavors, and it has mild floral notes that really compliments the overall flavor profile. 

However, orange oil is a lot more concentrated than orange blossom water, so you really don’t need to use too much of it when the time comes. Even just 1 tablespoon will be enough! 

11. Orange Zest

Orange Zest is another substitute for orange blossom water that is considered to be one of the best. It’s perfect for anyone who wants a healthy dose of citrus in their dishes and it works best in baked goods. 

It won’t give you any real floral notes though, so just keep that in mind before you use it! 

Cottage Cheese And Orange Blossom Brioche

Orange blossom water is a popular ingredient used to make many different variations of brioche.

This particular recipe combines creamy cottage cheese with the bitter, citrusy orange blossom water to create a delicious dessert you won’t be able to get enough of. 

Orange Blossom Apricot Pistachio Cookies

These delicate butter cookies are perfect for anyone who is in the mood for a sweet treat! Simple to make, these cookies are full of delicious apricot and orange blossom flavor. 

Sparkling Orange Blossom Water Lemonade

Orange blossom water can be used for a lot more than just food, and this sparkling orange blossom water lemonade really proves it!

Incredibly refreshing and full of citrusy taste, you won’t be able to get enough of this lemonade once you try it for the first time. 


You won’t find any orange blossom substitutes as good as the ones we have included on this list.

Each of these substitutes has something unique to offer and while they won’t give you the exact same flavor, you can rest assured that they will save you when you’re in a bind!

About Maria Foster
Maria Foster
Maria Foster is a mother of 3 and she and her husband of 23 years share their home with 2 faithful dogs. Besides being CEO of the household and active in her community, Maria is the lead contributor to Food Champs and loves to try new food ideas and kitchen accessories to make easier and more delicious meals.
Maria Foster
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