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5 Lemon Oil Substitutes for Cooking and Baking

Ever ran out of lemon oil in the middle of a recipe? It happens to the best of us. Finding a good substitute can be as tricky as baking the perfect souffle.

We’ve all been there, staring at the bottle, realizing it’s empty. Here’s the good news: there are options right in your pantry. No need to dash to the store.

In our kitchen adventures, we’ve discovered a few stand-ins that work wonders. Personal favorite? Orange zest. Gives that zing we’re after.

Each substitute we’ll share has been battle-tested by us. They bring the zest, without the stress. Get ready to transform your dishes.

5 Easy Substitutes for Lemon Oil

The beauty of these lemon oil substitutes is that you might already have them in your pantry.

1 – Zest of Fresh Lemon

Lemon zest stands out. It’s a top choice for lemon oil replacements. You only need a little. Grating the outer skin of a lemon gets you zest. Remember, no white pith; it’s bitter.

Zest brings a bright flavor. Perfect for recipes needing a citrus kick. One lemon gives about 1 tablespoon of zest. This is key for getting the right taste in your dishes.

We always keep lemons on hand. They’re useful beyond just zest. Lemon zest works in baked goods, dressings, and marinades. Ratio? Use a two-to-one zest to lemon oil.

Curious about other ways to capture that lemon essence in your cooking? Check out this article on finding the best lemon zest substitutes.

2 – Lime Juice

Lime juice is our go-to when lemon oil is out. It’s zesty and sharp. A direct swap in most recipes. We use it in dressings, marinades, and even baked treats.

The trick is in the balance. For every tablespoon of lemon oil, we swap in half a tablespoon of lime juice. This keeps dishes from turning too tart.

We once had to make a quick batch of limeade. No lemon oil in sight. Lime juice stepped up. The result was refreshing, with the right tang.

It’s a versatile buddy in the kitchen. In pies or on fish, it does the job well. Ensure it’s fresh lime juice for the best flavor.

3 – Orange Extract

Orange extract stands in well for lemon oil. Essential for that citrus pop. It’s concentrated, so a little goes a long way.

We’ve found it handy in desserts and savory dishes alike. The key? Use it sparingly. One teaspoon of orange extract equals two teaspoons of lemon oil.

Our tests show this swap keeps the flavor balanced. Not overwhelming.

For those curious, we sometimes blend it into cakes and seafood dishes. This mix brings a freshness without overpowering other ingredients.

Check out different options for using orange extract as a substitute here.

4 – Lemon Extract

Lemon extract isn’t a stranger in our kitchen. It’s essential. This intense flavor offers a close mimic to lemon oil. We use it often.

A tiny bit required, so it lasts forever. Think one teaspoon for every two teaspoons of lemon oil. This ratio keeps your food tasting great.

We’ve thrown it into cookies and it was amazing. Also works wonders in frostings. Keep it measured. Too much and it’s overpowering. Perfect balance is crucial.

Interested in lemon extract’s alternatives? Find useful info here.

5 – Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is our simple fix. It’s bright and sharp. Perfect for any dish needing a citrus touch. This juice works wonders in both sweet and savory creations. Always use fresh juice for top flavor.

In our experience, lemon juice can do almost anything lemon oil can. We add it to marinades, dressings, and even desserts. Adjust with caution. For each tablespoon of lemon oil needed, we use one tablespoon of lemon juice.

This balance ensures the essence of lemon is present without being too strong. Our creations have turned out flavorful every time. Ratios matter.

Curious about swapping lemon juice in other recipes? You might find this guide on substitutes for lemon juice helpful.

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins Recipe

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins Recipe

These Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins are a delightful treat with a burst of citrus flavor and a hint of crunch from the poppy seeds.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Dessert, Snack
Servings 12 muffins
Calories 248 kcal


  • Muffin tin
  • Mixing bowls
  • whisk
  • Measuring cups and spoons


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest Substitute for Lemon Oil


  • Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) and line a muffin tin with paper liners.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • In another bowl, whisk together the oil, eggs, yogurt, and lemon zest.
  • Gradually add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring until just combined. Do not overmix.
  • Gently fold in the poppy seeds.
  • Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups.
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Allow the muffins to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.


 These muffins can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or frozen for longer storage. Enjoy them for breakfast or as a snack with a cup of tea or coffee.


Serving: 1muffinCalories: 248kcalCarbohydrates: 34gProtein: 4gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 30mgSodium: 185mgPotassium: 71mgFiber: 1gSugar: 18gVitamin A: 60IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 83mgIron: 1mg
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5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating