Are you fond of American and French cuisines? If so, you will surely love the refreshing, bright citrusy flavor of orange blossom water. It is widely used as a flavor enhancer and aromatic in baking and a variety of dishes, not to mention – personal care products.
It is a versatile product that has an increasing demand on the market, and can be quite difficult to obtain at times. With that, it might be good to know the best alternatives to this ingredient.
- Orange extract
- Orange zest
- Orange liqueur
- Orange oil
- Vanilla extract
Before we go into the full list of alternatives you can use, let’s understand abit more about this interesting ingredient for baking and cooking.
15 Best Substitute For Orange Blossom Water
Orange Blossom Water is derived from the petals of orange trees, not from the fruit or the leaves. As you can imagine blossoms are not as abundant and easy to obtain as the leaves, this is what makes them a rare ingredient.
It is made through a distillation process. The petals are slowly boiled in water over a controlled temperature (not boiling) until the essence is naturally released through the steam catcher. A clear, fragrant flavored liquid is what we are aiming to obtain in this process.
This intricate process is similar to how perfumes and most essential oils are made. This is why pure quality orange blossom water can be expensive because you are not only paying for its aroma, but the flavor as well.
It is refreshing especially on a steamy day. Imagine marrying the crisp brightness of orange groves to a field of wildflowers. A dab of it adds an almost unearthly aspect to food (and beverages).
It’s crucial to know which orange blossom water substitutes are suitable for baking or other sorts of meals to utilize the proper one for your recipe.
If you want more floral flavor than citrusy notes, rosewater is the best orange blossom water substitute. Rosewater is also known for its skincare benefits.
It is a common ingredient in facial toners, mists, masks, creams, serums, and even lotion. It rejuvenates, refreshes, and improves skin health.
In baking, others mix it with vanilla and orange extracts to achieve a perfect blend of mellow floral citrus flavor. Start small when mixing the ingredients as rosewater has stronger floral notes than orange blossom water.
This is almost the same as orange oil except that is lighter and smoother in taste, unlike orange oil. Here, alcohol is not used so it doesn’t have that kick that makes it perfect for all dishes and desserts.
The orange extract has a flavor that is remarkably similar to orange blossom water as it is not as concentrated as orange oil. Mix 12 drops of orange extract to 1 cup of water to achieve a similar flavor as with orange blossom water.
If you’re creating a dish that asks for orange blossom water, the finest substitution is orange zest. Orange zest is a wholly natural and somewhat healthy alternative to orange blossom water.
The outer layer of the orange peel is shredded or peeled to extract this specific component. This layer contains the most important oils from the inside of the orange, and adds a wonderful tangy flavor to any recipe.
Orange zest can be substituted for orange flower water in a variety of pastries and baking dishes, as well as for a variety of other cuisines. Depending on the recipe, you’ll need to check the exact quantity of orange zest to orange blossom water that needs to be substituted.
Usually, one orange is enough to produce the right amount of zest. You can adjust its sweetness by adding orange oil as you like, but it’s not required.
This is not widely used in cooking, but it can add an intriguing taste to any dish. Orange liqueur of any kind is sometimes used as an alternative to orange blossom water in recipes where alcohol taste is needed.
The downside is that it is not recommended to add to meals for children because of its strong alcohol content.
This may be stronger in taste as opposed to the orange flower water, but you may tone it down with sugar and water. 2 tablespoons of orange liqueur is equivalent to 1 tablespoon of flower water.
If you’re making a custard, syrup, whipped topping, or glaze, the finest substitute is orange juice or orange liqueur.
In practically every recipe, orange oil is a common substitute for orange blossom water. It’s perhaps the most popular of the options on this list, which is one of the reasons it’s such a wonderful choice.
It’s also a nutritious substance, usually all-natural, and with numerous advantages.
Orange oil is extracted from the outer skin of an orange that you peel off before eating it, aka- rind.
It’s important to remember that this is a very concentrated and flavorful substance that can easily mimic the feel of orange flower water, but it should never be used as such.
Lemon water is citrusy, bright, and refreshing as orange blossom water. It also triggers the same biochemical receptors in our tongue that results in umami flavor. This is why a pinch of lemon can enhance the flavor of almost any food.
Aside from making your mouth water, acidity reduces greasiness and heaviness, and imparts a fresh, clean flavor to food.
Lemon juice can also change the texture of food to suit a variety of purposes, such as macerating berries, tenderizing meat, and “cooking” ceviche. Citric acid, found in lemon juice, aids in the breakdown of fats, carbohydrates, and protein.
Vanilla extract is essential in desserts and sweet recipes. If your goal in using orange blossom water was to create a flavor for delectable desserts, vanilla extract can be a sweet substitute.
It ensures that your dessert has that fragrant and enticing essence of vanilla, making your loved ones drool over whatever dessert you add this to.
If you’re looking for a stronger alternative to orange blossom water, you may use peppermint. Peppermint has a refreshingly sweet flavor that complements a wide range of foods.
It also has antibacterial properties that make food last longer. Just please beware if you are sensitive to it as it may upset the stomach of some people.
The cherry extract has floral notes and refreshing sweetness that makes it a great orange flower water substitute. But, the thing here is it lacks the citrus notes of orange.
If you don’t mind changing up the flavor of your recipe, using cherry extract instead of orange blossom water might be okay. If not, then try adding a bit of orange or lemon oil to have that citrusy flavor.
It is ideal to test it first before making a full batch, especially when baking.
Another cocktail star ingredient is Triple sec, which is also an alternative to orange flower water. Taking advantage of sweet orange oil, researchers distill the oil to isolate the three key components that matter most for flavor and aroma.
It provides a delectable combination of citrusy orange flavor with a hint of sweetness. If you want to elevate your alcoholic drinks, this is a great option.
Cointreau is an orange-flavored triple-sec liqueur derived from a distilled spirit and bitter oranges. It was originally a drink meant to be consumed on its own in 1875, but then mixologists started mixing it with other beverages.
Its distinct flavor profile is a mixologist’s favorite choice in cocktails such as Margarita and Cosmopolitan.
This one is applicable only for dishes if you want to tone down the flavor. For baking, the best alternative would be orange-flavored sparkling water or soda.
Orange flavored sparkling water
Did you know sparkling water is a secret ingredient that can make baked goods fluffier? When making cake, waffles, pancakes, and other baked goods use sparkling mineral water.
Cakes rise higher and have a fluffier texture as a result of the sparkling water.
It’s also delicious in waffle batter: replace one part of the milk with sparkling water and proceed with the recipe as usual. Try it in your favorite crepe and pancake recipes as well.
To improve the texture, replace half of the milk in the recipe with fizzy spring water. Imagine the zing of orange-flavored sparkling water. The delicious light and airy crunch will delight you.
Almond extract is a great alternative to orange blossom water for its health and skin benefits. It improves your thinking, lowers your blood pressure, and promotes skin growth.
In terms of medicinal benefits, it is an excellent orange blossom water substitute.
DIY Orange blossom syrup
Making your orange blossom syrup is an excellent way to add floral flavor to cocktails or cold drinks, and even desserts. You can create your orange flower syrup at home in just 3 simple steps.
Mix 1 cup sugar and ½ cup water, and orange zest in a small saucepan. Melt the ingredients altogether over medium heat for 5 minutes or until it turns into a syrup consistency.
Let it cool for another 5 minutes and filter the solids, leaving only the syrup. Others use the filtered zest in desserts or as toppings to cakes and tarts. As for the syrup, you may store it in the fridge and use it for up to 2 weeks. This will stay consumable for 14 days if stored properly.
Other Uses and Benefits
Apart from cooking, orange blossom water is also used in personal care products. Some of its numerous health benefits are listed below.
Alleviated tension and anxiety. Orange blossom water has a calming and relaxing impact on the nerves, which is one of the reasons it’s so popular in aromatherapy. It can relieve tension and even heal headaches when added to bathwater.
Making your skin soft and smooth: Adding orange blossom water to your bath water has the added benefit of making your skin soft and smooth. It will hydrate your skin and leave it feeling silky smooth all day.
Sunburn relief: Orange blossom water and other floral hydrosols can be found in a variety of skincare products.