Lemon extract appears frequently in cake, frosting and other sweet recipes, but isn’t always found in the typical home pantry. When a recipe calls for lemon extract but none is available, a few substitutions may suffice.
The yellow part of lemon peel—the zest—contains the flavor oils from which commercial extracts are made. To collect lemon zest for a recipe, rub a fresh lemon across a fine grater. Only grate the yellow rind as the white parts of the peel are bitter. 2 tsp. of lemon zest equals 1 tsp. of lemon extract.
Oil of Lemon
Oil of lemon contains a higher concentration of flavor than lemon extracts, and the strength varies between products. To be safe, start by substituting 1/8 tsp. of oil for every teaspoon of extract. If needed, add more oil by the drop until the desired flavor is achieved.
Lemon-flavored liqueur imparts a lemony zing to recipes at a replacement rate of 1 to 2 tsp. of liqueur for each teaspoon of extract. Orange or vanilla extract can stand in for lemon extract, but with an obvious change in flavor.
Based in Atlanta, Georgia, Angela Tedson has been writing slice-of-life articles since 2005. Her work has appeared in "Southern Family" magazine and "Angie's List" magazine. Tedson holds an Associate of Arts degree from the Art Institute of Atlanta.