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15 Substitutes for Lemon Juice in Apple Pie

When it comes to ingredients for apple pie, the most important thing is the apples.

After that, one of the most important things is lemon juice.

But what if you’re out of lemon juice?

Read Also: Apple Pie Wine Pairing – The Best Wines for Apple Pies

Substitute for Lemon Juice in Apple Pie

Don’t worry!

There are tons of other options that you can use to keep your pie tasting great.

So, what’s the best substitute for lemon juice in apple pie?

The best substitute for lemon juice in apple pie is orange juice. Orange juice provides a similar acidic taste as lemon juice, but it’s sweeter, so you may need to add a dash of salt to bring out the sourness in the pie.

Other substitutes include lime juice or pineapple juice—both of which can be used in place of lemon juice in apple pie.

15 Substitutes for Lemon Juice in Apple Pie

Lemon juice provides a sour and acidic flavor to apple pie, and its presence in the recipe is crucial to the overall flavor profile.

Unfortunately, lemon juice is not always readily available, and substitutions are sometimes necessary.

Below, are a list of substitutes for lemon juice in apple pie so your pies never taste bland again:

1. Orange Juice

Orange juice

I swear by orange juice in apple pie.

It’s the perfect balance of sweet and tart.

I like to use fresh-squeezed orange juice when I can, but if it’s not available, you can totally just buy a carton of orange juice—just make sure it’s 100% pure OJ.

You don’t want any added sugars or anything like that—just use the real stuff!

2. Lime Juice

Lime juice

This was my second favorite!

Lime juice is also very sweet and tart, but not quite as sweet as orange juice.

This might be a good option if you’re looking for something a little less intensely flavored than orange juice.

3. Pineapple Juice

Pineapple Juice

A great substitute for lemon juice is pineapple juice.

It has a similar consistency and sweetness to lemon juice but it also adds a tropical vibe to your apple pie.

If you want to use pineapple juice in your apple pie, simply pour 1 cup of pineapple juice into your bowl of apples before adding them to the crust (you may want to add less if you’re making a small pie).

This will give the apples some sweetness and flavor that lemon juice would have normally provided.

If you don’t have time to shop for pineapple juice at a grocery store, then try making homemade pineapple juice from scratch!

You can easily do this by blending frozen pineapple chunks with water until they become liquidy enough to work as an ingredient in your recipe—just be sure not replace all of the lemon juice with pineapple because otherwise there won’t be any tanginess left in your dessert.

4. Apple cider vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is also fantastic in a pie—it’s an excellent natural preservative with a slightly sweet, acidic taste.

It’s not as sour as lemon juice and it adds a nice mellow flavor that goes well with other ingredients in the pie (apple and cinnamon, for example).

5. Honey


Honey is another great substitute for lemon juice.

It’s even sweeter than sugar, so it might make your apple pie taste a little bit sweeter than usual—but that’s not necessarily a bad thing!

Honey is also known for its antibacterial properties and contains lots of vitamins and minerals (unlike sugar), so it might actually be better for you than sugar would be.

6. Citric acid

Citric acid

If you don’t want to spend all that money on lemon nectar then citric acid is another great option.

The citric acid will give your apple pie a nice tangy flavor without being overpowering like the lemon juice can sometimes be.

It’s also easy to find at any grocery store or even online so no need to worry about where you’ll get your hands on some citric acid because chances are it’ll already be sitting in your pantry waiting patiently.

7. Lemon juice concentrate

Lemon juice concentrate

Lemon juice concentrate can be used in any number of baking recipes, including apple pies, where it’s a great alternative to the traditional lemon juice.

It’s also a great ingredient for fresh lemonade and other recipes that call for lemon juice.

8. Lemon zest

Lemon zest

Lemon zest is also a great option.

You can add it directly to the apples, or you can make a quick lemon glaze by mixing together some powdered sugar and lemon zest to drizzle over the top.

This will add a bit more citrus flavor and aroma to the pie.

9. Limoncello

Limoncello is a great option for apple pies.

It adds a nice citrus flavor, but with a bit more alcohol than lemon juice, so it might add a bit more of an adult taste to your apple pie.

You might want to start with just a dash or two and taste-test as you go—you don’t want to end up with too much alcohol in your pie!

10. Lemongrass


Lemongrass has a lot in common with lemons—in fact, they’re from the same family of plants!

Lemongrass imparts a citrusy flavor that’s more subtle than lemons, and it also has a sweet note that makes it not only a great substitute for lemon juice in baking, but an interesting spice to use in savory dishes.

To use it instead of lemon juice in apple pie, simply follow the same amount ratio.

If you don’t have fresh lemongrass on hand, consider using this dried option!

11. White vinegar

White vinegar

This one adds a lot of tanginess but no noticeable sweetness or flavor beyond that.

The best part about using vinegar as opposed to lemon juice?

You probably have it stocked in your pantry at all times!

12. Orange extract

Orange extract

If you’re looking for something that will add a citrusy sweetness to your apple pie, orange extract is a great substitute.

And it’s super easy to find at any local grocery store! Just add a few teaspoons into the dough, and you’ll be good to go!

13. White wine

White wine

White wine adds a light and bright flavor! White wine is great if you want to have a light dessert after dinner.

It pairs perfectly with apple pie and makes you feel like you’re enjoying a fine meal at a five-star restaurant.

14. White wine vinegar

White Wine Vinegar

White wine vinegar adds acidity and brightness, but has a more floral taste than lemon juice.

It’s also sweeter than regular vinegar, so it will brighten up your pie without adding a sour taste.

15. Water and sugar

Water and sugar

Water and sugar adds just enough sweetness without adding much of a flavor of its own.

This is a great option if you don’t mind the extra sweetness in your pie and want something that’s less acidic than lemon juice or white wine vinegar (which is still pretty acidic).

Is Lemon Juice Necessary for Apple Pie?

In short, no, lemon juice isn’t necessary for apple pie. That said, some people will add it to the recipe to help keep the apples from turning brown; that’s because of a chemical reaction that occurs when certain types of fruit are exposed to air.

There are other ways to keep your apples from browning in an apple pie if you don’t want to use lemon juice: you can use other types of fruit juices, like pineapple or orange juice, or even vinegar. Some recipes will call for a different type of acid than what’s found in lemon juice.

Apple Pie

15 Substitutes for Lemon Juice in Apple Pie

Apple pie is one of the most well-known desserts in the United States. Everyone knows that apple pie is traditionally made with lemon juice.
Lemon juice is used to keep the apples from going brown while they're being prepared and to give a little extra kick of flavor to the pie.
But what if you don't like lemon? Or what if your kids really like apple pie, but they hate sour things? What if you have citrus allergies?
All of these are great reasons to substitute lemon juice in your apple pie recipe, and you don't have to worry about it affecting the flavor! Some people prefer orange juice or even pineapple juice—both will change up the flavor a bit but still give you that pucker that's so important to this dessert.
Other people use white vinegar as a replacement, which will also add a little acidity without changing the taste much at all.
You can get creative with other alternatives for lemon juice in your apple pie: try some wine or champagne for an adult spin on this classic dish, or try some cranberry or pomegranate juice for some delicious flavors that are sure to impress!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people
Calories 200 kcal


  • Orange Juice
  • Lime Juice
  • Pineapple Juice
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Honey
  • Citric acid
  • Lemon juice concentrate
  • Lemon zest
  • Limoncello
  • Lemongrass
  • White vinegar
  • Orange extract
  • White wine
  • White wine vinegar
  • Water and sugar


  • Pick one of the alternatives from this list to use in your pie.
  • Prepare the rest of your meal.
  • Be ready to munch in no time!
Keyword Substitute for Lemon Juice in Apple Pie
CEO at Happy Muncher | | Website | + posts

Hi, I'm Benjamin. I love cooking, long walks, and my girlfriend! Here you’ll find simple and delicious recipes that you can make in 30 minutes or less.