I have a cookie recipe that calls for 1/4 cup of lemon zest. Can I substitute dried lemon peel, and how much? Or should I use lemon extract, how much? Or would it change the consistency of the cookie?

  • 1
    Any cookie recipe that calls for 1/4 cup of lemon zest is going to be dominantly about that lemon flavor. Nothing else will give the pure, clean lemon flavor that zest will. You might try orange zest if you have oranges (of course now you will have orange cookies). Otherwise, this might be a recipe to put aside until you can obtain some lemons to zest.
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Dec 16, 2013 at 17:47
  • @JillMarsh Even though I answered with a "how to substitute" answer, I've got to agree with SAJ here. If it's the "zesting" you want to avoid, look here: cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/18930/… or at this: amazon.com/s/…
    – Jolenealaska
    Dec 16, 2013 at 18:13
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    There are "pure lemon oil" products on the market ("Boyajian" is one label). They're not infusions; they're actual lemon oil pressed out of the rind. It's very strong stuff, but in some ways it's actually better than zest.
    – Pointy
    Dec 17, 2013 at 14:54

2 Answers 2


I would definitely use lemon extract over dried lemon peel. According to eHow, use half as much lemon extract. That seems like a lot, but then 1/4 cup of zest is also a lot, and I don't know your recipe so use your best judgement.

You could also use a bit of each. The downside is that extract is VERY strong, and peel can be a bit gritty once it's dried.


Fresh is best, no question. If you want to substitute, use one third to one half the amount of dried peel for the zest (that depends upon the brand and age of the dried peel). I'd rehydrate the peel with a bit of lemon juice if you can or water. The substitution will affect the texture of the final cookie, and I'm afraid not for the better. Rehydrating the dried peel will help a bit with that.

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