Apple Cider Substitute 

Apple Cider Substitute: Top 7 Effective Alternatives

Apple cider is an incredibly versatile ingredient in every kitchen. From cooking foods like doughnuts and dumplings to dressing salads, there are many ways to use apple cider.

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You can also drink it to reap various benefits such as balanced blood sugar levels, improved insulin sensitivity, reduced cholesterol, and more.

So, what happens when you want to use apple cider in your recipe but don’t have it at hand? Are there other ingredients to use instead?

This is where apple cider substitutes come in handy. You can replace apple cider with several substitutes and still get excellent results.

There are many ingredients that taste almost the same as apple cider, and the best one for you will depend on what you want to prepare.

Here are the 7 best substitutes for apple cider that will fit most recipes that require the cider:

Apple Cider Substitute 

Top 7 Apple Cider Substitutes

  1. Apple Juice

Apple juice is the closest thing to true apple cider as they both are made from fresh apples.

The main difference lies in the fact that apple cider comes with some coarse particles of pulp since its unfiltered. On the other hand, apple juice is filtered and pasteurized.

Depending on what you want to make, you may be able to use apple juice instead of apple cider.

However, you need to keep in mind that apple juice is sweeter than apple cider. This means you will need to use less sugar in your recipe.

Unsweetened apple juice is even better since you won’t have to reduce the sugar found elsewhere in the recipe.

The best thing about unsweetened apple juice is that its flavor is almost identical to that of cider.

  1. Lemon Juice

Lemon juice will give you the acidity you would get from apple cider since it’s highly acidic with low pH.

It will provide a light, citrusy flavor to your baked foods and desserts, making them yummier and enjoyable.

When used in cooking or salad dressing, lemon juice adds vitamins and makes your food tasty without adding calories or fat.

So, if your recipe for a savory or sweet dish requires apple cider but you don’t have it, feel free to use lemon juice instead.

With fresh lemon (or lime) juice, you’ll achieve good flavor and a taste that is similar to apple cider.

  1. Rice Vinegar

Rice vinegar is also an excellent substitute for apple cider in your recipe.

While rice vinegar won’t deliver the same health benefits you would get from apple cider, it works well with many recipes. It will bring out the acidic flavors and make your meal tasty.

You can use it in salad dressings to bring out the ultimate flavor and then add a teaspoon of lemon juice for a fruity taste.

Rice vinegar works best when used on rice-based meals, stir-frying veggies, and tangy soups. It’s a bit sweeter than apple cider but delivers excellent results.

  1. White Vinegar

White vinegar is another excellent way to replace apple cider in a recipe. It’s made with acetic acid and distilled water.

While it doesn’t have the fruity undertones you get from apple cider, white vinegar has a discrete taste that works well with most dishes.

It varies from apple cider in terms of color, but its clear appearance will not make a significant difference in your meal’s overall presentation.

You can use it to make stews, marinades, pickles, sauces, and everything that requires some acidity and a bit of tang touch.

White vinegar is widely used and is available in most local stores. There is a good chance that you already have it in your home.

  1. Red Wine Vinegar

Red wine vinegar has a full-body taste, and it can be pretty harsh when used in large amounts.

The best way to substitute apple cider with red wine vinegar is to start with a small amount, then add more if needed.

You also need to keep in mind that red wine vinegar is a deep red color and may influence the overall appearance of your meal.

If you don’t want the red color in your dish, you can use white wine vinegar, which also has a distinct citrusy flavor.

  1. Balsamic Vinegar

Popularly known as balsamic, this vinegar originates from Italy and is mainly used on salads, pasta, sauces, and marinades.

It’s made from grapes which gives it a subtle fruity undertone, just like apple cider.

Balsamic vinegar is intensely dark with complex flavors, but it still makes a good apple cider substitute, especially when making savory sauces.

  1. Orange Juice

While orange juice is a little too sweet, you can still use it as an apple cider substitute where its citrusy flavor doesn’t contradict other flavors in your recipe.

Orange juice has a remarkable amount of tart and acidic flavor which is ideal for sauces, marinades, and glazes.

It contains flavonoids to keep your heart healthy and antioxidants to fight free radicals that could cause chronic diseases.

If you want to use orange juice in your recipe that requires apple cider, you’ll need to reduce any extra sugar since this juice is a sweeter option.


Can You Substitute Apple Cider with Sour Milk?

Yes, you can use sour milk if you don’t have apple cider on hand. However, this will depend on the type of food you want to prepare since these are two entirely different ingredients.

Sour milk works well as an apple cider substitute for baked goods but may not perform as well when making other foods like sauces and salads.

It works like apple cider when used in baking for things such as cakes and bread.

Which Types of Vinegar Can I Use to Replace Apple Cider?

Most types of vinegar used in cooking can be used as apple cider substitutes. The best ones to replace apple cider include rice wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, and balsamic vinegar.

Other types of vinegar that could be used as an apple cider substitute include red wine vinegar, sherry vinegar, white vinegar, champagne vinegar, and more.


If you have run out of apple cider and want to prepare a meal that needs it, feel free to use the substitutes provided in this article.

You may need to reduce any extra sugars or sweeteners in your recipe where the substitute is sweeter than apple cider. Also not all substitutes are created equal – it will ultimately depend on your recipe to dictate which substitute will work best.

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