I’ve personally taste-tested a variety of lime marmalade substitutes to find the best one for every cooking occasion.
Whether you’re on the hunt for the closest flavor match, in need of a last-minute pantry substitute, or seeking an alternative tailored to your specific dietary requirements, rest assured I’ve got you covered.
Marmalades made with orange, lemon, or grapefruit are the easiest substitute. Not a citrus fan? Stick with raspberry jam or apricot preserves. Guava paste is a nice option if you want to switch things up. And if you’re up for a DIY project, you can make homemade lime marmalade.
Ready? Let’s jump right in.
I baked a batch of canned croissants (they’re so good!) to try different lime marmalade substitutes.
Lime marmalade is a fruit preserve that boasts a tangy, citrusy flavor with sweet and floral notes.
It’s a great on toast, but it also works well with other pastries, desserts, and even savory dishes.
Here are the substitutes I tested and my verdicts:
|Substitutes||How to Substitute||Verdict|
|Other marmalades||Replace in a 1:1 ratio||10/10|
|Homemade lime marmalade||Replace in a 1:1 ratio||10/10|
|Raspberry jam||Replace in a 1:1 ratio||9/10|
|Apricot preserves||Replace in a 1:1 ratio, and add lime or lemon juice to taste||9/10|
|Citrus curd||Replace in a 1:1 ratio||8/10|
|Guava paste||Replace 1 tbsp of lime marmalade with 1 slice of guava paste||8/10|
|Lime juice + zest + sugar||Replace 1 tbsp of lime marmalade with 1 tbsp of lime juice + zest + sugar mixture||7/10|
|Lime extract||Use 2-3 drops of lime extract to infuse other ingredients with lime flavor||7/10|
Common uses of lime marmalade
Here are some popular ways to use lime marmalade and the best substitutes for those situations:
- As an accompaniment to bread: Try using homemade lime marmalade, other marmalades, raspberry jam, or apricot preserves. You can also use citrus curd, but it’s sweeter.
- For cake or pastry fillings: Try using homemade lime marmalade, other marmalades, raspberry jam, or apricot preserves. You can also use guava paste, especially for pie fillings.
- For glazes and sauces: Try using homemade lime marmalade or other marmalades. A combo of lime juice + zest + sugar or lime extract will work, but you may need to add a thickener.
- For charcuterie boards: Try using homemade lime marmalade, other marmalades, apricot preserves, or guava paste.
Lime isn’t the only citrus fruit that you can make into a marmalade.
Try orange marmalade if you find lime too tart for your liking. It’s the most common of the bunch, so you won’t have any trouble finding it!
Or if you’re a sour lover like me, you’ll love lemon marmalade – and it was delicious with my buttery croissants.
Grapefruit marmalade is also a delightful substitute, and will bring a beautiful pop of pink to your dishes.
But be warned, it’s got a bitter edge.
How to substitute: replace lime marmalade in a 1:1 ratio with your chosen citrus marmalade.
Homemade lime marmalade
If you have access to fresh limes, homemade lime marmalade is the way to go.
The process is straightforward, and the result tastes even better than the store-bought version.
You have to slice the limes into thin, delicate slivers.
The recipe I was following did it all by hand, but I busted out my mandoline slicer (check out this article for tips on safely using one) to make this step breezy and less tedious.
Once you’ve sliced your limes, simply cook them with water and sugar, and wait until the mixture thickens to a sticky, syrupy consistency.
How to substitute: replace the store-bought lime marmalade in a 1:1 ratio with your homemade lime marmalade.
Looking to skip the citrus fruits altogether? Raspberry jam is the way to go.
I picked raspberry jam over other berry jams because it’s tartness is closest to lime marmalade.
It’s still a tad sweeter, but you can always add a squeeze of lemon or lime juice to balance the flavors.
Psst… make sure to get seedless raspberry jam if you want to mimic the marmalade.
How to substitute: replace lime marmalade in a 1:1 ratio with raspberry jam.
Apricot preserves is another non-citrus option you can use in place of lime marmalade.
The texture is similar because of the whole apricot bits, but the flavor leans toward the sweeter side with just a hint of tartness.
You’ll also notice a delicate floral undertone that can brighten up any recipe.
It was a tad too sweet for my taste buds, so like with raspberry jam I mixed it with lime juice (you can also use lemon juice) before spreading it over my croissants.
How to substitute: replace lime marmalade in a 1:1 ratio with apricot preserves.
Citrus curd has a thick and creamy consistency, and it’s far sweeter than lime marmalade. But it’s undeniable that it has similar bright, zesty notes.
Lemon curd is the most popular type, but if you get lucky you might stumble upon a jar of lime curd for an exact flavor match.
Or you can try making it from scratch – it’s quicker than making the marmalade because you only need lime juice!
Pro tip: this is great as a filling for pies and pastries, or you can swirl it with whipped cream.
How to substitute: replace lime marmalade in a 1:1 ratio with citrus curd.
Guava paste is made from guava puree that has been cooked down with sugar.
It’s sweeter than lime marmalade, but it still has hints of tang and floral notes that help balance the flavor.
The catch with guava paste is you can’t exactly spread it like you would with marmalade.
It’s more like a fruit jelly you’ll need to slice before using.
I went the extra mile and stuffed a slice of this in my croissant with a piece of cheese – it was divine!
How to substitute: replace 1 tbsp of lime marmalade with 1 slice of guava paste.
Lime + sugar
A mixture of lime juice, lime zest, and sugar could save the day.
This combo won’t work as a spread for toast or a pie filling, but it’s a handy alternative for sauces and marinades.
Lime juice on its own can be overpoweringly tart, but adding sugar fixes this. And the zest intensifies the citrusy notes and adds the barest hint of bitterness.
Psst.. I like brown sugar for the caramelized flavor it has. But white sugar will work too.
How to substitute: replace 1 tbsp of lime marmalade with 1 tbsp of lime juice + zest + sugar mixture
Lime extract is a handy ingredient if all you want is a hit if lime flavor.
It won’t work as a one-to-one substitute for lime marmalade, especially when your recipe relies on the texture of marmalade.
But you can add a small amount to other jams, butters, and sauces.
I mixed it into plain vanilla curd, and it worked well. I’ve also used it in buttercream as a cake topping.
How to substitute: use 2-3 drops of lime extract to infuse other ingredients with lime flavor.
8 Best Lime Marmalade Substitutes
- 500 grams limes
- 500 ml water
- 3 cups sugar
- Slice the limes into thin slivers. Transfer them into a large sauce pot and add your water.
- Boil the limes to soften the rind. Once done, add the sugar and continue simmering for about 40 minutes.
- After simmering, transfer the hot marmalade into hot, sterilized jars. Don't worry if it's too watery. It will thicken as it cools.