Cream of Tartar Substitute for Playdough

When you think about gas or petrol, you think of them as the by-product of crude oil. Now, when it comes to food ingredients, the cream of Tartar is the by-product of the wine production process. Cream of tartar holds a good amount of potassium, making it an excellent source for offsetting harmful elements that could affect the blood. Most importantly, a cream of tartar functions quite well in a whole range of recipes.

Cream of tartar, there could be challenges associated with using this ingredient in recipes, which is why it would be necessary to discuss some substitutes that can do as well as it does. For example, it is not impossible to find a quality replacement for the cream of tartar. You can now have substituted for it in several different cook and baking recipes. Substitutes such as salt, lemon juice, and white vinegar are some that you should know how to utilize while trying to use them as a substitute.

What is Cream of Tartar?

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In scientific terms, the cream of tartar is as well known as potassium hydrogen tartrate (bitartrate). Whereas so many people would confuse it as some creamy cooking or baking ingredient, the fact is that cream of tartar is not anywhere close to being creamy. Instead, it is a powder-based tartaric acid, a by-product of the wine-making process.

A cream of tartar is gotten from an acid known as tartaric. As mentioned earlier, the cream of tartar is a by-product of wine production. This is so because it only first appeared in a jar used for making wines in one of Iran’s ancient villages. Its development and modernization can be traced to a chemist from Sweden, C.W. Scheele, as far back as 1769. Cream of tartar can be found in two forms, dry or powdery.

Cream of Tartar Nutrition Facts

cream of tartar

Cream of Tartar Uses in Recipes

When cream of tartar is used in playdough making, it does two things: texture and preservation. Its minute, ironic taste becomes evident cream of tartar adds smoothness and a shining effect to baked dishes. Hen added to cookies such as snickerdoodles.

One usage of cream of tartar is as a maintainer of vegetable’s color and brightness while being boiled. Baking soda helps produce carbon dioxide gas that puffs up your baked goods when added to baking soda. It can also be used as a leavening agent to boost a batter or dough during baking.

Cream of tartar has a lot of uses, from softening biscuits to adding a lot of solidity to whipped egg whites to preventing sugar from crystallizing in its natural way. As a result, it’s a popular ingredient in a variety of dishes, including:

Cream of Tartar Substitute in Playdough

For homemakers who desire to make playdoughs at home, a vast majority of the recipes available for such would contain an amount of cream of tartar. Nonetheless, you might not have the cream of tartar readily available at home. Or you may have just run out of supply and then need to make a substitution for it in your recipe.

Therefore, this article will move to suggest some suitable and quality substitutes for the cream of tartar in your recipe. While choosing a substitute, you want to get those that combine well enough with other ingredients in your recipe and help you get the “cream of tartar” effect in your playdough.




Besides being a flavoring, salt is also a preservative agent, which makes it similar to the cream of tartar which acts as a preservative in playdough. Additionally, salt can come in handy with the texture of the playdough. Salt is a natural preservative that contains no preservative on its own, so you don’t have to be scared if you don’t like ingredients with preservatives.

This sodium chloride is suggested as a substitute to the cream of tartar as it is readily available in every kitchen and is a pivotal ingredient in a vast array of recipes and dishes. For example, in trying to substitute salt for the cream of tartar in your playdough, you can use 1½ cup of salt as part of your recipe if it does ask for a cream of tartar. These two share a similar color, and salt can be added to almost any dish, soups, or sauce.

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice


Lemon juice makes a viable substitute for cream of tartar in your recipes, although they don’t have the same texture. In contrast, the cream of tartar is powdery; lemon juice is watery. However, their component makes lemon juice suitable to replace cream of tartar.

Like cream of tartar, lemon juice is also acidic, thereby providing the same amount of stability for you while whipping up your egg white. Also, lemon juice provides that softness to the playdough just as cream of tartar would have. For example, an addition of 3 tablespoons of lemon juice would suffice in your recipe as a substitute for a cream of tartar.

White Vinegar

White vinegar


White vinegar comprises acetic acid and water. The presence of the cutting element in white vinegar makes it a good substitute for the cream of tartar.

In likeness with cream of tartar, white vinegar works perfectly well as a stabilizer for egg white in recipes like meringues and even souffles. You can either substitute for an equal amount or utilize three tablespoons of white vinegar in place of cream tartar for your recipe. Do understand that white vinegar can change the flavor or texture of baked items.

Baking Powder

Baking Powder


Baking powder contains a leavening agent (sodium bicarbonate) and an acidic element (tartaric acid). It is complete in its composition and can be used as a substitute for a cream of tartar. In making a substitution for your recipe, 1½ teaspoon of baking powder would suffice. You are required to use one teaspoon of cream of tartar.

The baking powder would maintain the taste of the playdough and its texture, which is why it is a perfect substitute for the cream of tartar.




The fermentation that occurs after the making of homemade butter produces buttermilk. It is the excess fluid after the churning of whole milk. Buttermilk plays an essential role in baking as a moisturizer and flavoring to enrich baked items (cakes).

Buttermilk can be used as a replacement for cream in Tartary. It also has acidity, which can help with stabilization during baking. Due to its liquid nature, to get the best result, while substituting it for the cream of tartar, there is a need to reduce the water content of your recipe.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why is the cream of tartar used in playdough?

If you desire softness and longevity for your playdough, then you should be sure that that’s what the cream of tartar can provide for you while you make your playdough, and that’s why it is used.

 Do you need cream of tartar in your playdough?

A cream of tartar acts as a preservative for your playdough to make it last longer. However, even if you don’t use cream of tartar in your playdough for this purpose, the addition of salt would achieve the same result.

Is cream of tartar the same as cornstarch?

It isn’t in the same category as starchy thickeners, where cornstarch belongs. The reason is that the cream of tartar does not dissolve like they do in dishes.


Cream of tartar, while having so many excellent properties that make it suitable for baking, might not be the most available around you for your purposes. If your recipe requires it, you should be sure to look through the options outlined above. They will give you a good result for your dishes, especially when you are out of supply.