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Is There A Substitute for Cream of Tartar

Cream of tartar is a common component in a variety of recipes. If you’re very familiar with baking, you should have come across this ingredient.

A cream of tartar – also known as potassium bitartrate – is a powdered version of tartaric acid. This organic acid can naturally be found in many plants and produced during the winemaking process.

Notably, cream of tartar has proved very helpful in the kitchen while cooking or baking. It aids in stabilizing whipped egg whites, preventing sugar crystallization, and the leavening of baked goods.

Read on as you find out more about the cream of tartar. Moreover, this article also contains good substitutes for the cream of tartar – for situations whereby you don’t have any on hand, or you need something different.

Is There A Substitute for Cream of Tartar(1)


Cream of Tartar Nutrition Facts

Is There A Substitute for Cream of Tartar

What is Cream of Tartar

Cream of tartar – a dried, powdery, acidic residue of winemaking – is used in various baking recipes, from cookies to cakes to frosting.

The major element in the cream of tartar is tartaric acid (grapes are a natural source of tartaric acid).

Cream of tartar is probably best known for adding flavor to cookies, such as the acidity it gives snickerdoodles, which gives them their distinctive tang.

It is also recognized for stabilizing egg whites by preventing the joining of egg proteins, resulting in a silky, billowy meringue.

Furthermore, cream of tartar is utilized to prevent sugar from crystallizing, which is great for simple syrup and the chewy texture of cookies.

Because of how it reacts with sugar, it also prevents cookies from browning, which is why you would see it in a decorated sugar cookie recipe.

Cream of Tartar Uses in Recipes

Cream of tartar is one of those perplexing ingredients you may have encountered in a pantry without knowing what it’s for. After all, its name – unlike baking soda – doesn’t give you a hint.

Even so, a small amount of cream of tartar makes a tremendous difference in culinary. Here are some exciting recipes it is used in:

  • Biscuits
  • Snickerdoodle
  • Strawberry Banana Shortcake
  • Meringue Pie
  • Frosted Chocolate Cake
  • Two-Berry Pavlova
  • Amish Sugar Cookies
  • Strawberry Cookie Cups
  • Blue-Ribbon Doughnuts
  • Cranberry-Orange Cake
  • Meringue Cookies
  • Double Delights
  • Vanilla Butter Rollouts
  • Surprise Meringues
  • Soft Sugar Cookies

Cream of Tartar Substitutes

Cream of tartar is a powder used in various recipes to stabilize egg whites, act as a leavening agent, and keep sugar from crystallizing.

If you’re in the middle of a recipe and find out that you’ve run out of cream of tartar or if you want to make a few little changes to your recipe, don’t worry, cream of tartar can easily be substituted.

See some interesting alternatives you can utilize in your recipe.

White Vinegar

White Vinegar

When you’re out of some cream of tartar in the kitchen, no need to panic. White vinegar can be substituted for cream of tartar.

Moreover, if you’re supposed to stabilize egg whites for your recipes – maybe like souffles – white vinegar works well as a cream of tartar replacement. So while beating the egg whites, replace the cream of tartar with an equal amount of white vinegar as required in the recipe.

However, white vinegar may not be a good substitute for baked goods like cakes because it can change the flavor and consistency of the recipe.

Baking Powder

Baking Powder

The basic distinction between cream of tartar and baking powder is that baking powder contains cream of tartar (Baking powder is made of baking soda and cream of tartar).

Therefore, if your recipe calls for both baking soda and cream of tartar, baking powder can easily be substituted.

To do this appropriately, one teaspoon of cream of tartar can be replaced with 1.5 teaspoons of baking powder.

This alternative is ideal because it can be used in any dish without changing the flavor or texture.

Although baking powder and cream of tartar are both leavening ingredients, cream of tartar produces finer air bubbles when aiding baked goods is rising.

Lemon Juice

Lemon Juice

Knowing cream of tartar is commonly used to stabilize egg whites and aid in achieving the desired outcomes in recipes.

In a situation where you lack a cream of tartar, lemon juice can be used as a substitute for cream of tartar.

Notably, lemon juice has the same acidic sharpness as cream of tartar, which aids in the formation of stiff peaks in egg whites.

Moreover, lemon juice can be used in place of cream of tartar in syrups and frostings to help prevent crystallization.

To get the best possible results, you should replace the cream of tartar in your recipe with an equal amount of lemon juice.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can you freeze cream of tartar?

Yes, cream of tartar can be frozen, and it will remain preserved for a long while. When storing cream of tartar in the freezer, you have to use an airtight container.

Is cream of tartar unsafe?

The FDA considers a cream of tartar to be a harmless ingredient when used in tiny amounts. The issue is that when consumed in large quantities, it can lead to hyperkalemia or dangerously high potassium levels in the blood.

Can I use baking powder instead of cream of tartar in the meringue?

Baking powder can be used in place of cream of tartar in this recipe. The amount of any baking powder to be added should be equal to the amount of cream of tartar.

Meringue pies are a crispy delicacy that may be served any time of day.


Yes, cream of tartar can be substituted in various ways. For example, consider what cream of tartar adds to the recipe before picking which ingredient to use. It would help if you also thought about any unfavorable flavor alterations that may arise.

While these substitutions will produce satisfactory results, the final product may differ from what you’re familiar with. However, due to the obvious substitutions you use, expect minor differences in texture and appearance.