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Substitutes for the Cream of Tartar

The cream of tartar is a by-product of winemaking. It is made from the potassium acid salt of tartaric acid. Scientifically, it is known as potassium bitartrate or potassium hydrogen tartrate. This ingredient is used for both cooking and cleaning purposes.

The cream of tartar has a dry powdery form. It is white and has a mild acidic smell. It has a metallic taste as well. It is used in baked goods as a rising agent. When it is combined with baking soda, it gives a leavening effect. This is what makes baked goods rise and look puffed up. Cream of tartar incorporates carbon dioxide gas into batters. It also stops the crystallization of sugar and stabilizes egg whites. Its effects are manifested through bubbles in the batter.

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When it comes to vegetables, cream of tartar is used to help retain freshness and colors. For things like whipped cream, it is used to prevent it from deflating. As long as the cream of tartar is stored properly, it lasts almost indefinitely. It should be stored in a cool, dry place. 

When it comes to household cleaning, the cream of tartar also has a few uses. It can be used as a scrub and as a polish. As a polish, it can be used for; stainless steel, aluminum, white bowls, plates, copper and metal wares, etc. It is also used as a toilet and all-purpose scrub. As a cleaning solution, it is usually mixed with another acidic solution, e.g., lemon juice. Every 100 grams of cream of tartar is packed with nutrients. It contains about 258 calories, 0mg cholesterol, 0g protein, 52mg sodium, 16,500mg potassium.

Cream of Tartar Nutrition Facts:

Cream of tatar nutrition facts

Use of Cream of tartar in recipes

  • Meringue cookies
  • French macaroons
  • Roulade
  • Baked Alaska
  • Sponge cake

The cream of tartar has proven useful in so many areas. It is useful in cleaning, polishing, cooking, and preservation. However, due to certain reasons, we may need an alternative to the cream of tartar. I will be discussing five excellent substitutes for the cream of tartar below.

Substitutes for the Cream of Tartar

Lemon Juice

Lemon Juice

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is a very healthy substitute for cream of tartar. The phytochemical present in lemon juice has proven to be beneficial to health. It also has antifungal and antibacterial properties. Lemon juice has a cloudy, almost yellow color. It is sour and has a clean, sharp, citric fragrance to it. Lemon juice has a PH of about 2.2 and 5-6% citric acid in it.

The acidity and antifungal properties of lemon juice make it a great substitute for cream of tartar. For baking, lemon juice is used to stabilize egg whites. It is also used to prevent crystallization of sugar when making syrups, royal icing, or frostings. For this purpose, substitute an equal amount of cream of tartar with lemon juice in your recipe.

White Vinegar

White Vinegar

White Vinegar

White vinegar is another acidic substitute for cream of tartar. It is obtained through the fermentation of sugar or ethanol. This fermentation is done by acetic acid bacteria. It is used in cooking, salad dressings, and many other things. Just like lemon juice, it can be used to stabilize egg whites. You can use it in recipes like meringue and soufflés. However, it is not exactly encouraged to use it in cake recipes and its likes. This is because it may change the texture and taste of the cake.

Vinegar has a bright, fresh sour taste. It has a sour, acidic smell as well. It contains about 5.8 percent of acetic acid. It also has a density of about 0.96 g/mL. 

However, the density level of vinegar depends on its acidity. Vinegar also has a PH level of about 2.5. With or without refrigerating, vinegar has an almost definite shelf life. When substituting cream of tartar for vinegar, do so in equal amounts.

Read More: Cream of Tartar Substitute for Meringue 

Baking Powder

Baking Powder

Baking Powder

Baking powder is an excellent substitute for cream of tartar. It is a dry powdery ingredient used in baking. It has a neutral taste and no smell. It provides a leavening effect on baked goods. This way, it increases the volume of baked goods and lightens their texture. Baking powder contains a mixture of baking soda, cream of tartar, and sometimes, cornstarch. It has a shelf life of about 12 months. This is due to its sensitivity to moisture and humidity. It functions just like cream of tartar. This is so because it also incorporates carbon dioxide into batters and doughs. It, in turn, makes baked goods rise very quickly with a fluffy end product.

Cream of tartar is good for cookies as it adds an extra chewiness to them. When substituting, substitute 2tsps (or 6 grams) of baking powder to one tsp cream of tartar. 

Buttermilk

Buttermilk

Buttermilk

Buttermilk is a fermented dairy product that is obtained after butter is churned from cream. It acts as a leavening agent in baked goods. Buttermilk is buttery and tangy in taste and smell. It contains 40 calories per every 100 grams. It makes a fine substitute for baked goods. When substituting, use ½ cup of buttermilk where ¼ (1gram) of cream of tartar is required. Since buttermilk is a liquid, you’ll need to reduce other liquids in the recipe. Reduce at least ½ cup of liquid from the overall recipe.

Yogurt

Yogurt

Yogurt

Yogurt is a thick, acidic liquid used for various purposes in cooking. It is produced from milk that has been fermented. This fermentation is due to the action of bacteria upon it. Usually, companies produce yogurt in different flavors. However, the best substitute for cream of tartar is plain yogurt.

Yogurt has a tart taste and a thick texture. Its consistency is similar to that of sour cream. These properties are what make it a suitable substitute for cream of tartar. When substituting, first thin out the yogurt with milk. Once its consistency is like buttermilk, use ½ cup (120ml) to substitute for ¼ tsp (1 gram) of cream of tartar. However, since the cream of tartar is a powder and yogurt is liquid, reduce the amount of liquid in your recipe. The liquid in your recipe should be reduced by at least ½ cup.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is baking powder the same as cream of tartar?

No. The cream of tartar contains a by-product of winemaking called tartaric acid. Baking powder, on the other hand, consists of a cream of tartar and baking soda. The chemical components of the two ingredients are different.

Can you substitute cream of tartar for baking soda?

Yes. However, it needs to be mixed with baking powder. 1/3 tsp of baking soda replaces 2/3 tsp cream of tartar. For a leavening effect, add 1 tsp of baking powder. Therefore, you can substitute cream of tartar for 1/3 tsp baking soda + 1 tsp baking powder in your recipe.

What can I substitute for cream of tartar in snickerdoodles?

You can use baking powder. Baking powder is a good substitute for cream of tartar in snickerdoodles. Substitute cream of tartar for 2tsps of baking powder in your recipe. 

Conclusion

We may need a quick and available substitute for cream of tartar in our recipes due to various reasons. I have put together five substitutes for the cream of tartar in this article. I hope you found this helpful.