9 Substitutes for Cream of Tartar

Substitutes For Cream Of Tartar
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Have you ever been baking a recipe and suddenly realized you don’t have the cream of tartar?

Or maybe you are looking for vegan or gluten-free substitutes for cream of tartar. Cream of tartar is an ingredient commonly used in baking and cooking.

It is a white, powdery acid that helps stabilize egg whites, prevents sugar from crystallizing, and gives cakes a light texture. 

Unfortunately, it can be difficult to find in some stores. Don’t worry—there are plenty of substitutes for cream of tartar out there!

We’ll explore some simple alternatives that can be used instead of cream of tartar in recipes.

So if you’re looking for an easy way to replace cream of tartar, look no further!

What is Cream of Tartar?

First, let’s define the main topic of the day and its purpose before diving into the substitutes for cream of tartar.

During the fermenting process, cream of tartar crystallizes (more glamorously known as “wine crystals”) on the walls of wine barrels.

These crystals are subsequently purified and crushed into the powdery substance commonly found in kitchen cabinets

Potassium bitartrate is a chemical that helps preserve egg whites, prevents sugar crystallization, and is a leavening agent in baked goods.

If you run out, replacing cream of tartar may appear difficult, but you most likely already have many options in your kitchen. 

All you have to do is find out what function that sub has to serve: stabilization, crystallization inhibition, or leavening.

Substitutes for Cream of Tartar

So, before you run out and collect your wine diamonds, look at our list of the best substitutes for cream of tartar that will rescue your recipe.

1. Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is the starter on our list of effective substitutes for cream of tartar in recipes requiring slight acidity.

It is commonly used to activate baking soda or powder as a leavening agent and can also be used to balance out the sweetness in dishes like cakes and pies.

Lemon juice can provide the same soft structure when creamed with butter, sugar, and other ingredients during dough making. 

The acidity from lemon juice is also necessary for certain recipes containing egg whites—the acid helps them fluff up and form those peaks when whipped.

When substituting lemon juice for the cream of tartar, it is important to consider the strength of the sourness of the lemon juice.

Different types of lemons may have different levels of tartness, so it may take some trial and error to adjust amounts correctly to achieve your desired results in the final product. 

Furthermore, some baked goods require more than just a pinch of cream but only one or two teaspoons of lemon juice.

This means that you may need to add more than you think at first if you want your recipe to turn out properly.

However, many recipes that call for cream of tartar are easily adapted with citrus juice, such as lime or orange, to complement lemon flavors or even white vinegar or apple cider vinegar if no citrus fruit is available.

2. Silver Bowl

The silver bowl is one of the great substitutes for cream of tartar you should know.

It is made from all-natural vegan and gluten-free ingredients, so you don’t have to worry about unexpected health effects.

In addition, it helps add an interesting flavor to any dish – making it an ideal ingredient in baking recipes. 

Moreover, the silver bowl can help provide a creamy texture when using baking soda or baking powder, too – making it a perfect substitute for cream of tartar.

Depending on the recipe, you can also use the silver bowl as a general food preservative or as an alternative to sugar.

Its versatility makes it great for anyone looking to try something different in their cooking.

3. Baking Powder

Baking powder is undoubtedly among the popular substitutes for cream of tartar when it comes to baking.

It is a dry, leavening agent made of baking soda and an acid, such as cream of tartar, which helps baked goods rise in the oven.

Baking powder is available in single-acting and double-acting versions, with the latter releasing some of its gases when heated and the rest when mixed with liquid ingredients. 

While it can be used as a substitute for Cream of Tartar in certain recipes, it should be used sparingly as too much can leave an unpleasant taste in the finished product.

Unlike cream of tartar, baking powder already has an acidic element included. 

This makes it easier to use as a substitute in recipes requiring acidic elements (such as biscuits or cakes) without adding additional ingredients.

The best thing about baking powder is that it will release all its gases during the baking process, so your recipes will still get that nice light texture and fluffy appeal reminiscent of classic Cream of Tartar recipes!

4. Buttermilk

When it comes to baking recipes, buttermilk is considered one of the excellent substitutes for cream of tartar.

The cultured dairy product adds a slightly acidic tang and milky sweetness to cakes, cookies, pie crusts, and other baked goods.

Buttermilk helps create a tender and light crumb in the finished product, as the lactic acid in buttermilk acts as a tenderizer. 

Additionally, it can help balance out sweeter ingredients, such as sugar, to provide more complex flavor profiles.

Though buttermilk is often used as one of the substitutes for cream of tartar, it should not be assumed that one can switch out one for the other with predictable results.

A recipe will need to be adapted accordingly when using buttermilk instead of cream of tartar; this means adjusting the liquid quantities within recipes that call for cream of tartar since additional liquid would need to be added while substituting in the buttermilk

In general, use approximately half the amount of buttermilk called for when substituting for the cream of tartar.

So if a recipe calls for two teaspoons of cream of tartar, use one teaspoon of buttermilk instead.

Adding too much could alter leavening action or produce overly thick batter – both undesired outcomes!

5. Distilled Vinegar

On this list of substitutes for cream of tartar is distilled vinegar, an ideal substitute in baking recipes, both of which are acidic ingredients that act as a leavening agent.

Distilled vinegar is made from fermented ethanol and has a very sour flavor, making it a perfect replacement for the cream of tartar when used in small quantities.

It can be used instead of cream of tartar to make meringues, cookies, cakes, and other light pastries rise more quickly without the risk of over-rising – meaning that the finished product won’t taste bitter. 

When using distilled vinegar to be one of the best substitutes for cream of tartar, it’s important to use a smaller quantity than what the recipe calls for with cream of tartar – usually about half the amount.

The ratio should remain consistent when using this substitution; too much acidity could ruin your dish’s other flavors, so keep an eye on the ingredient measurements while baking. 

Additionally, many baking recipes that call for cream of tartar also require baking soda.

In these cases, you will only need half of the required amount with distilled vinegar since it already contains some natural acidity.

Read further to get to know more substitutes for cream of tartar!

6. Yogurt

Yogurt is often recommended to be used as one of the baking substitutes for cream of tartar, which is an acidic ingredient commonly used in baking recipes to add stability and volume to egg whites.

The main ingredient in yogurt is lactic acid, which adds the same acidic quality as the cream of tartar.

Additionally, yogurt has some properties that make it an even better choice than cream of tartar for certain recipes. 

One advantage of yogurt over cream of tartar is that it helps create a slightly chewier texture in baked goods due to its fat content.

Depending on the type of yogurt used (such as plain Greek or vanilla), it can also lend some additional flavor.

Yogurt and other dry ingredients like flour and sugar should be added at the beginning of the recipe; however, if you’re using Greek yogurt, it should only be added at the end. 

Greek yogurt contains more whey protein and needs to be whipped separately from the other ingredients for the best results.

Generally, when substituting yogurt for the cream of tartar in baking recipes, use 1/2 tablespoon per 1 teaspoon of cream of tartar needed. 

Yogurt also works well in many savory recipes, such as marinades and light sauces, where you want to impart an acidity without altering the flavor too much.

With its versatile uses and mild taste, adding yogurt as one of the delectable substitutes for cream of tartar is a great way to modify traditional baking recipes and get creative with your cooking!

7. Butter

We are still discussing the various substitutes for cream of tartar, and better is not left out.

Butter is a great substitute for cream of tartar, as it adds the desired acidity to baked goods and gives them an interesting flavor.

In addition, it also serves as an emulsifier–binding together ingredients and improving texture. 

Cream of tartar tends to give a more pronounced lemony flavor than butter, but butter can be used as a great alternative if you don’t have the cream of tartar on hand.

As a bonus, you can use melted or softened butter in many recipes since it easily incorporates into doughs and batters without first dissolving it in water or other liquid like sodium bicarbonate (baking soda).

Butter, being one of the substitutes for cream of tartar, also helps in creating a fluffier, lighter texture which many people prefer!

8. Copper Bowl

Talking of the best substitutes for cream of tartar to be used when baking, the Copper Bowl is a great option!

Copper bowls help to balance the chemical effect of acids and alkalis, creating an ideal environment for your cakes and other pastries during preparation.

This is because copper ions bind more readily with the acid present in cake recipes than cream of tartar does. 

Additionally, copper bowls dissolve faster in water, meaning recipes can be prepared quickly without sacrificing quality.

Not only that, but copper bowls also create a natural ‘lift’ in baked goods which helps them to rise evenly and uniformly in the oven.

Finally, copper, being one of the substitutes for cream of tartar, helps to stabilize sugar syrups used in many cake recipes, resulting in a smoother and lighter texture when baked!

9. Corn Syrup

Corn syrup is undoubtedly one of the useful substitutes for cream of tartar when it comes to baking.

It is made from corn starch that has been broken down or broken into sugar molecules and then mixed with water.

The resulting syrup is thicker than regular sugar and slightly sticky.

Furthermore, it can be used as an ingredient in many baking recipes that require cream of tartar and also as a topping or glaze on cakes, pies, and pastries.

Corn syrup can also be used as a substitute for lemon juice when making desserts such as meringue, custard tarts, or other baked goods where the structure needs to be more solidified by increasing acidity.

Adding corn syrup helps increase the acidity of the mixture without changing the flavor significantly, making it perfect for these recipes. 

Additionally, it can help stabilize fondant icing so that it doesn’t weep or become runny over time.

Corn syrup is especially useful for beginner bakers who don’t know how to create homemade alternatives to common kitchen ingredients like cream of tartar or lemon juice.

It may be due to its simple process of preparation and its availability in most supermarkets. This ends our list of the different substitutes for cream of tartar.


In conclusion, cream of tartar is a key ingredient in many recipes that require airy and fluffy baked goods such as meringues and angel food cakes.

It can be difficult to find this ingredient in stores, so finding good substitutes for cream of tartar is essential when it’s unavailable. 

Common substitutes for cream of tartar include white vinegar, lemon juice, and baking powder.

White vinegar and lemon juice provide the acidity needed to help achieve the desired lightness, while baking powder helps with leavening without changing the taste.

Each alternative will work slightly differently, so it’s best to adjust measurements according to what works best with your recipe.

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