6 Best Cream Of Tartar Substitutes That You Should Try!

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If you have forgotten where you kept your bottle of cream of tartar after it was last used, take the help of its substitutes to complete your baking project.

Cream Of Tartar

Some of the best cream of tartar substitutes are vinegar, lemon juice, baking powder, buttermilk, and yogurt.

Cream of tartar is an essential ingredient to make perfect meringues and pie. But when you are out of it, you can use its substitutes.

Cream of tartar is used as a stabilizer to form stiff peaks in egg whites; it prevents sugar from crystallizing and adds the required acidity to recipes. It has a slightly tangy and acidic flavor. 

While you can find cream of tartar in the baking aisle, it is also commonly found in cleaning solutions. 

But if you are unable to visit your supermarket, you can use some easily available cream of tartar substitutes at home. Come, let’s check them out.

6 Best Substitutes For Cream Of Tartar

Here are the substitutes for the cream of tartar that you can use in your recipes. Let’s find out the quantities in which they should be used.

1. Lemon Juice

lemon juice

Lemon juice is the easiest available ingredient in our kitchens. It has a similar acidity to the cream of tartar, which makes it a great substitute. 

If you’re out of cream of tartar, the acidity of lemon juice will help form stiff peaks in egg whites. In the case of frostings or syrups, it will help prevent crystallization like cream of tartar.

So how do you substitute lemon juice for the cream of tartar? You can use one teaspoon of lemon juice as a replacement for 1/2 teaspoon of cream of tartar. 

Therefore, if your simple syrup recipe asks for 1/8 teaspoon of cream of tartar, use 3-4 drops of lemon juice. And for the whipping egg whites? Add 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice per egg white. 

2. White Vinegar

White Vinegar

Another food item that is easily found in the kitchen is white vinegar. The good news is that you can use it as a substitute for cream of tartar. 

White vinegar has the same acidity as cream of tartar. Therefore, you can use it when you are out of cream of tartar. 

You can use white vinegar as a replacement for the cream of tartar for making meringues and pies. The quantity required would be the same as lemon juice. So, one teaspoon of white vinegar can be used for half a teaspoon of cream of tartar.

3. Buttermilk


The next substitute for cream of tartar is buttermilk. It works great for baked recipes such as cakes. However, you will need to reduce some liquid from the recipe to account for the buttermilk.

Not sure how to achieve the right liquid consistency? Here’s what you can do. For each 1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar, remove a 1/2 cup of liquid from the recipe and replace it with 1/2 cup of buttermilk. 

Buttermilk is not just a good substitute for cream of tartar; it also offers a lot of health benefits. Therefore, you have many reasons to use it as a substitute in your recipes.

4. Baking Powder

Baking Powder

One of the most essential ingredients for baking is baking powder. But did you know you can also use it as a replacement for the cream of tartar?

Baking powder is made up of sodium bicarbonate and tartaric acid. Therefore, if your recipe contains both baking soda and cream of tartar, you can use baking powder instead. 

In what quantities, you ask? One teaspoon of cream of tartar can be replaced with one and a half teaspoons of baking powder.

5. Yogurt


Buttermilk is made with yogurt. Thus, yogurt makes a good substitute for the cream of tartar. 

Like the cream of tartar, yogurt is acidic in nature. So, you can you it as a replacement without thinking much. But due to yogurts’ thick consistency, you will have to first thin it out by mixing some milk to match the consistency of buttermilk. 

But while you use yogurt as a substitute for cream of tartar, don’t forget to balance out the liquids. For every 1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) of cream of tartar, remove 1/2 cup (120 ml) of liquid from the recipe and replace it with 1/2 cup (120 ml) of yogurt mixed with milk.

6. Corn Syrup

Corn Syrup

Cream of tartar is called to prevent crystallization in some recipes like frosting. So, if you are making a frosting recipe that calls for cream of tartar, go for corn syrup as a substitute.

However, corn syrup also brings along its sweetness. Thus, you will have to balance the sweetness of sugar and corn syrup in the recipe.

How do we do that? If the recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar, then replace cream of tartar with corn syrup. But you will use ¼ cup of corn syrup and ¾ cup of sugar. 

Short Recap For Cream Of Tartar Substitutes

Here is a short recap of all the cream of tartar substitutes mentioned above. By reading this, you can find the best substitutes for different recipes based on certain factors. 

Best Cream Of Tartar Substitutes As A Stabilizer

  • Lemon Juice
  • White Vinegar
  • Buttermilk

Best Cream Of Tartar Substitutes For Baked Goods-

  • Baking Powder

Best Cream Of Tartar Substitutes To Prevent Crystallization

  • Corn Syrup 

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Cream Of Tartar

6 Best Cream Of Tartar Substitutes That You Should Try!

If you are out of cream of tartar, you can use lemon juice, white vinegar, baking powder, corn syrup, buttermilk, and yogurt as a substitute.
5 from 1 vote


  • Lemon Juice
  • White Vinegar
  • Baking Powder
  • Corn Syrup
  • Buttermilk
  • Yogurt


  • Go through the substitutes and see which one seems fit for the recipe.
  • Collect your ingredients and use your preferred substitute.
  • Use the substitute in the required amount and make the dish according to the recipe.
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Cream of tartar is commonly used for baking purposes. It is a magical ingredient that prevents forming of sugar crystals and acts as a stabilizer and leaven. 

However, sometimes you are out of it or don’t want to purchase a whole bottle just to make a single recipe. In such a case, you can opt for the cream of tartar substitutes to achieve similar results.

I hope the list of substitutes mentioned above comes in handy for you when in need. In the comments section below, let me know which substitutes worked best for your recipe.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is a cream of tartar?

Cream of tartar is a white, odorless powder. It is used as a stabilizer for whipped egg whites to create a stiff foam and prevent crystallization in syrups and frostings.

Is cream of tartar the same as baking powder?

Baking powder is a mixture of cream of tartar and baking soda.

What can you use instead of cream of tartar?

Lemon juice, white vinegar, baking powder, yogurt, corn syrup, and buttermilk can be used in place of cream of tartar.

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