Cream of Tartar2019-01-14T17:14:00+00:00
angel food cake

Cream of tartar is a fast-acting leavening acid used in baked goods.

Cream of Tartar

What is Cream of Tartar?

Cream of tartar is a leavening acid found in baked goods. It has a neutralizing value of 45 and is fast reacting.


Cream of tartar reacts very quickly (70% gas release during mixing). It has a relatively low neutralizing value, which indicates larger quantities will be needed than a higher neutralizing value leavening acid (i.e. MCP). Due to this, its use is limited. For many applications, cream of tartar should be used in combination with slower acting leavening acids, like SAPP or SALP. In sugar cookies it may be used alone with baking soda.


Cream of tartar is a natural bi-product of the wine-making process.


  • In cakes: It can be used to stabilize egg whites for angel food cakes. It can also be used as a leavening acid in baking powder or cake formulations.
  • In icings: It can be used to stabilize meringues.
  • In cookies: It can be used as a leavening acid.


Cream of tartar composition

Chemical structure of cream of tartar.


Cream of tartar is high in potassium. A teaspoon of cream of tartar consists of about 500mg of potassium. Daily intake is recommended to be at 3500mg.


  1. Uji Battle June 3, 2018 at 11:00 pm - Reply

    What is the average % used in icings?

    • Ana Rinck
      Ana Rinck October 11, 2018 at 11:50 am - Reply

      Typically at a ratio of ⅛ teaspoon per large egg white, if you use Baker’s Percentage you can always convert to percentage.

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