Cookbook:Cream of Tartar

Cream of Tartar

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Cream of tartar, also called potassium hydrogen tartrate or mistakenly called tartaric acid,[1] is an ingredient byproduct of wine making.[2][3]



The substance precipitates out of wine and accumulates in the vats, after which it is harvested and refined into a pure white powder.[4][5] It is mildly acidic, with an otherwise neutral flavor.[6]

Selection and storage


Cream of tartar should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature. It has a very long shelf life.

Cream of tartar's primary uses come from its acidity. When added to egg whites during whipping, it helps coagulate the proteins and stabilize the foam[2][5][6][7]—2 tsp per 1 lb whites (20 ml per 1 kg) is recommended.[8] It also often makes up the acidic component of baking powder,[4][7] and it can help reduce crystallization in sugar syrups,[4] as well as add a neutral sour profile to preparations.




  1. Cauvain, Stanley P. (2017-02-18). Baking Problems Solved. Woodhead Publishing. ISBN 978-0-08-100768-6.
  2. a b Kipfer, Barbara Ann (2012-04-11). The Culinarian: A Kitchen Desk Reference. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ISBN 978-0-544-18603-3.
  3. Davidson, Alan (2014-01-01). Jaine, Tom (ed.). The Oxford Companion to Food. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/acref/9780199677337.001.0001. ISBN 978-0-19-967733-7.
  4. a b c Friberg, Bo (2016-09-13). The Professional Pastry Chef: Fundamentals of Baking and Pastry. Wiley. ISBN 978-0-470-46629-2.
  5. a b Provost, Joseph J.; Colabroy, Keri L.; Kelly, Brenda S.; Wallert, Mark A. (2016-05-02). The Science of Cooking: Understanding the Biology and Chemistry Behind Food and Cooking. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-1-118-67420-8.
  6. a b Wolke, Robert L.; Parrish, Marlene (2002). What Einstein Told His Cook: Kitchen Science Explained. W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 978-0-393-01183-8.
  7. a b Goldstein, Darra (2015-01-01). The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/acref/9780199313396.001.0001. ISBN 978-0-19-931339-6.
  8. Gisslen, Wayne (2016-09-21). Professional Baking. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-1-119-14844-9.