Site Overlay

Snickerdoodles may be made without the cream of tartar.

Rate this post

So you’re wanting something sweet but don’t want to eat anything overly sweet. The solution comes to you quickly: snickerdoodles! Their sweet and sour flavor combination is nearly enticing, with a chewy texture. Then you go straight to work, combining the ingredients and whistle gleefully, anticipating a delicious reward.

Well, alas! You’ve used up all of your cream of tartar. And if you’ve learnt anything as a kid, it’s that this ingredient is essential for creating snickerdoodles. Yet everything in the kitchen, even this acidic powder, has an alternative. Yet, contrary to common perception, snickerdoodles may be made without the use of cream of tartar.

What is Cream of Tartar?

Cream of tartar is an acidic chemical that is widely used in baking. It is also known as potassium hydrogen tartrate and is required for the binding of components in some baked goods recipes. The stabilizer is often powdered, allowing it to be readily incorporated with the dry materials. It also requires an alkaline presence to be activated, which is why it is used in conjunction with baking soda.

Why Add Cream of Tartar in Snickerdoodles?

Cream of tartar dissolves and releases its acid when combined with batter. This acid, in turn, combines with the alkaline baking soda, producing carbon dioxide gas. As more gas bubbles form, the batter becomes airier and fluffier, and the snickerdoodles become lighter.

But it doesn’t end there. Snickerdoodles are similar to sugar cookies, but they are additionally rolled in cinnamon and not only sugar. They do, however, have a distinct acidic taste when consumed. The addition of cream of tartar in the snickerdoodle batter contributes to the subtle sourness.

Cream of Tartar Substitutes in Snickerdoodles

In snickerdoodles, cream of tartar serves three functions. Secondly, it aids in the rise of the cookie dough owing to its leavening function when combined with baking soda. Then, when the cookie cools, it cracks and wrinkles slightly on the surface. Since it weakens gluten, snickerdoodles provide the ideal balance of crumbliness and chewiness. Also, its acidic nature adds a somewhat sour taste to the sweet mixture.

Baking Powder

Baking powder is a great alternative for cream of tartar in snickerdoodles since it includes cream of tartar. Its major ingredients are this substance and baking soda, thus you may not need to use the latter in the recipe. When replacing, add as much as is required to replace the cream of tartar, plus more to compensate for the baking soda called for in the recipe.

Since baking powder includes both baking soda and cream of tartar, when it is dissolved, an acid-alkaline reaction occurs. The gas bubbles will encourage leavening and give the snickerdoodles a somewhat sour taste. When making the conversion, use one and a half teaspoons baking powder for every teaspoon cream of tartar.

Lemon Juice

Although various ingredients may be used to recreate the fluff and chewiness of snickerdoodles, an addition like lemon juice is required to impart the sour taste. Lemon juice is inherently sour, so it will add that flavor to the snickerdoodle batter. Also, it is acidic and will cause the emission of carbon dioxide bubbles when it combines with baking soda. When replacing cream of tartar, you need also add equivalent volumes of lemon juice. But, baking soda must be used in the recipe for the cookies to be properly leavened.

White Vinegar

White vinegar is another useful replacement for cream of tartar in snickerdoodle recipes. It performs both of the anticipated duties in the batter, initiating leavening and giving a sour taste. This is due to vinegar’s acidity, which also accounts for its distinct sour flavor. And white vinegar is powerful enough to have the same effect as cream of tartar. This is why you may replace it with equal amounts white vinegar. And this swap will provide enough acidity to react with baking soda and sourness to produce the distinctive snickerdoodle taste.



As cream is churned into butter, a viscous liquid is left behind. This acidic liquid is known as buttermilk, and it has a strong sour taste. As such, it’s a great quick-fix substitute for cream of tartar in snickerdoodles. And the reason for this is because buttermilk has enough acid to cause gas emission when it combines with baking soda. Nevertheless, since this component is fluid, it will change the consistency of the batter. As a result, you’ll need to increase the amount of dry ingredients in the recipe. While using this alternative, you may also mix baking soda and baking powder. However, since buttermilk is largely used to replace the acidic taste, one-quarter cup will enough for each teaspoon of cream of tartar.


Interestingly, yogurt may be substituted for cream of tartar in snickerdoodle recipes. Of course, it won’t perform as well as the latter, but it still adds a rich, tangy taste to the cookies. Additionally, using yogurt makes your snickerdoodles softer and healthier. Moreover, unlike traditional recipes, you won’t need to chill them in the fridge—you may enjoy them right away. But, you will need to increase the quantity of baking soda in the recipe so that it rises sufficiently. Since yogurt is acidic, it will aid in the formation of carbon dioxide bubbles. For every teaspoon of cream of tartar, use one-quarter cup.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why is the cream of tartar in snickerdoodles?

Snickerdoodles are made using cream of tartar for two reasons. The first step is to make it sour. The second goal is to keep the gluten development under control so that the cookies have some crunch to them.

Is cream of tartar the same as baking soda?

No, it does not. The tartaric acid in cream of tartar is generally generated as a byproduct of winemaking. Baking soda, on the other hand, is sodium bicarbonate and may be either naturally or chemically created alkaline.

Can I use citric acid instead of cream of tartar?

Yes, at times. Although citric acid will add acidity to your snickerdoodles, it will not be as sour as cream of tartar. Nonetheless, in certain circumstances, it is a suitable replacement.


Cream of tartar is said to be the most important component in snickerdoodle recipes. Yet, there are several substitutes for this useful powder available today. Using these substitutions, you may create pillow cookies in a variety of styles and textures. As a result, you’ll be astonished with each batch.


What is a substitute for cream of tartar in snickerdoodles?

You may substitute cream of tartar with baking powder in a 1:1.5 ratio (1 teaspoon cream of tartar: 1 12 teaspoon baking powder), or you can replace cream of tartar with a mixture of baking soda and either lemon juice or vinegar (as with this recipe).

Why is cream of tartar used in snickerdoodles?

Since snickerdoodles normally do not include any other acidic ingredients, cream of tartar is used to activate the baking soda, allowing the cookies to rise.

Is cream of tartar necessary for sugar cookies?

Adding cream of tartar to cake or cookie mixes keeps sugar from sticking together and crystallizing, resulting in a more sensitive chew—snickerdoodles and sugar cookies wouldn’t be the same without it.

Is cream of tartar like baking powder?

The fundamental distinction between cream of tartar and baking powder is that baking powder contains cream of tartar. Baking powder is made from a combination of cream of tartar and baking soda. Both are leavening ingredients, however cream of tartar produces finer air bubbles when assisting baked items to rise.

What can I use if I dont have cream of tartar?

Baking soda

1 teaspoon (3.5 grams) cream of tartar may be replaced with 1.5 teaspoons (6 grams) baking powder. This substitute is perfect since it can be used in any recipe without affecting the final flavor or texture.

What is the closest thing to cream of tartar?

2 teaspoon of cream of tartar. In baking, 1 teaspoon of vinegar or lemon juice for every 1 teaspoon of cream of tartar is an excellent substitute.

What happens if you don t use cream of tartar in a cookie recipe?

You’ll get the same baked good without cream of tartar, but the consistency may not be as perfect. If you’re concerned about your cake being too flat or your lemon meringue pie being runny, adding cream of tartar may help.

Why do my snickerdoodle cookies get hard?

You might be baking them at an insufficient temperature.

If you have a non-convection home oven, bake at 375 degrees instead of 350 degrees. A low temperature might also cause your cookies to dry out.

Why are my snickerdoodles so fluffy?

What’s the deal with my puffy snickerdoodles? Too much flour – spoon and level the flour as I demonstrate in my chocolate chip cookie article. Incorrect oven temperature (too hot) – For accurate baking results, I recommend using an oven thermometer.

What can I use instead of tartar in cookies?

If you run out of cream of tartar, the alternative you choose will be determined by the application. Vinegar, lemon juice, and corn syrup are all popular substitutes for the pantry staple.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *