What Is The Benefit Of Using Cream Of Tartar In Cakes?

Decorating By adoo67 Updated 24 Feb 2014 , 11:18am by auzzi

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adoo67 Posted 23 Feb 2014 , 10:32am
post #1 of 6

i always wanted to know the answer please help me

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810whitechoc Posted 23 Feb 2014 , 10:44am
post #2 of 6

Cream of tartar is used when making meringue to stabilise the egg whites, if you are making something like a mousse it holds the egg white a little firmer when folding in chocolate or whatever and helps keep body and air in the mousse.

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FromScratchSF Posted 23 Feb 2014 , 6:30pm
post #3 of 6

Many white cake recipes call for whipping the egg whites separate to make a meringue then folding in at the end and the recipe relies on the air folded into the egg whites to keep the cake fluffy. As @810whitechoc said, the cream of tarter helps strengthen the meringue in the hopes that it will not deflate as soon as you fold it into your cake batter.  Cream of tartar also helps meringue to form if you are using a weak mixer or hand beater, and also adds the additional chemical reaction old school bakers used to use by using copper bowls to make meringue.  Not to bore you, but copper reacts with the egg whites and makes hand mixing - yes, hand mixing - meringue easier and helps to get stiff peaks.  I don't even know if you can find copper bowls anymore, that's just a little history there - I have only once tried to get stiff peaks by hand and gave up.  My arm hurt for a week. LOL

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auzzi Posted 24 Feb 2014 , 12:01am
post #4 of 6


what is the benefit of using cream of tartar in cakes?


Original baking powder contained cream of tartar but few, if any, manufacturers now use cream of tartar in their baking powder. They substitute Sodium Aluminum Sulfate, Calcium Sulfate, Calcium Acid Phosphate [Monocalcium Phosphate], Glucono Delta Lactone & Citric Acid, or sodium acid phosphate in place of cream of tartar .. 


Cream of tartar is an acidic ingredient which activates alkaline baking soda. The chemical reaction releases carbon dioxide which makes the cakes rise.


Homemade DIY baking powder is baking soda and cream of tartar in the ratio of 1:2.


If cream of tartar is in a recipe then 
1. Cream of tartar plus baking soda is the leavener 
2. sometimes you can substitute baking powder for Cream of tartar plus baking soda. If it is in the ratio 1:2.

3. If they are in different proprtions that don't match baking powder proportions, then straight substitution without calculation and a bit a baking chemical knowledge is not possible. 


Also, cream of tartar stabilizes egg white protein and stops sugar from recrystallizing ..

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adoo67 Posted 24 Feb 2014 , 4:08am
post #5 of 6

thank you all for your answers. I've never heard of using cream of tartar in a cake recipe so it was a little weird for me.what about it's disadvantages?

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auzzi Posted 24 Feb 2014 , 11:17am
post #6 of 6
what about it's disadvantages?


If it is part of the recipe, then it is required .... Baking is a chemical reaction - you have to know what you are doing if you want a good outcome.


Modern baking powder is the equivalent of a pre-packaged convenient leavener. Various chemicals that perform rising actions at various times during baking are bundled together in one item ..


Using individual chemicals, eg bicarbonate of soda, cream of tartar, acidic ingredients etc, allow the baker to precisely regulate what reaction [and when] they want in the baked product .. This is the major advantage over baking powder .. 


Disadvantages of cream of tartar? none ...

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