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Hi Elise! The name “Cream of Tartar” comes from the Greek word “tartaron” which was used to describe “tartar encrusting the sides of wine casks” (similar to how we describe tooth tartar). This tartar is potassium bitartrate and is a byproduct of the wine making process when grapes ferment. During the fermentation process, the potassium bitartrate forms crystals on the sides of the cask or even on the underside of your cork when stored under certain conditions. When it is purified and crushed into a powder then mixed with water it forms a cream. Hence the name “Cream of Tartar!” – Thanks for all the amazing recipes! This has been my favorite and go-to site for YEARS!
Thanks for the cool food history tidbit, and for being such a faithful reader! Someone told me the tartaric acid crystals on corks are called “wine diamonds”.
Which flour is best for meat pie self raising flour or All purpose flour.
Can I use cream of tartar in meat pie to make it very soft after baking? This is because my meat pie comes out hard after baking
Hi there! What kind of flour does your recipe call for? Usually pie crusts don’t have any leavening–it would make it puffy, like soft cookies. If your pie crust is hard after baking, it might be because you are overworking it, making it tough. Does that help?
Can I use self rising flour?
That depends, Virginia. Do you mean can you use self-rising flour when the recipe calls for all-purpose flour? Here’s the answer, from our ultimate guide to flour: “Self-rising flour is a combination of flour, baking powder, and salt. It’s traditionally lower in protein than all-purpose flour and common in southern cooking. You can make your own by whisking 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt to every cup of all-purpose flour.”
can i use baking soda to make coockies
Yes, many excellent cookie recipes call for baking soda. It’s best to use what the recipe calls for, so if it says to use baking powder and you have baking powder, use that.
i heard a combination of baking powder and baking soda is great for cookies. my original recipe calls for 2 tsp of baking soda, and i want to add baking powder to my recipe as well. how much baking powder should i add? thanks!
2 teaspoons of baking soda in a cookie recipe? That’s quite a bit–how many cups of flour does it call for? It may call for more baking soda than necessary, though it also depends on the type of cookie. So we’d need to know what kind of cookie it is, and how much flour it calls for, before we can properly answer your question.
Also, do you recall the reason why this source recommended using a combination of baking powder and baking soda in cookies? We’d love to know!
How can I make my cookies fluffier and bigger? They usually come out flat after I frozen them for a few days. Can i use baking powder if the recipe doesnt call for it? My goal is to increase cookie size and make them puffier.
Pls help out!!
I’d not add more baking soda or baking powder to your cookie dough to make them puffier. Plus it depends on the kind of cookies you are making–drop cookies, like chocolate chip? Are you freezing the shaped raw dough and then baking it, or baking the dough right after making it?
I sell cookies so I have to freeze them for a week at least while I get orders. I want them to be as puffy and big as when I bake them right after preparing the dough. The frozen dough always comes out smaller and thinner.
How can I change that?
Ah-ha, thank you for clarifying, Nazia. I tried to search to see if (or why) freezing cookie dough with baking soda or baking powder will result in less puffy cookies, and I didn’t see anything useful. You could try making an experimental half batch with more leavening, but do keep in mind that increasing baking soda or baking powder can result in a metallic taste. Commercial food producers ship out frozen cookie dough blobs all the time for foodservice outlets to bake on demand (i.e. Subway or McDonald’s), and they must be engineered with dough conditioners to puff up and not spread. That’s not an answer for you at all, but I do hope it helps you get closer to one.
My cookie recipe calls For 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/4 tsp cream of tartar and 1/2 tsp baking powder. I don’t have baking soda, how can I substitute?
Kylie, how much flour is in the cookie recipe? The rule of thumb is usually 1 teaspoon baking powder per each cup of flour. However, with some cookie recipes (drop cookies like molasses cookies or snickerdoodles), there’s a lot of baking soda called for so they puff up quite a bit and then collapse, creating crinkles and giving you a chewier/softer cookie with a little more spread.
1- 3/4 cups of flour.. their sugar cookies, imitation ones if the store cough Lofthouse ones with the icing and sprinkles.. the recipe also needs 1 tbsp corn starch
Will it work if I combined orange juice and baking powder instead of lemon juice? Thanks!
Do you mean “Will it work if I combined orange juice and baking SODA instead of lemon juice?” Because you don’t need any acid in a recipe for baking powder to work.
I have a cranberry bread recipe that does just that–you mix orange juice and baking soda, and it works great in that specific recipe. So probably the answer is yes.
very informative. Why do some recipes ask for both, baking soda and baking powder?
Olga, that’s a great question. I think using both gives a little more assurance of a good rise. Baking soda is also alkaline, and it can make recipes taste metallic if there’s a lot used when there’s no acid (like buttermilk or molasses) in the batter or dough. Also it’s single-acting, meaning it leavens once moisture hits it. Baking powder is double-acting, meaning it leavens once moisture hits it, and again when it’s heated. Using some of each gives you the benefits of each, without the possible drawbacks.
Need recipe for baking powder bisquits!
Wow, I can’t believe we don’t have one, considering we have so many biscuit recipes on our site. Check out the biscuit recipes on our sister site, Serious Eats. They have a few good ones!
Help! I just realized I don’t have baking powder or baking soda or cream of tartar. Is there anything else
Nope, there’s nothing else you can use for chemical leavening. Your options:
1) if you have self-rising flour or Bisquik baking mix (which already have baking soda in them), then make something with a recipe for those.
2) if you have yeast, bake a bread or a yeasted cake.
3) if you’d like something airy, make pancakes or waffles but separate the whites form the yolks. Beat the whites to soft, fluffy peaks and fold them into your batter. Or make an angel food cake!
4) text a neighbor and ask them to drop some baking powder or soda off. Later on, share what you baked with them.
I m giving it a try withvyeast, nothing to loose.
Depends on what you are making, I guess. Tell us, please, we’d love to know. Good luck!
Back in the day, I mean years ago, I seem to remember that you added different amounts of baking powder to plain flour to create self-raising flour for a range of baking recipes eg scone, cakes, etc. It was written on the tin. Does anyone know the proportions?
I’m not sure what the old tins said, but in the article above Katie advises you can make your own by whisking 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt to every cup of all-purpose flour.
I have a banana cho chip muffin recipe that calls for both baking power and baking soda – 1 teaspoon of each. I only have baking soda, what can I do? Should I just add 1+ 1/3 teaspoon of baking soda?
The rule of thumb is 1/4 teaspoon baking soda will leaven 1 cup of flour. So, if you recipe calls for 2 cups of flour, use 1/2 teaspoon baking soda. It sounds like hardly anything, but it turns out a lot of recipes call for too much soda.
Let us know how your muffins turn out! Oh, and yes, to use baking soda, it’s best if your batter has an acid, like buttermilk.
In these troubling times of Coronavirus, this is a gem of an article right now, cause you can’t find any yeast in sight. I have very limited baking powder but with this article I know I can make my own baking powder with the baking soda and cream of tarter I have. This article is a ‘Godsend’ right now. Many thanks.
Hi Maureen, you are very welcome! Stay well.
Oh my lord, what a coincidence!!! I’m trying to pass what i have left in this Coronavirus crisis, and my recipe was asking for baking soda but i could only find some baking powder, so i was wondering if i could use that instead. This article really saved me right now!!! Thank you so much!!!
If a biscotti recipe calls for a lot of molasses and brown sugar should I use baking powder or soda? And is there a ratio that should be used?
right now I have doubled a recipe so much that it calls for 8 tablespoons of powder- that’s with 6 cups of molasses and 6 cups brown sugar and about 10 lbs of flour…. and 24 eggs, among other things. The dough will be made ahead and put in the fridge till ready to bake. Is that too much powder because it sure seems like it!
Hi, Cecelia! Without knowing the recipe exactly, or having worked with it, I can’t say for sure how much of either it needs. Scaling recipes up to that degree doesn’t always require a equal amounts. If the recipe only calls for baking powder and not baking soda, I would stick with what the recipe says. Good luck!
Hi, used baking powder instead of soda, choc. Chip cookies should I pitch and start over
Hi, Connie! Nope, don’t toss them. Go ahead and bake them up.
I was to put 2 teaspoon of baking soda instead I put 2 traps of baking powder. Totally misread! It was banana nut recipe. But it still came out delicious! Thank you for the tips
If the recipe calls for 4tsp of baking powder how much baking soda should I use?
From the ratio given. Guess, it’s 1 and 1/3 tsp
Can I still use baking soda as a replacement for baking powder if the recipe uses both of them?