If a recipe called for cream of tartar, you might be wondering whether or not this ingredient is vegan and gluten-free.
This guide will cover all of the information that you should know about cream of tartar, including whether or not it is suitable for people on vegan or gluten-free diets!
Cream Of Tartar: What Is It?
Cream of tartar is a common ingredient in baking.
Scientifically referred to as both potassium hydrogen tartrate and potassium bitartrate, cream of tartar is a byproduct of the fermentation of grapes.
Essentially, cream of tartar comes from wine. When the grape juice ferments, the cream of tartar will start to crystallize.
Despite its name, cream of tartar does not have a creamy consistency. Instead, it has a powdery texture. This acidic powder is regularly featured in baking powder.
In most baking recipes, cream of tartar is usually used to stabilize ingredients. Namely, it stabilizes the whipped egg whites found in cakes, cookies, and meringues.
Moreover, it is a leavening agent for baked goods, meaning that it will cause the mixture to rise.
However, it isn’t just used in cooking. Cream of tartar is widely used as a cleaning agent. It has proven to be quite successful in removing stains and getting rid of rust.
To make a powerful cleaning agent, cream of tartar is frequently combined with white vinegar or lemon juice. Therefore, it can be beneficial to have a jar of cream of tartar in your pantry.
Is Cream Of Tartar Gluten-Free?
Yes, cream of tartar is free from gluten. This is great news for people with coeliac disease or who suffer from gluten intolerance.
The reason why cream of tartar is gluten-free is that it’s produced through winemaking. Therefore, no grains that contain gluten are used to produce this powder.
From our experience, there aren’t any cream of tartar brands that contain gluten.
Despite this, it may still be worth double-checking a brand to ensure that it doesn’t feature this structural protein. This is certainly the case if you suffer from severe gluten allergies.
Is Cream Of Tartar Vegan?
Yes, cream of tartar should always be vegan. There is no reason to add any animal products to this powder.
It is formed during the process of winemaking, so you won’t have to worry about any animal products being involved.
Therefore, vegan bakers can continue to use cream of tartar in their recipes.
Regardless, it can still be worth checking the label of a pack of this ingredient to ensure that it’s vegan.
This is because every brand is different, so there could be an unexpected addition among the ingredients.
From our research, we were unable to locate any cream of tartar brands that aren’t vegan.
Is Cream Of Tartar Dairy-Free?
If you wish to make a dairy-free cake, you can still use cream of tartar. This is because it is dairy-free. It doesn’t feature any milk or milk products that originate from animals.
This is the opposite of many types of cream, such as clotted, whipped, or sour cream. Even though cream of tartar is called this, it is not actually a cream.
It is unknown why cream of tartar is referred to as cream. “Tartar” originates from the word “tartaric acid”.
Since cream of tartar is the salt of tartaric acid, this part of the name makes sense.
One can speculate that this ingredient is known as a cream because this word is also used to refer to the most purified or excellent part of something.
Essentially, cream of tartar is the purified form of tartar, hence this name.
Gluten-Free And Vegan Brands
To ensure that you don’t accidentally purchase a brand of cream of tartar that isn’t suitable, these are some of the most popular vegan and gluten-free brands:
- Unpretentious Baker
- Earthborn Elements
- Natural Craft
To ensure that the cream of tartar is both vegan and gluten-free, you may want to use some of these widely-available brands.
Many of them are also kosher and have been recognized by the Non-GMO Project (genetically modified organisms).
What Does Cream Of Tartar Taste Like?
In the majority of cases, you won’t be able to taste this ingredient in baked goods. This is good news because cream of tartar tends to taste acidic, metallic, and quite tangy.
Therefore, its taste is not overly pleasant. Luckily, it is used in such small amounts that your taste buds won’t be able to detect it.
Cream of tartar is a useful substance. It has numerous uses, both in baking and cleaning. Not to mention, the fact that it’s both gluten-free and vegan means that most people will be able to consume it.
So if you’ve come across a recipe that uses cream of tartar, what’s stopping you from baking?!