Cream of Tartar + Milk (Substitute For Buttermilk)

Milk combined with cream of tartar can be used as a substitute for buttermilk. This mixture aims to mimic the acidity and tanginess of buttermilk for use in baking and cooking.

To substitute buttermilk with milk and cream of tartar, the typical ratio is about 1 3/4 teaspoons (5 grams) of cream of tartar per 1 cup (240 mL) of milk.

To prepare the substitute, you stir the cream of tartar into the milk and let it sit for a few minutes. The acid in the cream of tartar will cause the milk to curdle slightly, simulating the texture and the acidic properties of buttermilk.

Cream of Tartar + Milk Substitute For Buttermilk

Cream of Tartar + Milk Substitute For Buttermilk

Cream of tartar, or potassium bitartrate, is a fine white powder that comes from making wine. It is an acidic substance that you can mix with milk to make a buttermilk substitute. It has no flavor of its own.


  • 1 3/4 teaspoons (5 grams) of cream of tartar
  • 1 cup (240 mL) of milk.


    1. Cream of tartar tends to clump when stirred directly into milk. Therefore, it’s better to mix the cream of tartar with the other dry ingredients in your recipe, then add the milk.
    2. Alternately, you can whisk the cream of tartar with 2 tablespoons (30 mL) of milk, then add this mixture to the rest of the milk to avoid clumping.

The acidity from cream of tartar is important because it reacts with baking soda, which helps baked goods rise.

The tangy flavor it imparts is also somewhat similar to that of buttermilk, although the taste may not be identical.

This substitution works well in recipes where buttermilk is used for its acid content to react with leavening agents, but it may not be perfect for recipes where the thickness of buttermilk is important.

The fat content of the milk used (whole, 2%, or skim) will also affect the richness and texture of the final product.

Whole milk will more closely match the creaminess of buttermilk, while lower-fat options will yield a less rich result.

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