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A question about a recipe: Vanilla Bean Meringue Cookies


I have a question about the ingredient "cream of tartar" on the recipe "Vanilla Bean Meringue Cookies" from 1840farm. Is cream of tartar a must? I cannot find it here in Germany but I have heard that people uses a few drops of lemon juice. many thanks!

asked by savedbytheapron over 3 years ago
10 answers 3178 views
added over 3 years ago

Thanks for the interesting question! The cream of tartar acts to stabilize the meringue. I have never used a substitute for cream of tartar, but have read that both lemon juice and white vinegar can be used. To substitute, you use the same amount of liquid as the cream of tartar called for in the recipe. For these meringues, 1/4 teaspoon of either lemon juice or white vinegar could be substituted for the 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar listed in the original recipe.

I don't know if lemon juice would impart any flavor into the finished cookies. I do know that I always wipe my mixing bowl and beaters with white vinegar before making meringue and I have never detected its flavor in the baked product.

I hope that you will share your results with me. I'd love to add the information to the original recipe. I'm sure that you aren't the only one who either doesn't have cream of tartar on hand or finds it hard to come by. Good luck-I looking forward to hearing from you!

added over 3 years ago

Many thanks! I used a few drops of lime (apparently there was a run on lemons at our house this week-end). This worked very well - definitely a big improvement over using nothing which I have done in the past where the egg whites then have gotten porous and wet. I also did not detect the flavor at all. Great meringues!


HalfPint is a trusted home cook.

added over 3 years ago

No, cream of tartar (tartaric acid) is not a must. You just need an acid and the acid in lemon juice or vinegar will work too. You also don't need a lot (1/4 tsp), so the lemon juice doesn't impart any flavor


Sarah is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 3 years ago

I'd leave out completely, it's not necessary if you follow the other elements of meringue success: age the egg whites properly, warm them up, clean equipment, gradually add sugar, etc.

added over 3 years ago

Cream of tartar is available in Germany. Go to an Apotheke and ask for Weinstein.

added over 3 years ago

this is great info - I tried to get a translation through Leo but no luck and my husband, although German, appparently is not into the detail of egg white stabilisation. many thanks!


Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 3 years ago

Try a pinch of kosher salt. It helps the egg whites stiffen up quickly.

added over 3 years ago

I usually use either Kosher Salt as drbabs suggests or a touch of lemon juice. Cream of tartar is definitely not necessary-- and even in Snickerdoodles I don't use it at all.


Sam is a trusted home cook.

added over 3 years ago

I'm guessing that in Europe, Copper bowls are often used...and with those creme of tarter isn't needed.