The Secret Ingredient To Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies: Cream Of Tartar

My Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies A Thought and a Half Southern


Who doesn’t love a warm, gooey chocolate chip cookie fresh out of the oven? But have you ever wondered how some cookies have that perfect chewy texture, while others turn out flat and crispy? The secret ingredient may surprise you: cream of tartar.

What is Cream of Tartar?

Cream of tartar, scientifically known as potassium bitartrate, is a white, odorless powder that is a byproduct of wine-making. It is commonly used in baking as a stabilizer and leavening agent. When combined with baking soda, it creates carbon dioxide gas, which helps dough rise and gives baked goods a lighter texture.

Why Use Cream of Tartar in Chocolate Chip Cookies?

Cream of tartar is not typically used in chocolate chip cookie recipes, but adding it can make a big difference in the final product. It helps the cookies retain their shape and gives them a chewy texture. It also balances out the sweetness and enhances the flavor of the other ingredients.

How to Use Cream of Tartar in Chocolate Chip Cookies


  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips


  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar with an electric mixer until creamy.
  4. Add the eggs and vanilla extract and mix until well combined.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
  6. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  7. Using a cookie scoop or spoon, drop the dough onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart.
  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are slightly golden brown.
  9. Let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Tips for Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

  1. Make sure your butter is at room temperature before starting.
  2. Don’t overmix the dough, as this can lead to tough cookies.
  3. For a softer, chewier texture, slightly underbake the cookies and let them cool on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack.
  4. Use high-quality chocolate chips for the best flavor.
  5. Experiment with different mix-ins, such as nuts, dried fruit, or even potato chips!


Cream of tartar may seem like an unusual addition to chocolate chip cookies, but it can make all the difference in creating the perfect texture and flavor. Give it a try in your next batch and see for yourself! With a few simple tips and tricks, you’ll be baking up delicious cookies in no time.