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Which is best to bake with- salted or unsalted butter?

asked by katiebakes over 6 years ago
8 answers 1948 views
B6a74962 31fc 4e50 b866 0ea34483cfb8  fb avatar
added over 6 years ago

I have found the shortening effects of both to be about the same. The difference is in the flavor. If the recipe calls for unsalted butter and I only have salted butter on hand, I reduce the salt the recipe calls for and use the salted butter.

So my rule of thumb would be: Use the butter you have on hand and then adjust the recipe accordingly for salt.

3f4b126e a942 4b85 990f d32543abd21b  alys
added over 6 years ago

Unsalted is better because you can control the amount of salt in the product if you use salted butter and the recipe also calls for salt it may be to salty. Safest bet is unsalted butter you can always add salt but it's hard to remove it

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Amanda Hesser

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added over 6 years ago

Generally, I prefer unsalted for the control reasons that Allycakes mentions, but I have been playing round with salted butter in chocolate cakes, and have found that it has a good balancing effect on the sweetness.

C32882ea 98be 4dab 9635 2c8c21c3bb69  pe0062933
added over 6 years ago

Different butters put in different amounts of salt. Depending on the brand or type you could end up with more or less. Also, what if you only need a little bit of salt, the butter might be made with too much already. For example Salt inhibits bread from rising too much and collapsing, it balances out the sugar that feeds the yeast and makes bread rise, so it is important to have a proper balance. Too much salt, the bread is thick and doesn't rise. To little and the bread rises too much and collapses. This goes for other baked goods as well. I just use bread as an example.

9ed12a6a b9d2 4d9d 9def 48ceb8acfccc  phoenix
added over 6 years ago

Officially, the standard is to use unsalted butter, but I've always baked with salted (too lazy to stock both types in the house). My recipes have never tasted too salty.

2269774e 64e7 47ec 8fb3 d6fb03cce199  debbykalk photo
added over 6 years ago

Salt is added to butter to preserve it. If you use butter regularly, you shouldn't have a problem with unsalted if it's kept refrigerated. As others suggest here, starting with unsalted butter allows you to control the overall salt in the recipe.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added over 6 years ago

Aside from the salt control issue, since salt is used to preserve butter, I have heard that unsalted butter is, by default, fresher. I just use it because I prefer the sweetness of the taste, and to control my own level of salt. Other than needing to adjust the salt in the recipe, it should substitute with no issues.

4798a9c2 4c90 45e5 a5be 81bcb1f69c5c  junechamp

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 6 years ago

I prefer unsalted butter, for all the reasons stated above. However, I have tos ay that my mom was a FABulous baker, and she always used salted butter (Land O' Lakes) in her baked goods.

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