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Why do baking recipes call for unsalted butter and then add salt?

Mar 27, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose

Why do so many baking recipes call for unsalted butter and then salt is added anyway?

Because the amount of salt in salt butter far exceeds the amount you would add. Also, unsalted butter has a fresher, more delicious flavor.


Lesson learned! Thanks for the kind hints, will look for red vs blue!

I was planning to redo, but I've settled for an invention/improvisation/new dessert:

Sweet-salty coconut cookie tart crust. Filled with a thin layer of unsweetened super stabilized cloud cream whipped with meyers rum and flavored with -salty- passion curd. Topped with meyers rum drunken charlotte spirals filled with -salty- passion curd.

Lets see if this hits the 'sweet' spot after a dinner of roasted chicken and spare ribs!


Although the butter packaging differs from one company to another, I think the industry is pretty good about wrapping the individual butter sticks as follows:

Unsalted butter sticks are wrapped in red printed waxed paper.

Salted butter sticks are wrapped in blue printed waxed paper.

(the salted butter wrapper is blue, and the Morton's salt container is blue - easy for me to remember that way)


CORRECTION, I've just checked with my 'staff' and indeed this butter was SALTED.

I plan to use the amazing passion curd for bbq ribs, and the amazing not-so-sweet coconut cookie tart crust for a pineapple-chicken pot pie!

Lesson learned, don't use butter unless it says UNSALTED.


I get my unsalted butter from a local wholesaler, and it has given me great and consistent results.

During my Xmas bake off, I had to run to Walmart to get unsalted butter. I am surprised they carried it (I suppose, it is a must for low-sodium people). The brand is Challenge, and the box of the unsalted butter was almost identical to the box of the salted butter, same label design, slight color difference, but with the unsalted words. I am pretty sure, I picked up the unsalted.

The butter box comes with the 4 traditional individually wrapped butter sticks. I've noticed each wrapper does not say unsalted.

I've made some passion curd and some sweet coconut cookie tart crust yesterday. These turned out amazingly tasty (and salty).

Have anyone had this miss?


Yes, 1/4 of a teaspoon of salt is exactly what I would add to compensate.


my receipe calls for regular butter, but i only have sweet butter in the frig ... how much salt should i add to the receipe to compensate; i'm thinking maybe one-quarter of a teaspoon to a stick should be enough ... what is the rule of thumb?


if a recipe calls for unsalted butter, is it ok to use salted butter


what is the purpose of salt in a cake recipe, is it simply for flavour?


linda clarke
linda clarke
09/ 7/2007 04:35 PM


If I wanted to make a recipe for cheese and herb dog bones, and multiply the recipe times 12 would the amount of herbs be the same times 12 or would you use less


By the way, the recipe for the Pina Colada Cake is listed under "Freshly Grated Coconut" in the Cake Bible (page 354 in my version).


no. use a biscuit or génoise and make a syrup of rum and pineapple.



i am looking for a recipe for pina colada cake and can't find one from scratch. can i use a yellow cake recipe and instead of say 1 1/4 milk do maybe 3/4 milk and 1/2 cup rum?


Bryan - since there is no "industry standard" for the amount of salt a manufacturer should add to their butter, the salt content varies greatly from one brand to another (making it very hard to achieve consistent results when baking with it).

Also, because salt is used as a preservative, unsalted butter is thought to be fresher (it has a shorter shelf life).

I buy salted for table use and unsalted for baking. I buy each in bulk and freeze what I don't plan to use right away (it keeps very well in the freezer).


Bryan Carmenati
Bryan Carmenati
04/ 9/2007 07:50 AM

How much is 'far more' per stick of butter as per adding 1-tsp down the road in the recipe?



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