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How to Substitute Salted Butter For Unsalted Butter in Recipes

In the kitchen, butter is our best buddy, especially when it comes to pie crusts, cookies, cakes, cupcakes, pound cake, and everything else we’ve ever prepared! We take butter for granted because it appears so frequently in our recipes.

However, butter is just as finicky as the next baking ingredient. If your butter is too hot, skip the creaming and your “fluffy cake” will be thick, lifeless, and flat. If the butter is too cold, you’ll end up with hard pieces in your otherwise perfect cake batter. Butter is a huge question mark when it comes to salt concentration, not just in terms of temperature.

You might be wondering how to replace unsalted butter in recipes with salted butter. For the unsalted variation, you can use ordinary salted butter. Simply substitute salted butter for unsalted butter and adjust the amount of salt in the recipe to compensate for the excess salt in the salted butter. In general, 1/4 teaspoon salt per half-cup of unsalted butter is recommended.

Top 3 Substitutes For Salted Butter For Unsalted Butter

Why is Unsalted Butter Recommended in Recipes?

  • Salted Butter is a Good Substitute For Unsalted Butter

While it may be tempting to substitute unsalted butter for salted in recipes, unsalted butter has less flavor than salted butter. Unsalted butter has a higher saturated fat content and a shorter shelf life than salted butter. Cooking with unsalted butter, on the other hand, has a milder flavor and isn’t recommended for savory recipes.

Although switching to salted butter in baking is a good idea, most cooks still use unsalted butter in their recipes. It doesn’t matter which one you use in general; the amount you use in a recipe makes little difference. When cooking with unsalted butter, you can adjust the seasonings to taste, but it’s too late to change the salt level once the item has baked.

Coconut oil can be used as a substitute for unsalted butter in addition to unsalted or salted butter. Coconut oil is cholesterol-free, fat-free, and sodium-free. Coconut oil is also suitable for baking. Because coconut oil keeps foods moist and sweet, you won’t need as much sugar as you would with unsalted butter. Its flavor complements any dish.

  • It is Healthier

While unsalted butter can be substituted for salted butter, the end result will be the same. Replace salted butter with unsalted butter and season with a pinch of salt. You can compensate by adding 1/4 teaspoon of salt if you’re used to using salted butter in recipes. Unsalted butter replacements are widely available, and the majority of them are vegan. Coconut oil, which has the same buttery flavor and texture as unsalted butter, is a fantastic substitute.

While both varieties of butter have the same nutritional profile, salted butter incorporates salt to improve and extend its shelf life. It includes carotene, which can be converted to vitamin A to boost your immune system. Low-fat butter is an excellent option for health-conscious people who want to cut down on their fat intake. Butter is beneficial for your brain in addition to being delicious, so try using salted butter instead of unsalted in your next baking or culinary effort.

  • It is Cheaper

If you want to use less salt in your baking, unsalted butter is less expensive and tastes better than salted butter. Unsalted butter has a stronger flavor and is excellent for baking. When using unsalted butter, it is easier to extract the savory flavor of meals. It also burns less than saline alternatives, giving it a healthier baking option.

Because unsalted butter is less expensive, many chefs use it for regular cooking. However, in baking, the amount of salt matters, and unsalted butter allows you to customize the amount to your preference. The salt content in salted butter varies depending on the brand. Chowhound is a website that lists the salt content of various brands. Some are saltier than unsalted butter.

Use a combination of unsalted and salted butter to make your recipe more flavorful. In general, half a cup of unsalted butter and a quarter teaspoon of salt should suffice. You won’t notice the change in taste this way. Experiment with different substitutes until you find one that you like best. Purchase unsalted butter for baking to save even more money.

  • It is Easier to Find

If you want unsalted butter, you should generally go for the unsweetened version. Salted butter, on the other hand, is more expensive and difficult to come by. Salted butter has a longer shelf life than unsalted butter, which lasts three to four months on average. It’s also less difficult to store. Unsalted butter has the disadvantage that some brands add “natural flavor,” which is simply lactic acid, a preservative.

Butter is frequently packaged in brightly colored boxes. Most commercially produced butter on the East Coast is packaged in rectangular sticks. Packaging is bulkier on the West Coast. Although the two varieties have identical volumes, they are distinguished by different color codes. Red ink is used to identify unsalted butter, while blue or yellow ink is used to label salted butter. There are some exceptions to this rule, though.

What Other Substitutes are Available for Unsalted Butter?

  • Pureed Prunes

Clearspring Organic 100% Prune Puree 2x100g : Grocery & Gourmet Food - Amazon.com

Substitute baby food prunes ($1, Target) for half of the butter called for. In other words, if a stick of butter is called for in a recipe, use 4 tablespoons of butter plus 4 tablespoons (or 12 cups) of this healthy butter substitute. Prunes have roughly 85 percent fewer calories per cup than butter. Using prunes to replace half of the butter lowers cholesterol, sodium, fat, and saturated fat (because cholesterol is only present in animal sources). Prunes provide roughly 6 grams of fiber per cup, but butter has none. Prunes provide healthful, energy-boosting carbs as well as natural sugars.

Gerber 1st Foods Baby Food, Prune Puree, Natural & Non-GMO, 2 Ounce Tubs, 2-Pack (Pack of 8)
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  • Mashed Tofu

Amazon.com: Mori-Nu Silken Tofu Soft | Velvety Smooth and Creamy | Low Fat, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Vegan, Made with Non-GMO soybeans, KSA Kosher Parve | Shelf-Stable | Clean protein | 12.0 oz each (

Substitute mashed tofu for half of the butter called for. Tofu has roughly 90 percent fewer calories and 88 percent less fat per ounce than butter. By replacing half of the butter with tofu, you can cut calories, fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium in half.

  • Unsweetened Applesauce

Simple Truth Organic Unswettened Applesauce -23 Oz : Amazon.in: Grocery & Gourmet Foods

Another fruit can be used to replace unsalted butter in baked dishes. In fact, it’s one of our fall favorites. Unsweetened applesauce can be used in place of half of the butter. Unsweetened applesauce contains 94 percent fewer calories and 99 percent fewer fat calories than butter. It contains no cholesterol or saturated fat, and it contains 98 percent less sodium than salted butter. Applesauce also has 3 grams of fiber per cup, which is beneficial to the intestines.

Mott's Unsweetened Applesauce, 3.9 oz cups, 6 count (Pack of 12)
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  • PACKED WITH FLAVOR: There's ripe apple flavor in every serving
  • START STRONG: Healthy decisions today lead to a healthy future tomorrow

What Happens if I Use Salted Butter Instead of Unsalted Butter in a Recipe?

If you don’t have any unsalted butter, you can use salted butter instead, especially if you’re preparing something simple like cookies, where the chemistry of adding salt in a specific amount and at a specific time won’t have a significant impact on the final product, unlike bread.

It’s impossible to say how much salt is in butter because different producers use varying amounts. Baking is all about chemistry (and precision), and recipes call for precise measurements for a reason. Then there’s the rationale for adding salt: Salt acts as a preservative, allowing the butter to last longer on the supermarket shelf. Unsalted is fresher (and, in my opinion, tastes “sweeter”).

In unbaked butter, salt conceals rancidity to some extent, but in baked goods, the flavor is what I can only characterize as “butter funk.” If you’re going to bake using butter, go for unsalted. If you’re in a pinch and just have salted butter on hand, use it in things like cookies. However, do yourself a favor and take a thorough whiff and a small taste of your butter to ensure that the salt isn’t disguising rancidity.

Does Baking with Salted Butter Make a Difference?

Because the amount of salt in salted butter varies depending on the brand – there is no “industry standard” – most baking recipes call for unsalted butter. For instance, if you use one type of salted butter in a recipe and we use another, our baked goods may taste drastically different.

Most baking recipes call for a pinch of salt, which complements the other flavors in the baking dish. To guarantee consistently balanced results, recipes often call for unsalted butter plus an additional quantity of salt (say, 1/4 teaspoon).

Salted butter is occasionally called for in baking recipes, usually to simplify or expedite the process (i.e.: the recipe can call for fewer ingredients since the salt is already in the butter). A recipe will occasionally call for both salted butter and salt, possibly because the recipe writer assumes that salted butter is what most people have on hand. However, the vast majority of baking recipes call for unsalted butter, as well as a salt measurement, to ensure that the recipe comes out perfectly.

How to Substitute Salted Butter and Unsalted Butter?

If you have unsalted butter and a recipe that calls for salted butter, use unsalted butter and increase the salt in the recipe by 1/4 teaspoon for every 1/2 cup of butter. So, instead of 1 cup salted butter and 1/4 teaspoon salt, use 1 cup unsalted butter and 3/4 teaspoon salt in a recipe. If you have salted butter but a recipe that calls for unsalted butter, simply reduce the salt in the recipe by the same ratio as above– 1/4 teaspoon of salt for 1/2 cup of butter.

You can substitute 1/2 cup salted butter and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a recipe that asks for 1/2 cup unsalted butter and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Salted butter has a longer shelf life than unsalted butter because salt is a preservative. We’re talking about shelf life of 3-4 months. This does not suggest that salted butter has been on the store for longer; rather, it has a longer shelf life.

Why do Recipes Call for Unsalted Butter?

Most significantly, using unsalted butter allows you to manage how much salt you use in your cakes, cookies, and Fig and Almond Breakfast Cake. Different butter manufacturers use different amounts of salt. How will we know how salty our butter is and how much salt to add to the recipe? It’s become a guessing game. By removing salt from the mix, we can control how salty the butter is. When it comes to flavor, control is crucial.

When a recipe calls for unsalted butter, it means the salt levels in the dish take no other salt sources into account. If all you have is salted butter, halve the salt amount recommended. Salt serves as a preservative as well. Butter that has been salted lasts longer than butter that has not been salted. Unsalted butter is usually fresher than salted butter. Flavors can be hidden with salt! Because clever cunning salt can disguise foul taste and scents, we might not be able to detect if our butter is amiss. Tricky.

Is it true that butter can spoil? Absolutely! In the refrigerator, unsalted butter keeps for about a month. In the refrigerator, salted butter lasts a little over three months (wow, that’s a long time). Give it a good sniff if you suspect your butter is wrong. The nose has an uncanny ability to predict the future. Cut your butter into slices as well. Is the inside the same color as the outside… or is there a darker casing around the butter on the outside? Butter that has gone bad has two hues.


If you’re baking a dish that calls for unsalted butter (or doesn’t mention one) but only has salted on hand, you can leave the salt out and still have a delicious dessert! Remember that the amount of salt flavor added by salted butter varies depending on the brand.

In baking, salted butter is acceptable. That said, there’s a reason baker, including myself, and nearly all other cooks, prefer unsalted butter to salted. In butter, salt serves as a preservative as well as a taste agent.