It’s an often-asked baking question: did you use unsalted butter? For most baking projects, the answer is “yes” because if you use unsalted butter, you can control the amount of salt that goes into your cake. If that was the only reason, you can use either unsalted or salted butter when baking since the difference in the resulting baked good is very slight.
However, if you were to taste cakes made with each butter, side by side, that is where you would notice the difference. To know why a cake made with unsalted butter tastes better than if you used salted butter, we need to know why these kinds of butter are different from each other in the first place.
Unsalted butter is basically butter as its most unadulterated state. It’s also known as “sweet butter” in some countries. That’s because when tasted, you can taste the butter and just the butter. It’s slightly sweet, with hints of the cream from whence it was made from.
Salted butter, as the name suggests, is basically unsalted butter with salt added. Since salt is the universal seasoning, it stands that the flavor of the butter is enhanced from this addition while giving it a slightly salty taste as well that’s great spread on your toast. Not only that, salt is also a natural preservative, extending the life of the butter for far longer than unsalted butter may last.
These differences in how the butter is made matters in the taste of your cake. When you use unsalted butter in your baking, you get a cleaner, more buttery flavor. While you still get the buttery taste if you use salted butter, depending on how much salt has been added to the butter, the buttery flavor is muted.
That’s why when you use salted butter, which already has salt added in it, you should omit any additional salt from the recipe.