Ina Garten is known as the go-to source for homestyle recipes. If you’re hosting a party or simply looking for something delicious for dinner, the Barefoot Contessa has you covered. I’m a huge fan of her flavorful apple crisp and absolutely love her coconut cake recipe. And at the base of both of these great desserts? Unsalted butter.

What butter does Ina Garten use?

In the Ask Ina section of the Barefoot Contessa website, a fan asked what brand of butter is her go-to. Cabot unsalted butter was her top choice! Cabot Creamery has been operating in Cabot, Vermont since 1919, making cheese, yogurt, sour cream and, of course, plenty of butter. But it’s not just Ina’s top choice. The creamery’s unsalted butter won 1st place in its category at both the 2022 and 2023 America Cheese Society competition, along with 1st Place at the 2022 World Dairy Expo Championship. I’m a huge fan of the creamery’s extra sharp cheddar cheese, and I have used Cabot unsalted butter in baking several times as well, when I can get my hands on it on the West Coast.

While this brand of butter is clearly top-notch, Ina does say there are many other good brands of butter you could use. But the key is to select unsalted butter for recipes, especially in baking.

Why use unsalted butter in baking?

Unsalted butter doesn’t contain salt. While many baking recipes call for half of a teaspoon or even a full teaspoon of salt, those measurements are very intentional. After all, baking is a science and recipes rely on precise ingredients and specific methods to create a certain result.

In baking, salt works to balance sweetness within a recipe. It certainly doesn’t make it salty. Instead, salt enhances the flavor of a cake, cookies or quick breads, even with just a small pinch. Salt also plays a role in creating the perfect texture of many baked goods. It binds to the proteins in flour, ultimately strengthening a dough.

Because every creamery is different, salted butters contain varying amounts of salt. There is no set standard across the board for each brand. If you use salted butter instead of unsalted butter, you’re not able to precisely control the amount of salt going into your recipe. If you know how much salt is in each stick of salted butter, it is possible to adjust for it. However, it’s much easier to start with unsalted butter from the beginning, like Ina does, for better control.

Desserts That Are Better with Butter

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The post This Is the Butter Ina Garten Uses When She’s Baking, and I’m Stocking Up appeared first on Taste of Home.