What Kind of Salt Do You Use for Cookies and Baking?


Salt is often an unsung hero in the realm of baking, playing a crucial role in enhancing flavors and balancing sweetness. Yet, when it comes to choosing the right salt for your cookies and other baked goods, the options can be overwhelming. 

From delicate flakes of sea salt to coarse kosher varieties, each type brings its own unique characteristics to the table. So, what kind of salt should you reach for when whipping up a batch of delectable treats? 

Join us as we dive into the world of salts and uncover which variety reigns supreme in the realm of cookies and baking. Get ready for a journey full of flavors. Even a tiny sprinkle can make a huge difference. They create sweets that will make your mouth water and your taste buds tingle with joy.

What Kind of Salt Do You Use for Cookies and Baking?

Crushed dry cracker, isolated on white background

There are different kinds of salt you can use for cookies, such as table salt, granulated sea salt, kosher salt, and flaky sea salt. Each type of salt adds a different flavor to the cookies since their consistency and texture are different. Hence, you can choose whichever salt suits your palate. 

What Are the Characteristics of the Salts Available for Baking Cookies?

The salts that are available for baking cookies have several characteristics:

Iodized Table Salt

Table salt is made by sending water into salt mines and letting it evaporate until crystals remain. Iodized table salt is made by adding iodine, which is important in preventing iodine deficiency. Iodized salt is the most popular type of salt and is used to flavor dishes such as curries and stews

Kosher Salt

Kosher salt is a type of salt that has no additives. It’s flaky in texture, as it is racked during evaporation. There is coarse and fine kosher salt. Fine salt is often used for baking. It mixes well with the ingredients. Coarse grain salt takes time to mix with the ingredients, so it is not preferred for baking. 

Sea Salt

Sea salt is formed from evaporated seawater, and the process takes more time and is expensive to carry out. Similarly, there are many varieties of sea salt available, such as Celtic sea salt, Hawaiian sea salt, and Fleur de Sel. Sea salt may also contain trace amounts of minerals.  

Related: How To Make Chicken Less Salty After Cooking

How Does Salt React With Flour in Cookies?

Salt plays a crucial role in the chemistry of cookie dough, particularly in how it interacts with flour. When salt is added to cookie dough, it reacts with the proteins in the flour, specifically gluten. This reaction alters the gluten structure, making it less elastic. As a result, the cookie dough becomes more tender and easier to work with.

Additionally, salt acts as a flavor enhancer in cookies, helping to bring out the natural flavors of the other ingredients. It also plays a role in controlling the fermentation process, which can affect the texture and rise of the cookies.

The salt and flour reaction is key. It’s crucial for getting the texture and taste you want in cookies. The salt helps make the cookie more tender and flavorful by stopping the gluten molecules from moving.

What Happens if You Don’t Put Salt in Cookies?


If you don’t put salt in cookies, they will taste less sweet. This is because salt enhances the flavor of sugar, making baked goods taste sweet. If you don’t use sugar, the cookies would taste bland, and I would find them unappetizing. However, salt should be added in the right quantities, as adding too much will affect the flavor once more.

If you omit salt from your cookie recipe, several key changes occur in the final product. Below are the summaries:

  1. Flavor Impact: Salt enhances the overall flavor profile of cookies. Without salt, the cookies may taste bland or lack depth.
  2. Texture Changes: Salt affects the structure of the cookie dough. It helps regulate the fermentation of the dough, affecting how it rises and spreads during baking. Without salt, the cookies may not spread as much, resulting in a denser texture.
  3. Balance of Sweetness: Salt helps balance the sweetness of the cookie dough. Without it, the cookies may taste overly sweet, which can be off-putting to some palates.
  4. Preservation: Salt acts as a natural preservative, helping to extend the shelf life of baked goods. Cookies made without salt may not stay fresh as long.
Read: Your Beans Are Too Salty: What to Do?

What Are Some Salt Substitutes?

When you’re looking to cut salt or try new flavors, there are many salt substitutes you can try. Here are some common options:

  • Herbs and Spices: Use herbs and spices to add flavor to your food without the need for salt. Some popular choices include basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, and garlic powder.
  • Citrus: Citrus fruits like lemons, limes, and oranges can add a refreshing burst of flavor to your dishes. Use the zest or juice to enhance the taste of your food.
  • Vinegar: Vinegar, especially balsamic or apple cider vinegar, can add a tangy flavor to your dishes. Use it in dressings, marinades, or sauces.
  • Soy Sauce: Low-sodium soy sauce can be used to add a savory umami flavor to your dishes. Be mindful of the sodium content and use it sparingly.
  • Seeds: Sesame seeds, poppy seeds, and mustard seeds can add texture and flavor to your dishes without the need for salt.
  • Salt-Free Seasoning Blends: Look for salt-free seasoning blends in the spice aisle of your grocery store. These blends often contain a mix of herbs and spices. They add flavor to your dishes without adding salt.

What Are the Ingredients Needed to Make Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies?

The cookies are easy to make and the dough can be premade and baked later as well. To make sea salt chocolate chip cookies, you will need the following ingredients:

  1. All-Purpose Flour: provides structure to the cookies.
  2. Baking Soda: helps the cookies rise and spread.
  3. Sea Salt: enhances the flavor of the cookies and provides a hint of saltiness.
  4. Unsalted Butter: adds richness and flavor to the cookies.
  5. Granulated Sugar: This sweetens the cookies and helps create a chewy texture.
  6. Brown Sugar: adds moisture and a caramel flavor to the cookies.
  7. Vanilla Extract: enhances the flavor of the cookies.
  8. Eggs: bind the ingredients together and add moisture.
  9. Chocolate Chips: Chocolate chips provide the chocolatey goodness in the cookies.
  10. Sea Salt Flakes (for topping): adds a final touch of saltiness and enhances the presentation.

These ingredients create a delicious batch of sea salt chocolate chip cookies. They are perfect for any occasion.

Also see: Are Unsalted Cashews Nuts Keto Friendly?

Does It Matter if I Use Salted Butter for Cookies?

No, it does not matter if you use salted or unsalted butter for cookies. However, if the recipe calls specifically for unsalted butter, it’s best to use that instead of using salted butter. This is because it’s the preferred butter for that recipe. Using any other type could make the cookies taste bad.

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