High Altitude Baking Adjustments

This altitude stuff is weird–that’s all there is to it.  Some of my sea level recipes work just fine, requiring no adjustment at all.  Others…well, it seems like they’ll never work.  Maybe someday I’ll get all this stuff figured out…lest I die prematurely from type two diabetes or a heart attack…

Anyway, when the altitude wreaks havoc on a recipe, I’ve found some general adjustments to to be a helpful starting point in trying to fix it (yes, “found”–not figured out on my own–much as I’d like to believe otherwise, I’m just not that smart).  I’ve compiled them into a list here, cause I’m nice like that.  It’s not completely comprehensive or anything…but it’s a good starting point.

Some recipes you’ll just have to play with (and hopefully get to enjoy–you know, “failures” that are completely suitable for your own personal ingestion with a spoon on the couch, but far from worthy of sharing…no, of course I’m not speaking from experience)…like if a cake is too dry, maybe it needs more sugar.  If it’s tough or crumbly, maybe less sugar.  Good luck!

Flour: Increase by 2 Tbs per cup

Baking Powder/Soda: Decrease by 1/4 tsp per tsp

Sugar: Decrease by 1-2 Tbs per cup

Liquids: Increase by 2 Tbs per cup (I’ve also heard of adding an extra egg to your recipe for additional liquid)

Oven Temperature: Increase by 25 degrees (less for hoity-toity cakes of a more delicate crumb)

Baking Time: If you’ve raised the oven temperature, decrease by about five minutes per 30 minutes of baking time

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5 Responses to High Altitude Baking Adjustments

  1. Sam says:

    Hi, this is really helpful. Hope it works with my cupcake recipe in Colorado!

  2. Susan says:

    While using regular cake mixes in my new oven, living at 5500 feet, I noticed my cakes rising but not cooking well or falling immediately after taking out my cake from the oven. Also, they stick to the bottom of my cake pans, eventhough I grease and flour them. I’ll try adding more flour, an egg, rising the temp 25 degrees and decreasing the cooking time to see if this helps. Boy is this frustrating!! Trial and error–I guess! I’m not going to use my convection setting either– just the thermal or regular cooking mode.

  3. jlanam says:

    Susan, I had problems with getting my cakes out in one piece until I started using parchment paper in the bottom of the pan. It works like a charm.

    Just trace the bottom of your pan on parchment with a pencil and cut a little inside the line. After preparing the sides of the pan, put the parchment shape in the bottom and pour in your batter.

    The cake will come out so easily, and you just peel the parchment paper off after baking. It couldn’t be easier, and tout cakes will be perfect!

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