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High Altitude Baking Tips

Updated on February 21, 2014

Trying to bake breads, cookies, and cakes in high altitude can be challenging. If recipes have not been adapted, your baked goods will turn out flat and mushy at best. The cakes don't quite cook all the way and the center caves in. It can be frustrating and the feeling of defeat is never fun. Read on for some high altitude baking tips that might help you find more successful. It might take a few more tries so hang in there! You'll eventually get the right mix. After celebrating your victories, don't forget to note the recipe adjustment so you can get it right every single time after...

High Altitude Baking Adjustments

Tip #1: Add an Egg or Two

When you bake at high altitudes, chances are your baked goods will turn out flat or mushy. This is due to the thinner air and the fact that liquids boil at a different temperature. One quick fix is to add an extra egg to the recipe. That's at least the best place to start. Adding the extra egg will definitely bring more texture to your bread, cake, or cookies. If your recipe does not call for eggs to begin with, add one in. If you have large eggs, I would suggest adding one egg. If they are medium sized, I would suggest adding two. Do not over beat your eggs as this can also lead to a deflated cake, bread, or cookie.

Tip #2: Decrease Fats or Sugar

When baking at high altitudes, cakes, cookies, and breads often end up flat or mushy. In high altitude, liquids tend to boil at a lower temperature, leading batter to rise very quickly and then deflate. One thing that can be adjusted to bring more height or depth to baked goods is to decrease the fat or sugar content. If you are using butter in your recipe, decrease the butter by one tablespoon. If you are using oil in your recipe, decrease the amount of oil used by two tablespoons. If you choose to decrease the amount of sugar, start by taking away one tablespoon and see what happens. You will likely be more successful taking away two tablespoons, but it all depends on the recipe.

Tip #3: Decrease Leavening

Another way to assure your baked goods do not turn out flat or mushy, you can try decreasing the leavening agent used. Your cookie or cake recipe will likely require baking soda or baking powder. Decreasing the amount of baking soda or baking powder by 1/4 teaspoon will help your baked good rise at the appropriate rate.

Happy Baking!

High Altitude Baking Information


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    • gypsumgirl profile image

      gypsumgirl 4 years ago from Vail Valley, Colorado

      @Phyllis Doyle...glad the information was useful to you. Baking in high altitudes is always a challenge, but with some trial and error, things turn out eventually. Good luck and happy baking!

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 4 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      These tips of yours will really help me with my baking, especially breads. I live at 5000 ft altitude, and the bread I used to make in the Pacific Northwest was about four times larger and had a much finer texture than when I bake it here. Thanks for sharing these tips.

    • Time4Travel profile image

      Time4Travel 6 years ago from Canada

      Great suggestions! I'll definitely need to give them a try.

    • gypsumgirl profile image

      gypsumgirl 6 years ago from Vail Valley, Colorado

      @Winsome...remember, there is always some trial and error involved. My tips didn't mention anything about adapting the recipe for herbs...that's for my next hub!! ;)

    • Winsome profile image

      Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas

      Hey GG, welcome to the HP community and let me just say thanks for the high altitude tips but maybe I'm doing something wrong--I tried all your tips in my brownie recipe and I never did get high. Please advise. heh heh =:)

    • profile image

      gypsumgirl 6 years ago

      Thanks, MPG Narratives! I didn't know about the effects either until I went to bake my first pound cake and it was as flat as a pancake!! Tons of trial and error!!

    • MPG Narratives profile image

      Marie Giunta 6 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      It is interesting that high altitudes affect baking, thanks for the tips gypsumgirl and welcome to hubpages. If you want more tips about hubbing visit the learning center or for more of a challenge join a hubmob, Enjoy being part of this great writing team, cheers Marie, member of hubgreeters team.