Adjusting Recipes And Ingredients For High Altitude Baking
How to Adjust a Cake Recipe for High Altitude
Recipes are written with the most common factors in mind: mid-level altitude and a conventional oven. However, environments with higher altitude (more than 3,000 feet or 914.4 meters above sea level) have lower pressures which creates lower boiling points, quick rising, and fast evaporation of liquids. Someone baking in an area with high altitude and using an unaltered recipe will find that their finished cake does not look or taste the way they expected. Instead of seeking out specifically high-altitude recipes, there are adjustments that can be made to recipes to account for the high altitude. Read this article and learn how to adjust a cake recipe for high altitude.
How to Adjust A Recipe's Baking Process for High Altitudes
Prepare your cake pan by greasing the inside of the pan and then either dusting it with flour or lining it with parchment paper.
- This prevents the cake from sticking, which is more likely at high altitudes. The exception to this rule is any type of sponge cake, which should be baked in a pan that has not been greased.
Fill the prepared pan only 1/2 full instead of 2/3 full with the cake batter.
- This prevents the cake from overflowing in the pan when the air expands.
Increase the recipe's baking temperature by 15 to 25 degrees.
- This helps prevent the cake from collapsing.
Reduce the recipe's baking time by 20 percent.
- This prevents over-baking or burning.
- Judge your cake's rising time if yeast is an ingredient, watching it closely instead of relying on the recipe's time. Yeast can rise more quickly in high altitudes.
How to Adjust A Recipe's Ingredient Amounts for High Altitudes
Substitute solid shortening such as lard, which holds more liquid, in the place of margarine.
Add in an extra egg, if egg is an ingredient, in the cake recipe.
Avoid over-beating the eggs with a whisk to avoid adding too much air.
Reduce baking powder, if present in recipe, for each teaspoon or milliliter decreasing by 1/8.
Reduce sugar, if present in recipe, for each cup or milliliter by 1/16.
Increase liquid, if present in recipe, for each cup or milliliter by 1/8 or 1/4.
QuestionWhat is the different measurement for baking soda in cakes at high altitudes?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf you are using a boxed cake mix, they usually have special recipes for high altitude. If you aren't, there are websites that can convert it for you.Thanks!
QuestionHow about a sponge cake recipe? When I make a spongecake it will not rise like they show in the pictures.wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf your sponge does not rise, it means you are collapsing the air in the meringue too much. You must follow the recipe when it says "fold in" for any of the ingredients. When it says "fold in," you must use a spatula and gently scoop mix from the bottom to the top.Thanks!
I live in an altitude over 5,000 ft and use a liner in my oven both on the bottom and on the middle rack. Does this affect my baking?
- Not every recipe will fail if unaltered; the only way to be sure is to test it out before making changes.
- Always start with the smallest adjustments possible and continue to adjust as needed.
- Don't forget to write down your notes of what adjustments worked for each recipe for optimum final results for future reference.
- If your altitude rises above 5000 feet (1524 meters), increased adjustments may be needed for the best final result. Use the same ratios to increase measurement and baking processes.
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