High Altitude Kills Cakes!

Decorating By McPenner Updated 11 Oct 2008 , 8:25pm by flakygal

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McPenner Posted 5 Jun 2008 , 6:34pm
post #1 of 9

icon_sad.gif I live at 6400 feet in a suburb of Denver, CO. Cakes that used to get rave reviews at sea level are turning out dry, not moist and dense, with air bubbles, and cook unevenly. If I check it with a toothpick, the center falls sometimes. Help!

8 replies
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JanH Posted 5 Jun 2008 , 7:24pm
post #2 of 9

Hi and Welcome to CC, McPenner. icon_smile.gif

Decoding CC acronyms:


High altitude recipe adjustments:


Recipes for baking at (various levels) high altitude:




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cvigil Posted 5 Jun 2008 , 11:16pm
post #3 of 9

Hey there! I have the same issues. (I'm just north of Thornton) the links above are great. Also, when you pour your batter into the pan be sure to tap out all of the bubbles and put it into your oven immediatly. Good luck and Welcome! icon_rolleyes.gificon_smile.gif

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Pookie59 Posted 28 Jul 2008 , 9:58pm
post #4 of 9

Have you heard of that cookbook "Pie in the Sky"? Lots of tested high altitude recipes. I tried a couple when I was on vacation a few weeks ago - worked pretty well despite the cabin's rinky-dink oven (we were at about 9200 feet).

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Tashablueyes Posted 29 Jul 2008 , 10:27pm
post #5 of 9

Silly me, I thought that was how a boxed cake mix was supposed to turn out! LOL! I will check out the links! I'm an hour north of Denver, and I never even bother with high altitude directions, perhaps it's time to save myself some big hassles!

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organization_freak Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 4:48pm
post #6 of 9

I've recently moved ~1 hour north of denver (Windsor, CO) and moved my dessert making to focus on cakes & cake decorating & I thought I was just really bad with cakes icon_cry.gif but I hadn't changed a thing from recipes I had when living in Portland <LOL>
I'll try some of the recipies from the Wyoming link above & let you know how it goes! icon_biggrin.gif

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kakeladi Posted 9 Oct 2008 , 9:38pm
post #7 of 9

Hehehehe.........6400 is not high elevation icon_smile.gif
I have been at 8100 ft elevation for the past 5 months. I have baked about 6 cakes in that time. The only change I had to make was add about 1/2 cup more liquid (mostly used Betty Crocker boxed mixes - but did one choco hi altitude scratch recipe) and bake much longer - like 45 minutes for a 10"x2" round.

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TJCanadian Posted 10 Oct 2008 , 4:35am
post #8 of 9

I'll check out those links too, but in Loveland, CO, the only adjustment I've made is to bake at 325 degrees instead of 350.

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flakygal Posted 11 Oct 2008 , 8:25pm
post #9 of 9

Hi there. I'm in a Denver suburb too. All of the suggestions you are getting are really good. Are you baking with mixes or from scratch? Mixes usually come with high altitude instructions. I'm strictly a scratch baker myself and I don't have too many problems with cakes up here.

Definitely allow your cakes to cook a little longer. If you try to poke 'em with a toothpick before the center is set, they will fall. Also, and this has nothing to do with altitude, check your oven temperature. I bought an oven thermometer about a year ago and discovered that my oven runs about 25 degrees cooler than it says. Now, I always set it 25 degrees hotter than a recipe calls for.

Also, don't over mix your batter. That's what will cause cakes to become dry or tough. Also, it really helps to measure your flour by weight rather than volume. It's so dry here that you can end up with a lot more flour in your recipe than you realize.

Good luck!

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