I live at 6500 feet above sea level in Colorado. I can make a box cake with some doctoring very well and get tons of compliments on the taste. Howeve, everytime I try to make a cake from scratch, it comes out heavy and tastes too much like a pancake or like it has too much flour. I read to cut out some sugar - seems like it doesn't taste like enough with the flour taste. Does anyone have suggestions for this? Any help would be appreciated.
Hi, oldhamzoo, I'm in Colorado Springs at around 6200 ft. There's definitely a learning curve to baking at this altitude. At the most basic level, you need to:
decrease sugar by 2 tbs per cup
increase liquid by 2 tbs per cup*
decrease leavening by 1/4 tsp per tsp
*sometimes more, it helps to know what your batter consistency should be
All of this becomes habit after a while and you find yourself just automatically making the adjustments in your head as you read a recipe.
It also helps to separate your eggs; beat the whites to soft peaks; fold them into the batter at the end.
I've found that some recipes simply don't work at high altitude no matter what you do. I've settled into tried and true recipes now, but I never try a new recipe without a trial version (or 2 or 3) first.
I bake at a slightly lower temp (325) for a slightly shorter time. If a recipe says 35-40 minutes, I start checking at 25 minutes. FYI, I know some people disagree with this advice but it works for me so I keep on suggesting it to people who are having trouble with high altitude baking.