Baking tips for mixes at high altitude #384651 - Ask Extension

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Baking tips for mixes at high altitude #384651

Asked February 09, 2017, 10:16 PM EST

Hi, I read the tips for reducing baking powder and sugar for cake recipes, however what adjustments can I make if I want to use a prepackaged mix (that doesnt have high altitude instructions on package).
I live at 7300 feet.
Thanks!
Carrie

El Paso County Colorado

Expert Response

Hi Carrie,

Adjustments usually take the form of strengthening the cell walls of the cake by adding all-purpose flour and liquid. Suggestions for high-altitude adjustments are provided on most cake mix boxes, and in some cases the mixes need no adjustments, its a really a trial-and-error process. Here are some suggestions.
  • Increase baking temperature by 15 to 25 degrees F to help "set" the batter before cells formed by the leavening gas expand too much.
  • Excessive evaporation of water at high altitude leads to high concentration of sugar, which weakens the cell structure. Therefore decrease sugar by ~ 2T and/or increase liquid by ~2T or more.
  • In making rich cakes at high altitudes, you might have to reduce butter or shortening by 1 or 2 tablespoons. Fat, like sugar, weakens the cell structure. Also, increasing the amount of egg strengthens the cell structure and may prevent the too-rich cake from falling.
An Expert Replied February 15, 2017, 5:38 PM EST

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