Friday, 05 February 2016 14:02

How to Bake at High Altitude

You just moved to Denver and baked your first cake. Didn't come out quite as you expected, did it? That's because baking works a little different at 5,280 feet above sea level. The air pressure here is lower, and moisture evaporates more quickly which throws the balance of ingredients in a baking formula out of whack. Things like cream, eggs, and water evaporate before an item is finished baking, so adding a little more sugar and flour can go a long way. Additionally, gases expand more in high altitude so your dough will rise faster. Combat this by decreasing leavening agents, such as baking soda and baking powder.

Recipe Tweaks From Denver Natives

At Amazing Moves Moving & Storage, we have been moving people to Denver for many years and have collected some great tips and recipe tweaks (with a little help from Betty Crocker) to make sure your home baked cake tastes delicious every time. Quick Bread: Quick bread includes banana bread, coffee cakes, gingerbread, and more. These sweet treats tend to have problems with over-expanding, collapsing, and being sticky to touch in high altitude. To combat these issues try adjusting your recipe.

  • Use 1/4 tsp of baking soda instead of 1/8 tsp
  • Use 1 Tbsp of sugar instead of 2 Tbsp
  • Add more water, maybe 3 more Tbsp
  • Add 2 to 4 more Tbsp of flour
  • Up your oven temperature by 15 to 25 degrees Fahrenheit

Brownies: In the mile high city, brownies tend to come out with an undercooked center, but crunchy sides. If you want to bake a brownie with a consistent texture, you should implement these hacks:

  • Turn down your oven temperature by about 25 degrees Fahrenheit and increase your baking time by about 10 minutes
  • Use only about 1 Tbsp of oil, instead of half a cup
  • Add more flour (1/3 cup from 1 Tbsp)
  • Add more water (the same ratio as flour)

Cake: People who have recently moved to Denver report that their cake over-rises and spills over the sides of the pan. It also has a coarse texture and crumbles out of the pan. No one wants that. As longtime locals, we suggest changing your recipes, so you can have your cake and eat it too.

  • Do you beat your egg whites? Beat them only to the soft-peak stage
  • Add more flour (1/3 cup from 1 Tbsp)
  • Add more water (the same ratio as flour)
  • This time, increase your oven temperature by about 25 degrees Fahrenheit

We think Denver is pretty cool, and we can't blame people for wanting to move here. Just, before you bake, incorporate these recipe hacks for high altitude and you will have a delicious cake. Planning a move to the Mile High City? Learn what to expect from the best Denver movers in the city.