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Hi Nancy, I live in high altitude (La Paz, Bolivia) 3,800 meters above sea level, and I have tried and tried your recipes but I cannot bake one cakeā€¦so I would like to ask you what can I do to bake in high altitude?

Ingrid - from La Paz, Bolivia

At high altitudes the boiling point is lower which means longer baking times for dense cake batters. The higher elevation also affects the rate at which moisture will evaporate, which can dry out a cake. Leavening gases expand more rapidly at a high altitude, which means that cakes will rise too quickly during baking without the cake structure developing which will cause the cake to sink in the center or collapse while cooling.

Some ideas to try include reducing the sugar by 1 to 4 tablespoons or adding one large egg or 2 egg whites. Adding slightly more flour might also help stabilize the structure of your cakes. You could also try substituting buttermilk, sour cream, or yogurt for regular milk in the recipes as acidity will help the batter set more quickly. Also, the oven temperature might be raised 25 degrees for better results.


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The Public Television cake decorating show providing easy projects for special celebrations. Not intended to replace instructional classes.