View Full Version : Cakes & breads falling

July 1st, 2005, 12:14 PM
:( I live at 1800 feet elevation, would this cause my cakes and breads to fall after they are taken out of the oven?? They all raise nicely, then fall.
What can be done to prevent this?

July 1st, 2005, 12:28 PM
Since yeast breads rise more quickly at higher altitudes watch closely until the dough has double in bulk rather than judge by time. For quick breads don't over beat the eggs (See note on Popovers above.). Raising the baking temperature and amount of baking powder slightly, particularly if you are above 3000 feet. See recipe instructions on packaged mixes.

For cakes the following adjustments may be required plus a slight increase of 15° to 25° in the baking temperature:

Adjustment 3,000 Feet 5,000 Feet 7,000 Feet
Reduce baking powder, for each teaspoon, decrease: 1/8 teaspoon 1/8-1/4 teaspoon 1/4 teaspoon
Reduce sugar, for each cup, decrease: 0-1 tablespoon 0-2 tablespoon. 1-3 tablespoon
Increase liquid, for each cup, add: 1-2 tablespoon. 2-4 tablespoon 3-4 tablespoon

The websites listed below provide information about cooking at high altitudes. These include more cooking adjustments as well as a list of cook books for reference:
Colorado State University Cooperative Extension
Christian Chefs Fellowship (Part 1)
Christian Chefs Fellowship (Part 2)
Kiwi Web (Chemistry and New Zealand)
Laura's Tips...
New Mexico State University .pdf format
Pressure Cooking at High Altitudes
Utah State University Extension, .pdf format

High Altitude Western US Cities

Elevations are taken from local airports.

Albuquerque, NM
Cheyenne, WY
Denver, CO
El Paso, TX
Flagstaff, AZ
Kemmerer, WY
Longmont, CO
Los Alamos, NM
Pueblo, CO
Provo, UT
Reno, NV
Santa Fe, NM
Sedona, AZ

5280 feet
6156 feet
5431 feet
3958 feet
7014 feet
7285 feet
5052 feet
7171 feet
4726 feet
4497 feet
4415 feet
6348 feet
4827 feet

July 1st, 2005, 12:39 PM
Most cake recipes for sea level need no modification up to the altitude of 3,000 feet. Above that, it is often necessary to adjust recipes slightly. Usually, a decrease in leavening or sugar (or both) and an increase in liquid are needed.

Each or all of these adjustments may be required for every recipe is different in its balance of ingredients. Only repeated experiments with each recipe can give the most successful proportions to use. Simply use the guide below to adjust your recipe as needed. Where two amounts appear in the table, the smaller adjustment should be tried first. Then if the cake still needs improvement, the larger adjustment can be used the next time.

Add an additional egg to rich cakes to help keep them from falling.

Increase flour: For each cup of flour increase by 1 tblsp

Decrease fat: For each cup of fat, decrease 1 to 2 tblsp.

Reduce baking powder: For each tsp., decrease 1/8 tsp to 1/4 tsp

Reduce sugar: For each cup, decrease 0 to 1 tblsp.

Increase liquid: For each cup, add 2 to 4 tblsp.

Increasing oven temperature 15 to 25°F more will help set the batter before cells formed by leavening gases expand to much.

July 1st, 2005, 02:14 PM
Hi garianne, I have a couple of thoughts. Try weighing your dry ingredients instead of measuring you more accuracy, and make sure all your ingredients are at the proper temperature before mixing. Then there is the simple, yet effective use of cake strips. These can be purchased but are easy to make on your own.
Roll out a length of paper towels to fit the circumference (plus a little overlap) of your cake pan. Then fold them lengthwise, making the folds the height of your pan. Once you have this strip, you wet it well with water and then encase it in a length of tin foil. Now place this band around the outside of your cake pan and secure it with tape or twist the ends together. Leave it on while baking the cake. The results are a cake that bakes more evenly with a lighter crust on the outside edges. Prevents the center from rising up and cracking...cooks level cakes everytime.


July 1st, 2005, 02:58 PM
Hello Garianne..

Try ..... This site is owned/operated by Dennis Weaver, who is a professional Baker. Dennis often fields questions regarding baking, and is very approachable. LONDONROSE has made some good points and suggestions in her response....and in no way am I trying to downplay her response. Just a I indicated, Dennis is a pro and he'll surely have and share a professional thought or two on your dilema. Let us know how you make out. Dennis is a GREAT resource! Regards,

B-man :wink:

July 1st, 2005, 03:37 PM
Yes, it is always a great idea to connect with the pros. In fact the tips I left for you, I learned from Rose Levy Beranbaum, the author of 'The Cake Bible' and many other wonderful baking books. Visit her website at or check out her baking program on PBS.

So much to little time!

July 1st, 2005, 04:47 PM
I was quite surprised at all the help from everyone. I'll give the info received a try.
Again thanks!
Garianne :P