A Mile High Pain In The Cake

It almost common knowledge that when you are in a higher altitude, that baking and cooking is effected. Starting my first lab at JWU Denver, I knew that this would be a big part of any baking that I did in class. I suppose it was a little naive of me to just assume that our teachers would give us the formulas AND the conversion information.

When I walked into the ‘Intro To Cake Decorating’ class I was so excited.Cake decorating is what I have the most experience in, and I knew that I would excel in this class.The first day was similar to any class.Mostly introductions and explaining the syllabus etc.After our long lecture was done, we were to experiment using convenience products. We made an easy ‘just add water’ type cakes and used pre-made chocolate icing. After cleaning the lab, our teacher informed us that the next day and all the classes after were going to be much harder.

Are You All Idiots?!
The next day we were told to convert a chocolate and vanilla sponge cake recipe from the 28 pound formula in our textbooks to a manageable 8 pound batch (enough for four cakes per table).I felt so prepared when I came to class, I had my formula all ready and was really looking forward to getting going.Our Chef basically just said hello, and go make your cakes!I was surprise in the lack of direction from our teacher.I was used to highschool when everything is meticulously explained, several times, just to make sure you got it.I loved that I could just start doing my own thing without feeling like I was being baby-sat.

Our table were the first to get out cakes done and onto the speed rack to go into our large rotating oven. About a half hour later I heard a disappointed shouting coming from the other side of the room, near the oven.

“Stop what you are doing right now and come over here!”

My teacher, even though she was a barely 5′4″ 100 pound woman, had a very intimidating voice as she shouted to us.

We all shuffled over to her, with wide eyes like bewildered deer.Tip-toeing over the heads of the rest of my class (I am only 5′4″ and usually the shortest girl in the room), I saw what was making my Chef so upset.

Every cake in the oven had completely spilled over their pans and looked like some sort of brown experiment gone wrong, stuck the to hotel pan and burning.

“Are you all idiots or something?!”

My chef asked in a sarcastic tone that no one understood was a joke because of how petrified we were.

Everyone in the class had forgotten to change the formula for baking at a high altitude.Because there was too much leavening agent in the cakes, instead of rising just enough to form a nice cake, the batter spilled over the edges.Unfortunately she didn’t allow us to remake the cakes and we were all stuck with this strange spongy mass, and somewhere under there, there was a cake pan.

Well, I’ll Never Make That Mistake Again
After a good long shaming from our teacher, we all went home with our heads hung low.From than on, no one in the class EVER forgot to adjust the formula.

We were even tested on it in class and everyone had it memorized.Being from Michigan its hard to remember to change my recipes on everything that I do, but even just after a short time of using the conversions every day it has become second nature.

If you are planning on doing some baking at high altitude, here is the conversion information for you.And even if you don’t live in the mountains, its always good to have handy in case you need it!

This is for5000 feet above sea level (If you live in Denver this is what you would need)

Baking Powder Decrease by 40%
Flour Increase by 4%
Eggs Increase by 10%
Sugar Decrease by 6%
Liquids Increase by 15%

Browse Baking and Pastry Arts Schools & Colleges

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT

    See More

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Matching School Ads
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
            • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
            • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
            • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Received the 2015 and 2013 “Cooking School of the Year” Award of Excellence from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            • Externship opportunities are available at numerous famous New York City restaurants.
            • Campus is located near downtown Manhattan, within walking distance of many popular attractions such as the Radio City Music Hall.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Hands-on culinary education with focused attention on each student
            • An ACCSC School of Excellence with multiple “Best Vocational Cooking School” awards*
            • 15,000 graduates, including celebrities like Bobby Flay, David Chang, and Christina Tosi*
            • Programs in Culinary Entrepreneurship, Professional Culinary Arts, Professional Pastry Arts, and much more
            • Campuses in New York and Silicon Valley with nearby housing available
            Show more [+]
            2 Program(s) Found
            • Students get real-world experience through the required externship at the end of the program.
            • Curriculum includes laboratory sessions, academic preparation and hands-on experience.
            • Program objectives are to provide students with skills needed for cooking wholesome, attractive, food preparations and to assist graduates in obtaining positions in the food service industry.
            • Accredited by the American Culinary Federation (ACF).
            • Has campuses in Melbourne, Sarasota, and Tallahassee, Florida
            Show more [+]
            2 Program(s) Found
            • Ranked among the Best Colleges in the South in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Ranked the 13th  Best College for Veterans in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • A private institution founded in 1977 with a current total undergraduate enrollment of over 15,00.
            • Its student-faculty ratio is 12:1, and 89.3% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
            • Has students attend one class at a time to ensure easy access to faculty and a more hands-on education.
            Show more [+]
            3 Program(s) Found
            • Founded in 1979 as the Star Technical Institute school group, offering career training in drafting and design.
            • Provides education and training towards employment in the healthcare, culinary, baking, beauty, and hospitality career fields.
            • Their Fast Track Diploma/Certificate Programs can enable students to be job-ready in as little as eight months.
            • A Career Services Office helps match graduates with potential employers.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Career Schools and Colleges and approved by the U.S. Department of Education.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            4 Program(s) Found
            The Chef's Academy , Morrisville
            • Listed on the 2013 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS).
            • Offers intern and externship placement assistance for real-world experience.
            • Offers programs in culinary arts, pastry arts, and hospitality & restaurant management.
            • Accredited by the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation (ACFEF).
            • 2 campus locations in Indianapolis, Indiana and Morrisville, North Carolina.
            Show more [+]