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Chocolate cake
Credit: Kana Okada

Q. How do I bake a from-scratch cake at high altitude so that it rises properly?
Sue Jones
Via e-mail

A. If you’re cooking at high altitude and you’re frustrated when your baked goods have uneven surfaces, then you’ll have to do some tinkering with the ingredients.

To help a cake rise properly, reduce the amount of leavening agents, such as baking soda and baking powder, by about 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon. Otherwise the low pressure in the atmosphere causes the carbon dioxide produced by the leavening agents to expand more than it does at sea level, says Shirley O. Corriher, author of BakeWise ($40, Scribner,

For other adjustments at high altitude, check out or Or refer to Susan Purdy’s book, Pie in the Sky ($30, William Morrow/Harper Collins, ―Elinor Smith

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