When baking cakes, I often find that there are instructions for high altitude, which usually is just a matter of adding some extra flour.

I understand the concept of high altitudes having less atmospheric pressure, which then allows baked goods to rise more easily (too much), and thus the addition of flour.

However such alterations are not often provided with cookie recipes. What is a good way to know how to adjust cookies for high altitude, or if such an adjustment is even necessary?

4 Answers 4


There is a fairly detailed answer to this available here.

It appears that the answer depends a little on the type of cookie. If you have a cookie that has a great deal of air in it you'll have the same problem as cakes do. If you are working with a very dense cookie that can't really fall (since there isn't anywhere to go). At that point you're just down to watching baking times and temperatures, which are easier to monitor.

  • 1
    The link you gave (ochef.com/327.htm) appears to be broken for me.
    – Boetsj
    Commented Jul 19, 2010 at 6:16
  • I just rechecked and it still works for me. It's also the first response I get from Google if I search for "High Altitude Baking", so you might try that.
    – acrosman
    Commented Jul 19, 2010 at 10:02
  • I've also have used mountainhighyoghurt.com/High_Altitude.pdf and printed it out for use in the kitchen.
    – avgbody
    Commented Dec 9, 2011 at 22:10

I would look at recipes which do give a high-altitude version, such as the Toll House recipe on the chocolate chips bag, and make proportional reductions / changes to the recipe you have that doesn't give a high-altitude version.

e.g. if Toll House increases flour from 2 1/4 c to 2 1/2 cups, I would multiply the flour in your recipe by 1.111 (10/9)


I cook at a summer camp at 9200 ft. above sea level. I add 1/4 cup flour to a batch of 36 chocolate chip or peanut butter cookies. They rise and look beautiful, but are hard after one day, so need to be served the day I bake them. I usually make my cookies from scratch. I have figured this out through trial and error; the higher the altitude, the more the adjustment. If I do use a box mix, and follow the directions on a box, the cookies are flat. I think this is because they are basing high altitude at above 5000 feet, but we are a lot higher! Good Luck!

  • How much extra flour is this as a percentage of the original flour amount?
    – mrog
    Commented Jul 3, 2018 at 17:16
  • Thank you! My altitude is 4,925 feet. My cake box is saying high altitude is above 3,500 feet. I sometimes forget to add extra flour because the high altitude instructions are in a much smaller font. The first time I made this mistake I ended up cooking the cake for much longer and was confused as to why. Commented Oct 8, 2022 at 18:47

For one, water boils at a slightly lower temperature at a higher altitude, which means that you need to cook things longer, because once water reaches boiling, the temperature doesn't increase, so the effective cooking temperature of water is lower. Similar changes need to be made if you are trying to fry foods.

  • Not question-related; could do with less general wisdom.
    – Boetsj
    Commented Jul 18, 2010 at 20:08

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.