Cooking with Altitude

“Wow, these are the best pancakes you’ve ever made”, Al comments.  He wonders what I’ve done differently or if this is a new recipe.  “It’s not the recipe, hon.  It’s the altitude”, I respond.  Altitude, or lack there of I’m thinking.  You see, Al made that comment while we were camped in Death Valley…. at sea level.  We live in Colorado, 5000+ feet in elevation.   Baking or cooking at these higher elevations can require modifications or tweaking to many recipes.

I have to agree with Al.  The pancakes were delish.  They had a thick, fluffy texture.  Usually they are a bit thinner and denser, thanks to the high altitude.  Nonetheless, we always enjoy these yummy pancakes.  It’s just sometimes they turn out better than other times.

I found this great pancake recipe on the Food Network website.  I’ve made them with white flour, as well as with wheat flour.  It’s merely a personal preference.


  • dry ingredients:                                      wet ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups flour                                      2 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons sugar                              1 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder                 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt                                           3 tablespoons melted butter
Fresh Fruit
Fresh Fruit (Photo credit: fensterbme)

Mix dry ingredients in large mixing bowl.  Mix wet ingredients in medium bowl.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry.  Mix until combined.

At this point I add 3/4 cup of chopped walnuts and a cup or two of fruit….blueberries, strawberries, or other berries.  I like to keep bags of frozen fruit in the freezer for those times we’re camped in the middle of nowhere, and Death Valley would constitute as the middle of no where.  No farmers market here.

Ladle batter onto a large heated skillet.  Flipping once.  Serve topped with sliced bananas and warm maple syrup……….yum  🙂

12 thoughts on “Cooking with Altitude

  1. I still don’t understand the connection between cooking and altitude. Ive heard about it but maybe when we will be that high and taste the difference ill figure it out. Im the only one who likes pancakes, so I will try your recipe and share it with family other than my hubby.


    1. The higher the altitude the more difficult to bake anything. Outside could be almost burnt and inside still raw. Takes twice as long just to boil water. Glad you guys are having a great time in Alaska. Enjoy those cool temps.


  2. catchy title – my son is gluten sensitive and we’ve had to adjust as a family so pancakes were a no no until we found Bisquick’s gluten free mix – I know, store bought, but they make delicious pancakes and no one complains about the G-F label, no one! Keep having fun and making your days count!


    1. I did the whole gluten free thing for a couple of months….found it to be very challenging. Turned out my problem is dairy sensitive. A bit easier for me to deal with than GF and I can handle these pancakes even though there’s milk. Too good to pass up!


  3. I remember living in Denver several years back and having to make corrections to recipes given the altitude. I seem to recall having a few flops along the way! Will have to try your pancake recipe.


    1. Baking at higher elevations can be a challenge. Since Al and I are older, I shouldn’t bake anyway…our waistline doesn’t need any help these days. lol


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