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BAKING WITHOUT A STAND MIXER

I never invested in a good stand mixer, since I don't do much baking (understatement!), and also have no room to store it, or put it on my counter. Can anyone share recipes for your favorite simple to make, but yummy baked goods that can be easily prepared using a hand mixer, or mixing spoon?
If you do, please be sure to give guidelines about what mixing speeds to use for the various steps. I find that many recipes don't necessarily give this information, and I want to get it right.
Thanks so much!

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  1. Not sure if this is what you are looking for, but this Sour Cream Coffee Cake is very easy and delicious. It's always a hit when I make it. I use a hand mixer. Don't exactly know what speed I use, but probably something in the "medium" range. It's really very easy to make this.

    Sour Cream Coffee Cake

    Batter

    ¼ Cup Butter (unsalted)
    1 Cup Sugar
    ½ pint Sour Cream (1 cup) – you can use low-fat if desired
    2 Eggs
    1 Tsp. Vanilla
    ¼ Tsp. Salt
    2 Cups Flour
    1 Tsp. Baking Powder
    1 Tsp. Baking Soda

    Filling

    ¾ Cup Chopped Walnuts
    2 Tsp. Cinnamon
    ¼ Cup Sugar
    ¾ Cup Chocolate Chips (semi-sweet)

    Preheat over to 350.

    Cream butter. Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each egg. Add vanilla.

    Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add alternately with the sour cream blending well.

    Pour half the batter into a well-greased baking pan (9 inch square, round or even a bundt pan).

    Combine filling ingredients. Sprinkle half of mixture over batter in pan. Top with remaining batter and then sprinkle with remaining filling mixture. Slightly press chocolate chips and nuts down so that they stay on the cake when it is baked.

    Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Test with a toothpick – it might need a little more time in the oven (like 10 or 15 minutes).

    1. Thanks Valerie. It sounds delicious. Sorry to be a pest, but when you say that you probably use a medium speed, do you mean that you use the same speed in all of the steps - from the creaming, to adding in the wet and dry ingredients?
      Thanks again!

      2 Replies
      1. re: Bzdhkap

        Certainly you are not a pest -- that's what the board is for!

        As Chowser said below, I use medium for creaming the butter and sugar, and then slow it down for the eggs and especially for the flour. If the speed is too fast when you add the flour, it often flies out of the bowl and makes a big mess. That's why it's also good to add a little of the flour mixture at a time rather than all at once.

        My mixer has 7 speeds and I guess I don't really go over 4.

        Really, the above recipe is very easy and if you decide to make it, you will quickly figure out what works for you.

        1. re: Bzdhkap

          You don't really need a mixer for any baked goods (with the exception of angelfood cake - which is possible without a mixer, just really, really not worth the obscene level of effort). For years I baked without a mixer. Take any recipe you're interested, you can do it!

        2. You do not need a stand mixer to make brownies. The recipe on the box of Baker's unsweetened chocolate is easy. It's a one-bowl method that calls for mixing with a spoon.

          My favorite brownie recipe is Maida Heatter's "All American Brownies." It uses one pot and a spoon to mix the ingredients.

          1 stick of sweet butter, cut into pieces
          2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
          1 cup granulated sugar
          1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
          2 eggs - large or extra-large
          1/2 cup sifted all-purpose flour
          Pinch of salt
          1/2 cup walnuts, broken into pieces (optional)

          Adjust oven rack 1/3 up from oven bottom, then pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.

          Prepare an 8" square cake pan by lining the inside with a piece of foil. Then, with a pastry brush, brush melted butter on the bottom and sides of the foil.

          Place the stick of butter and the chocolate in a heavy saucepan over *very* low heat. Stir occasionally until the mixture is completely melted and smooth. Set aside to cool for about 3 minutes.

          Stir in sugar and vanilla.

          Add eggs one at a time, stirring until smooth after each is added.

          Add flour and salt, mixing until smooth.

          If using walnuts, mix them in.

          Pour batter into pan and smooth out.

          Bake for 20 - 25 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the cake's center comes out barely clean but not dry. Do not overbake!

          After pan is removed from oven, allow it to stand until it reaches room temperature. Then, place a rack on top, invert the pan, lift it off and remove the foil. Then, using another rack, flip the cake right-side up.

          Place cake on a cutting board and with a sharp knife, cut the cake into 16 squares. It may make it easier to chill the cake before cutting.

          Wrap brownies individually or place them all on a plate and cover with plastic wrap. In either case, you don't want to let them dry out. They can be frozen and then served either directly from the freezer or defrosted to room temperature.

          (Note: I've written the recipe in my own words in order to avoid copyright infringement.)

          2 Replies
          1. re: RGR

            Made the same recipe but halfway in the baking I added chopped almonds on top of the brownies and continued to bake to allow the almonds to toast.

            1. re: RGR

              I know this post is old, but I came across it yesterday and made this brownie recipe. Everyone loved it- very gooey and a rich chocolate taste. Didn't add nuts and the brownies did not suffer. The whole recipe took about 5 minutes to come together. Definitely going to make it again!

            2. I bake often and don't have a stand mixer. Generally, for creaming the sugar and butter, I use a medium speed, then for adding the eggs, I'll use slow, as well as adding the flour. Sometimes when adding the flour (for quick breads, muffins, some cakes, mostly), I use a spatula and gently fold it into the sugar/egg/butter mixture. For brownies and Cooks Illustrated thick and chewy chocolate chip cookies, I just use a wooden spoon since you're using melted butter.

              I make bread, pasta without a stand mixer and do it by hand. It's on my list of things to buy but I don't let it stop me. It's just a little more time consuming.

              4 Replies
              1. re: chowser

                Same here! I haven't been at all limited in what I want to bake and I only have a hand mixer.

                1. re: Aravisea

                  LOL, fast forward a few years and I love my stand mixer. People kept telling me that it'll change what I do and I finally broke down and bought one. It makes making cakes, cookies, etc. much easier/faster (great for multitasking) but for making bread, it's become a no brainer. Added to that, I tore my rotator cuff recently and can't knead so I use it all the time now.

                  1. re: chowser

                    Hahaha, I'm sure it does - and I definitely drool over friends' spiffy KitchenAids. But my tiny kitchen is already overstocked...my extra stock pot, fondue pot, bread machine and wok had to find a home on a shelf in the guest room.

                    So the stand mixer will have to wait until I have a little more space. :)

                    1. re: Aravisea

                      Speaking of space I do have a lot of room in my cellar but have never been interested in stocking items that I dont use often. I have a hand mixer from GE that is 40 years old and still working. Bought a KA food processor that was heavy and it lasted two years and it took a lot of space. Replaced the food processor with a cheaper one from Walmart which works fine.

              2. I only bake bread, no pastry. I use an ordinary table fork and a mixing bowl to prepare the dough. I like to get my hands on the dough once it is at a stage for the dough to be kneaded. Kneading dough is therapeutic.