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Nov 23, 2009 12:05 PM

Substitute a hand mixer for a stand mixer's paddle or flat attachment?

Hi All,
I'm baking my brother a cake for thanksgiving -- its his birthday and he LOVES chocolate. I was going to make the cook's illustrated chocolate sour cream bundt cake, but it calls for the flat beater and I don't own a stand mixer (or the beater for that matter). I have a hand mixer (and an emersion blender, which is even MORE of a stretch)... anyone know if I can run the recipes with this mixer?

I've tried to find other chocolate bundts that dont call for the stand mixer but am out of luck so far.

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  1. A hand mixer would work fine, but an immersion blender would not. Even if it has a whisk attatchment, I think it would be no match for batter.
    You're good with the hand mixer.

    1 Reply
    1. re: monavano

      I mom only uses a hand mixer for her cakes and they come out the same. It won't be a problem.

    2. I've made that recipe and all I have is a hand mixer. Turned out fine.

      1. The only real substitute for a paddle attachment, I think, is a wooden (or silicone or plastic) spoon, just like great-grandma (or my own mother, who never had a mixer anyway) used to do it. A hand mixer's blades slice through the mixture instead of really beating it. Although the process takes some muscle and stamina, I've found that for beating batters (as opposed to dough), proper incorporation of all the ingredients is actually faster when beaten by hand. I bake very seldom, but when I made a gingerbread for an apple upside-down cake yesterday, I used the Cuisinart and a balloon whisk for the initial chores (creaming butter and sugar, mixing milk and sour cream) and finished with my favorite silicone spatula. Just a few smart strokes of that and the batter was ready to pour, while the KitchenAid sulked at me from across the room...

        1. I had a friend that never used a mixer for her cakes, she always used a wooden spoon. Don't know why; I wouldn't.. also, using a spoon will not yield the same lump free cake as using a mixer and the more you beat the batter (and you will with a spoon) the tougher the cake will be. Use a hand mixer.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Cherylptw

            I will respectfully disagree. An electric mixer spins its blades at least 10 times a minute faster than a person's beating with a spoon. My own experience is that a well-directed effort with that spatula - probably a bit more efficient than a wooden spoon - gives me a good smooth batter more quickly and with less fuss than a mixer, and I have in fact beaten it much LESS than a mixer would. If it's lumps you're worrying about, a few gentle strokes with a balloon whisk will take care of those. As I said, I don't bake often, and as good results as I've had even as a rank beginner convince me that mom had the right technique. YMMV, of course...

            1. re: Will Owen

              Perhaps I should have said that if you have time on your hands, you'll have no problem getting rid of lumps when using a spoon (lol)...

              Of course, there are matters of opinion...I've never had a problem with a mixer not doing the job properly (i.e. "slicing through" instead of mixing) if you use it right, it will get everything incorporated in like a couple of minutes versus however long it takes to do it manually. If you're using a whisk, you may as well be using a mixer.

              My opinion is to do what works for you...I'd rather spend my time in the kitchen on something more challenging.

          2. Thanks for all the input! If I use the hand mixer, anything I should I do to counteract any negative effects. E.g., a friend of mine suggested that a hand mixer might put too much air into the batter or mix. Also, I'm I risking over mixing/beating?

            Will post results when I'm done.

            Happy Holidays!

            3 Replies
            1. re: bobjunior

              I wouldn't worry so much. Every cake I have ever made with an electric mixer has been made with a hand-held one, and they come out just fine. Mix until everything is well incorporated, and then stop.

              1. re: bobjunior

                I use both and do not find any difference in the finished product. A stand mixer is convenient because you don't have to hold onto it, and is good for heavier mixtures because of the additional power, but a hand mixer works just fine for cakes.

                1. re: bobjunior

                  bobjunior-regarding air in the batter. It really should not be a problem, but if you're concerned, simply pour your batter into the pans, then gently pick them up and "tap" them on the counter a couple of time. Bubbles gone.
                  Good luck and can't wait to hear how it turns out!