Most KitchenAid mixers come with 4 attachments: A flat beater, a wire whip, dough hook, and a burnished spiral attachment. Deciding which KitchenAid mixer attachment to use for cake batter can sometimes be an exercise in frustration. We are here to show you what some of the top bakers recommend for using attachments when baking cakes.
Don’t miss our complete review of ALL KitchenAid Mixer Attachments!
It probably isn’t possible to completely ruin a cake if you use the wrong mixer attachment, but choosing the right attachment for cake batter will help guarantee you get the best results with your KitchenAid stand mixer!
We researched some of the top bakers to watch how they use a stand mixer for cake batter people like Duff Goldman from the Food Network for example. Surprisingly, almost all top chefs [and even common bakers like you and me] all recommend using the flat beater for the cake batter. Sometimes the flat beater attachment will also be called a paddle attachment as well.
The flat beater is explicitly designed for mixing without aerating your batter. That said, it is possible to “over mix” or use too high of a speed with this attachment, and end up aerating even when you didn’t want to. So don’t over mix cake batter or other recipes like cookie dough, and watch the speed you use.
For cake batter, you don’t want to end up with tiny air bubbles spread throughout the batter. The goal is to get the most uniform mixing of batter ingredients as possible. The flat beater attachment was designed for this and unless a recipe specifically states to use a different attachment for cake batter, the flat beater should always be your default.
Some bakers recommend using the whisk attachment for very specific types of cake such as Angel Food, where you actually want a very airy batter mixture.
What is a cake recipe without frosting? If you are making your frosting from scratch, here is where you may want to think about changing to a whisk attachment [aka the wire whip]. The whisk or wire whip attachment is designed to aerate mixers and actually create air infused mixtures.
So now you know the paddle beater [flat beater] attachment should be used for cake batter. Generally, this rule applies as well to most other base batters such as cookie dough, cupcakes, etc.
The whisk is typically using for some specific types of frosting, whipping cream, and other recipes where the introduction of tiny air bubbles is actually desired. However, if making a standard butter cream base frosting, most bakers recommend continuing to use the paddle, as you don’t want the frosting to be too aerated.
So general rule is for most common frostings, use the flat beater attachment.
So what do you use the whisk for? Most chefs consider it the go-to attachment for:
There are many more attachments available not just for “under” your KitchenAid mixing head, but also that attach to the PowerHub. Check out some of the best mixer attachments for more information!
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