Cordless KitchenAid® hand mixer next to cookie dough and fresh baked chocolate chip cookies.

7 Uses For an Electric Hand Mixer

Nothing beats a hand mixer for quick kitchen tasks. Hand mixers let you whip up your baking or cooking favorites by mixing, whipping, kneading and more. Whether a savory dish or sweet treat, a hand mixer is a versatile tool that can bring your recipe to the perfect consistency.

The technique you use with your hand mixer can impact baking in significant ways. Learn how to use a hand mixer to make your favorite recipes.

What is a hand mixer?

A hand mixer is an electric, handheld mixer convenient for quick tasks and combining smaller batches of ingredients. This versatile kitchen tool typically has two removable beaters and may come with a variety of attachments for flexibility and easy clean up. It’s compact and portable for use and storage.

Hand mixers usually have at least three speed options while some may have ten or more speeds, giving you plenty of power to mix your favorite recipes efficiently. This allows you to gently fold nuts into batter, cream butter and sugar together, or whip up light, fluffy frosting in a variety of containers. KitchenAid brand offers multiple compact and lightweight mixers convenient for everyday tasks such as whipping, mixing, kneading and more.

What are hand mixers used for?

You can create a variety of cuisines using a hand mixer. Easily blend icings or vinaigrettes, mix your favorite cookie recipe or scramble eggs in a snap. Hand mixers are best for small to medium-sized batches. Whether you want to mix, whisk, cream or fold, the way you use a hand mixer can make a difference.

Cordless KitchenAid® hand mixer next to creamy frosting and fresh baked sandwich cookies with colorful sprinkles. Cordless KitchenAid® hand mixer next to creamy frosting and fresh baked sandwich cookies with colorful sprinkles.

1. mixing

Mixing is one of the most common electric hand mixer uses. Simply put, it involves evenly combining two or more ingredients until they become one unified product. Mixing also incorporates air into the batter or dough, which helps achieve optimal volume and texture in finished baked goods.

Of the variety of hand beater uses, whipping up light, fluffy mascarpone buttercream frosting for cupcakes is an easy way to make a decadent treat. Especially with the KitchenAid® Flex Edge Beater Accessory designed for faster, more thorough mixing1, while reducing the need to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

1. Compared to metal Turbo Beater II accessories based on cake batter.

KitchenAid® hand mixer next to an empty mixing bowl of whipped egg whites and meringue tarts. KitchenAid® hand mixer next to an empty mixing bowl of whipped egg whites and meringue tarts.

2. Whipping

Whipping in baking is a technique that uses a wire whisk to agitate wet ingredients to incorporate air. By adding air into wet ingredients, whipping allows you to control the volume and lightness of your finished baked goods. This method is often used to whisk eggs into stiff peaks for meringue and for whipping cream. Whether you’re baking a layer cake or putting together a savory asparagus red pepper quiche, a hand mixer can help ensure your finished product is light and airy.

A man in a modern kitchen spreading goat cheese on a crostini next to a KitchenAid® hand mixer. A man in a modern kitchen spreading goat cheese on a crostini next to a KitchenAid® hand mixer.

3. Creaming

The creaming method adds another dimension to electric beater uses. It usually entails using a low-medium mixer speed to combine butter or fat and sugar together until they are fully incorporated, fluffy and pale. This is often the first step you’ll take when baking cookies or cakes, forming the base for all the other ingredients. Creaming can also refer to softening a solid fat, like cheese, with heavy cream and blending it with other ingredients. Use your hand mixer to make delectable sweet treats or a savory appetizer such as goat cheese mousse crostini.

A man using a KitchenAid® hand mixer to make chocolate pie filling. A man using a KitchenAid® hand mixer to make chocolate pie filling.

4. Folding

Folding is a method of mixing in baking that requires gently mixing a light, airy mixture such as whisked egg whites and sugar into batter, or dry ingredients such as chopped nuts and chocolate or even flour into a thicker, heavier mixture. The goal is to incorporate the two types of mixtures as gently and with as few strokes as possible to avoid over mixing and deflating the air that’s needed for proper baking. Using a slow speed, a hand mixer will help you lightly fold toasted nuts into cookie dough or melted chocolate into meringue to make a delicious peanut butter chocolate mousse pie.

A closeup of KitchenAid® hand mixer beaters mashing potatoes. A closeup of KitchenAid® hand mixer beaters mashing potatoes.

5. Mashing

The process of mashing ingredients together uses a crushing and beating motion that incorporates air to create a light and creamy consistency. A hand mixer is a convenient way to transform an avocado into a delicious spread for toast, cauliflower into a delightfully creamy mash and potatoes into a savory side dish. This technique can create the perfect balance of fluffiness to crispness of twice baked potatoes, the ultimate comfort food. 

A woman adding spices to a loaf of bread dough that’s ready to go into the oven. A woman adding spices to a loaf of bread dough that’s ready to go into the oven.

6. Kneading

To knead dough is to turn a sticky lump of flour, water, yeast, salt, sugar and sometimes a fat like butter, oil or eggs into a smooth ball of dough using a repetitive motion of pushing and pulling over several minutes. This forms the elastic-like strands of gluten that give the bread dough strength and structure and also creates a light and fluffy texture as it bakes. There are different ways to knead yeast dough, and using a hand mixer with a dough hook attachment can mix the ingredients to the proper consistency. Great homemade crusty bread with a crisp exterior and soft, chewy interior is a mouth-watering treat at any meal.

A bowl of shredded chicken. A woman adding spices to a loaf of bread dough that’s ready to go into the oven.

7. Shredding

The traditional way to shred boneless, skinless chicken or pork is using two forks to pull the meat apart. Instead, let your hand mixer do the work. Use your hand mixer’s whisks or beaters and a deep mixing bowl. Set your mixer on low—the lower speed will keep the meat from splattering out of the bowl—and watch how effortlessly and easily the meat is pulled apart and ready for your recipe. 

A woman in a modern kitchen reading a cookbook and holding a mixing bowl while using a Cordless KitchenAid® hand mixer to mix cookie dough. A woman in a modern kitchen reading a cookbook and holding a mixing bowl while using a Cordless KitchenAid® hand mixer to mix cookie dough.

Shop KitchenAid® Hand Mixers

KitchenAid brand offers a variety of lightweight and compact hand mixers, convenient to use for everyday mixing needs. You can achieve excellent results with KitchenAid® hand mixer accessories such as the pro whisk attachment to whip eggs into delicate fluffy peaks. If you prefer portability, a KitchenAid® Cordless 7 Speed Hand Mixer allows you to move freely around your kitchen. Shop all KitchenAid® hand mixers to find the right match for your recipes.

 

Cordless KitchenAid® hand mixer, hand blender and food chopper next to a plate of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. tbaCordless KitchenAid® hand mixer, hand blender and food chopper next to a plate of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.

When should I use a hand mixer vs. a hand blender?

A hand mixer and hand blender or immersion blender serve different purposes. While a hand mixer primarily combines ingredients using beaters, a hand blender features blades to blend soups, crush nuts, chop produce and puree sauces. It allows you to immerse the blender blades into your ingredients.

It’s an ideal kitchen tool for tasks that require liquifying, emulsifying and chopping ingredients with a sharp blade. Some immersion blenders offer more versatility with a whisk accessory to help with tasks that require aerating or mixing ingredients. Learn more about exactly what is an immersion blender and how they work.

Explore KitchenAid® Hand Mixers and Accessories

If a hand mixer is the perfect option to tackle your culinary endeavors, shop the collection of KitchenAid® hand mixers which includes models that feature high-speed options or come with multiple accessories.

Get more cooking and baking tips from KitchenAid