INVEST in the best cake mixer you can afford and you’ll take all the arm ache out of creating your favourite bakes.
Because while self-mixing might be a good work-out, it's not for everyone.
There are few things more satisfying that having a baking day and then feasting on the fruits of your labours.
But whipping up a big batch of brownie mix or a loaf of bread can be hard work on your arms, not to mention take a fair bit of time.
So, take the easy option and check out our pick of the best stand mixers – and what you need to consider when buying one.
Aside from the stand and the mixing bowl itself, every model should come with a dough hook (for kneading), a balloon whisk attachment (for whisking and whipping) and a beater tool (for mixing) as standard.
And as long as you’ve got these three basics, you can pretty much make anything.
If you want more specific attachments and extras for versatility, the following things can also come in very handy:
- Splashguard – this covers the mixing bowl and stops your mixture splattering you (and your kitchen walls!).
- Flexi-beater – these have a flexible rubber edge on one side of the beater, so you can scrape mixture from the sides of the bowl during mixing to make sure it’s all incorporated.
- Food processor attachment – choose a model that has a food processor attachment to grate and slice if you don’t want a separate food processor cluttering up your cupboards.
- Jug blender – make a lot of smoothies or soup? Look for a mixer with a jug blender attachment so you have just one gadget that does many things.
1. Cream Of The Crop
- KitchenAid Artisan 4.8-Litre Tilt Head Stand Mixer in Cream, £499.99, Very – buy here
When you think cake mixer, you most likely think KitchenAid – and for good reason.
They’ve been a favourite among chefs and serious home bakers for years.
This iconic design comes with two stainless-steel bowls – a 4.8-litre and a 3-litre one – a flexible-edge beater, a flat beater, a whisk, a dough hook and a pouring shield, which stops splatter but also allows you to safely drizzle liquids into the bowl as you mix.
It comes in more colours than we care to list and has a five-year guarantee.
2. Smeg SMF01PBUK
- Smeg SMF01PBUK Blue Stand Mixer, £350, Debenhams – buy here
Here’s one to give the KitchenAid a run for its money in the looks department.
We love this sleek retro-style mixer which has a 4.8-litre polished stainless-steel bowl, 10 mixing speeds, three attachments and a recipe book to get you started.
Additional accessories include a pasta roller set, a multi food grinder, a slicer and grater and a ravioli maker. Choose from seven colours.
3. VonShef 1200W Die Cast 8-Speed
- VonShef 1200W Die Cast 8-Speed 5L Stand Mixer, £289.99, Wayfair – buy here
What’s this? Another gorgeous-looking food mixer to rival the KitchenAid and the Smeg but for much less money? Yes.
It has the biggest bowl of most on the market – 5 litres – eight speeds, auto shut-off, a tilt-head mixer, three standard attachments, a splash guard and it’s all dishwasher-safe.
And its gloriously shiny copper-effect finish means it’s way too pretty to be hidden away in a cupboard.
4. Red Alert
- Kenwood kMix 1000W Stand Mixer in Red, £249, Amazon – buy here
Like KitchenAid, Kenwood are synonymous with kitchen gadgets – they’re good-looking, reliable and last for years.
Unlike most other mixers out there, this one has a glass 5-litre mixing bowl, rather than a stainless-steel one, so you can see what you’re doing much more easily.
There are three standard attachments and six mixing speeds, as well as four colours to choose from.
5. Kenwood KM240 Prospero
- Kenwood KM240 Prospero Stand Mixer, £99, John Lewis – buy here
Ok, we admit it, most of the mixers we’ve found so far are on the pricey side, but this smart silver Kenwood model has three attachments, a roomy 4.3-litre bowl and adjustable mixing speeds.
It’s also a lot more compact than other model, so won’t take up acres of room on your worktops.
It also comes with a two-year guarantee.
6. Morphy Richards 400020 Stand Mixer
- Morphy Richards 400020 Stand Mixer in White, £79.99, Argos – buy here
Here’s a good all-round mixer for those of you on a budget.
Like all the high-end, expensive models, it has a large bowl – 5.5-litres to be precise – four attachments, 10 mixing speeds and a splash guard.
While it’s not as robust as others, it’ll do everything you could ask of a good mixer and is a great option if you’re after a lightweight design that’s easy to move around your kitchen and lift in and out of cupboards.
Food mixers aren’t small or lightweight, so make sure you have enough kitchen worktop space to store it.
If you’d prefer to keep it out of sight in a cupboard, make sure the model you choose fits both the height (taking into account shelves) and depth of the cabinet in question.
If it’s a heavy mixer, you won’t want to store it up too high or low, as it’ll be tricky to lift, so think about this too.
Stand mixers usually have larger bowls than food processors, so if you only make a batch of fair cakes from time to time, you probably don’t need one.
But if you’re often making cakes for school fundraisers, baking showstoppers for birthdays or knocking up fresh bread every weekend, look for a mixer with a large-capacity bowl – 500ml or more is ideal.
No one likes cleaning their gadgets after using them, but it has to be done (sigh), so look for dishwasher-safe ones to take the hassle out of cleaning by hand.
It’s obvious, but make sure the model you buy has dishwasher-safe parts if that’s how you plan to clean them – washing parts that aren’t meant for a dishwasher in this way can cause the plastic to split.
And even then you should check the recommended washing temperature of dishwasher-safe parts; they can be damaged by putting them in a washing cycle that's too hot.
Looking for more great household goods? Read more home products reviews.
Check out our full range of product reviews in the Sun Selects homepage.
In the market for kitchen gadgets? We've also rounded up the best juicers you can buy.
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