Making a cake might be frightening if you’re new to baking. After all, one minor error with the ingredients or prep may entirely undo all of your hard work.
If you’ve never made a cake before, you’re probably under the impression that you’ll need one of those fancy (and costly) stand mixers. Not only is this false, but you can also get by without using one of those less costly hand mixers!
You just need the appropriate equipment, the correct method, and a little patience to mix cake batter without a mixer. It’s also crucial to understand when utilizing a mixer makes sense.
You’ll know how to mix cake batter without a mixer at the conclusion of this article. Don’t worry; it’s not that tough. You’ll be baking gorgeous and tasty cakes in no time if you put in a little more time and effort!
- What tools and equipment do you need to mix cake without a mixer?
- What techniques are required to mix cake batter without a mixer?
- Do some recipes or ingredients require an electric mixer?
- What other options do I have?
- Final Thoughts
What tools and equipment do you need to mix cake without a mixer?
While you do not need a mixer to mix cake batter (or an oven to bake a cake, as I demonstrate in this piece), you do need the proper instruments. When doing things manually (without the use of electric kitchen equipment), having the correct tools is vital.
So, what instruments do you need to hand-mix cake batter? Let us investigate.
The most common instrument for mixing batter by hand is a basic spoon. Spoons are available in a variety of forms, sizes, and materials. Look for a spoon with a big enough surface area to work through a considerable volume of your mixture without much effort.
This one from OXO appeals to me (on Amazon). It’s cheap, sturdy, has one corner that may be used as a scraper, and is generally flat.
Spoons come in a variety of materials, each with its own set of pros and limitations. The majority of cooks and bakers prefer a wooden spoon. A wooden spoon has a stiffness that silicone spoons and spatulas do not, making it excellent for creaming butter.
Additional possibilities include silicone and steel spoons. Since silicone spoons are flexible, they are great for scraping the edges of a mixing bowl. A steel spoon will do the job, but its smooth and rounded surface makes it difficult to cream butter.
While mixing with a spoon takes time and effort, we suggest looking for one with a comfortable grip. You should also look for a spoon that is firm and durable. If you choose an overly flexible spoon, it will struggle to go through thicker combinations.
A whisk is another weapon that you should have in your culinary armory. To whip or beat a mixture, use a whisk. Whipping a mixture essentially implies incorporating air into it. When you add air to a combination, you get a light and fluffy mixture that is substantially less dense than the corresponding non-whipped mixture.
Whisks, like spoons, come in a variety of forms and sizes, but are generally constructed of metal or silicone. Again, seek for something with a comfortable, large-enough handle for the work.
Since you won’t be using a whisk for heavier combinations, you don’t have to be as picky about a comfortable grip when selecting one.
When it comes to mixing by hand, a spoon or whisk is just half of the issue. The other side is shaped like a mixing bowl.
For good reason, mixing bowls are a must-have in any baker’s kitchen. They are used in almost every recipe that needs the mixing of ingredients.
Choose a bowl with a handle or a non-slip grip. You can hold the bowl with your non-mixing hand thanks to the handle.
Look for a mixing bowl with a non-slip bottom as well. This will protect your mixing bowl from sliding around on the counter top.
Clearly, elbow grease isn’t a tool, but you’ll need a lot of it when baking without a mixer. If you’re unfamiliar with the phrase, elbow grease refers to the hard, physical labor required to complete a task.
If you want to mix batter by hand, we’re sure you’re aware that it will need some physical work on your part.
Don’t forget to have the proper cake pan as well as the necessary tools and materials.
What techniques are required to mix cake batter without a mixer?
As previously stated, the proper instruments are required while mixing cake batter by hand. Having said that, having the correct tools isn’t enough. You must also have strong technique.
Let’s go through the approaches you should use using the tools stated above.
If your cake recipe asks for butter, you’ll need to cream it. Hand-creaming butter and sugar may be a wonderful exercise, but it takes time.
Yet, this is how it was done before electric mixers were available, and with a little effort, you may anticipate decent results.
The first step in creaming butter and sugar is to get it to room temperature. Just remove your butter from the refrigerator and place it on the counter until soft.
This procedure should take around an hour to complete. Cut the butter into smaller cubes to speed up the process.
When your butter is soft, split it up and crush it with a spoon on the edge of a mixing basin. The back side of a big wooden spoon is ideal. The gritty texture makes pushing the butter against the edges of the bowl a bit easier.
Next, using a wooden spoon, incorporate the sugar into the butter. As you do so, the mixture will begin to grow in size. This is due to the incorporation of air pockets into the mixture. The mixture is ready to use when it is light and fluffy with a light yellow tint.
Here’s a wonderful video that shows the process:
Whipping a mixture is another skill you should be acquainted with if you’re mixing batter by hand. Whipping or beating a mixture involves incorporating air into it. This takes a lot of effort but yields a light and airy mixture.
Depending on what you’re beating, you’ll want to use a wooden spoon or a whisk. A wooden spoon is appropriate for a thicker combination, such as the butter and sugar mixture we just mentioned. A whisk is preferable for whipping anything lighter, such as eggs.
While beating a combination, use your hand to make fast, circular strokes. The mixture will become light and airy as it is whipped.
Look out this little movie that demonstrates the procedure:
Do some recipes or ingredients require an electric mixer?
Almost every component may be blended by hand with enough elbow grease. But, if we are going to hand mix, there are several components and recipes that we strive to avoid.
Stay away from thick mixtures
Certain mixes are more easily mixed by hand than others. If your recipe asks for a thick mixture or involves difficult-to-mix items like butter, using an electric mixer may be worthwhile.
Although most combinations may be blended by hand, if you have the choice, we suggest using a mixer in these cases.
Avoid large batches
We also advise against working in huge quantities. We mean preparing more than a conventional recipe asks for in huge amounts.
You can easily get away with mixing your ingredients by hand if you’re just making a single cake or a dozen cupcakes. But, if you want to make hundreds of cupcakes, you should seriously consider purchasing an electric mixer.
You’ll not only do the work faster, but you’ll avoid the arm and hand cramps that come with mixing components by hand for extended periods of time.
Use oil over butter
When mixing by hand, we suggest using oil instead of butter where the recipe permits.
Using butter necessitates softening, which is not only time consuming but also labor intensive. Oil, on the other hand, does not need to be softened and is much simpler to deal with.
Nevertheless, both butter and oil have an effect on the taste and texture of a combination, so bear this in mind when replacing one for the other.
What other options do I have?
It’s possible that mixing cake batter by hand isn’t worth the time and work for you. Don’t be concerned if that’s how you feel. It is one of the primary reasons for the popularity of electric mixers.
There are a few choices to consider when buying a mixing tool to spare you some of the stress of prep work.
Manual Hand Mixer
You don’t have to go right from a whisk to a stand mixer, believe it or not. In fact, you don’t even need to use an electric hand mixer.
Several of the advantages of electric mixers may be obtained with a manual hand mixer, however some elbow grease is still necessary.
Using a non-electric hand mixer has various advantages. The first, and most crucial, consideration is cost. You can generally get one of these for about $20-30. Not bad for a kitchen equipment that will save you a lot of time.
Another advantage of a non-electric mixer is its compact size. They take up no counter space and may be stored in a drawer or cupboard. You also don’t have to worry about a cord getting in your way.
There are certain downsides to these mixers to consider. Power is one of the most significant disadvantages. A manual hand mixer is just not designed to handle thick mixtures. Even if it can handle it, you’ll need to put some effort into it to get decent results.
Another disadvantage is that they need physical labor. Although you won’t have to move a whisk or fork around a bowl, you will have to spin the attachments to keep them moving.
Check out our Best Manual Hand Mixer page to learn more about non-electric hand mixers.
Electric Hand Mixer
If you prefer not to use a whisk or fork yet dislike cranking a manual hand mixer to keep the attachments moving, an electric hand mixer may be a nice alternative for you.
An electric hand mixer is a decent upgrade over a manual hand mixer and offers some of the advantages of a stand mixer.
The greater power of an electric hand mixer over a manual hand mixer is one of its advantages. Manual hand mixers are basically primarily used for mild mixtures like beating eggs.
Electric mixers, on the other hand, can handle more dense mixes. For extremely thick combinations, you’ll still want to use a stand mixer, which we’ll go into lower down the page.
When it comes to stand mixers, one of the advantages of a hand mixer over a stand mixer is the smaller frame. Stand mixers, on the other hand, are monstrous.
Hand mixers, on the other hand, not only take up very little counter space, but they may also easily fit in your cabinet. They are bigger than manual mixers because to the electrical components.
Depending on what you’re comparing it to, the price of an electric hand mixer might be a gain or a disadvantage. A decent electric hand mixer may be had for less than $100.
One thing to keep in mind with electric hand mixers is that you must manually move the mixer around the mixing bowl. Depending on the thickness of the combination, this might be time demanding as well as exhausting on your arm.
We suggest selecting for a mixer with adequate power to handle the concoctions you want to make, as well as a somewhat light frame.
A stand mixer is the way to go if you truly want to make things simple on yourself. Although more expensive than the other alternatives, a stand mixer offers a simple and quick method to mix your cake batter.
Stand mixers have the greatest power of the alternatives we’ve covered. A standard stand mixer includes numerous speed settings to mix various sorts of mixes properly.
Keep in mind that not all stand mixers have the same power rating, so be sure you pick one that can handle your regular combinations.
One of the most significant advantages of a stand mixer is its ease of operation. Just fill the mixing bowl with your ingredients, set the speed, turn it on, and walk away.
Of course, this depends on the sort of combination you’re producing, but hand mixers don’t even have this choice.
One thing to keep in mind with stand mixers is that they are enormous and heavy. They are not only tough to move, but they also take up a lot of counter space.
While not in use, it will be tough to locate a suitable storage location. This is one of the reasons why many people keep stand mixers on their countertops.
For most individuals, the most significant element to consider when purchasing a stand mixer is the price. Stand mixers are much more costly than hand mixers. A competent stand mixer should cost between $150 and $500. (see our recommendations for low-cost stand mixers).
If you routinely spend time in your kitchen mixing ingredients, this expenditure may be readily justified. If that doesn’t seem like you, you may start with a hand mixer and then upgrade when you’re ready.
Hand mixing ingredients isn’t as difficult as it sounds. As long as you have the necessary equipment and are prepared to put in the time and effort needed, you may avoid spending money on a costly electric mixer.
Although mixing by hand is possible, if you spend a significant amount of time in the kitchen on a daily basis, an electric mixer may make a lot of sense.
We suggest beginning small and working your way up, like with most things. Begin with mixing by hand, then go to an electric mixer when it makes sense.
Let us know about your experiences mixing batter by hand!