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The Big Bake Theory | Bakestarters

4 Types of Kitchen Mixer Attachments and What They Are Used For

Find out the differences between the four main types of kitchen mixer attachments, what they are used for, and whether a hand or stand mixer is better for you.
mixer attachment

Our mixers come with several different attachments.
However, most recipes do not specify which attachment you should use. If you aren't a seasoned baker, it might be difficult for you to differentiate between them, and choose the one that's suitable for what you're baking.
While using the wrong attachment might not lead to baking disasters, it could damage your mixer. Your batter or dough might not turn out right too, due to improper mixing.
From flat beaters to dough hooks and balloon whisks, this mixer attachment guide will explain the most common types of mixer attachments and what they're most well-suited for, so that you’ll be able to choose the right one the next time you’re baking!

Kitchen Mixer Attachments and How To Use Them

1. Flat Beater

flat beater
The flat beater is probably the most versatile since it can be used to thoroughly mix nearly all kinds of mixtures. 

It is most effective for creaming butter and sugar that helps to give cakes their fluffiness, just like in our Citrus Cream Cheese Cupcakes.

The flat beater is also suitable for a wide range of dishes, and works especially well for heavy mixtures like cakes, cookies, frostings, mashed potatoes, and even meatloaf!

Whenever you’re in doubt, go for the flat beater. It should work just fine, so long as the mixture is not too heavy.

2. Dough Hook

When you’re working with heavier doughs such as bread, pizza, or pasta, a dough hook is the best option. Using any other type of mixer attachment might overheat and damage the mixer.

Its mechanism mimics kneading by hand. If you’re using a dough hook, there will be much less effort needed. 

Its shape makes it able to withstand the dough’s elasticity, and kneading can be done more efficiently. Thus, it’ll be easier for your dough to pass the windowpane test!

Dough hooks come in two shapes:

  • C-Shaped Dough Hook

c shape dough hook
This dough hook is shaped like the letter C and is the first type of dough hook invented. It works by pushing the dough from the side of the mixing bowl.

  • Spiral Dough Hook

spiral dough hook
This hook also works well for kneading heavy doughs, but it works in a slightly different way. Instead of scraping the dough from the bowl’s sides, it pushes the dough from the bottom of the bowl.

These two types of dough hooks are equally great for kneading, so go ahead and use whichever was given with your mixer.

Got yourself a new mixer? Come join us for some bread-making classes, at $0! Join our Bakestarters Live-Virtual Baking School to learn beyond just recipes, where we teach you the fundamentals of making bread, and more!

Find out more about our school here.

3. Balloon Whisk

balloon whisk
Baked goods that are lighter in texture, such as chiffon and angel food cakes, get their light and fluffy texture from beaten egg whites.

A balloon whisk that comes with your mixer is the mechanised version of the hand whisk. It beats a mixture just like a flat beater, but its balloon-like shape allows it to whip more air in. 

This helps to aerate mixtures such as meringues and whipped egg whites, that can be used for fluffy frostings and light chiffon cakes. 

If you’re baking a huge batch of baked goods, a balloon whisk will help you to achieve airy mixtures more efficiently, and with less effort. 

You can vary the time and speed when using a balloon whisk on your kitchen mixer. This allows you to control the end result of your whipped product. 

A recipe typically calls for soft peaks, medium peaks, or stiff peaks, and the result depends on your speed and time set on your mixer. Learn the proper way to whip egg whites here!

Refrain from using the balloon whisk to whip heavier batters like muffin and pound cake mixtures, especially bread dough. It’ll damage the whisk’s delicate structure in no time.

4. Flex Edge Beater

flex edge beater
This one looks just like a flat beater, but one of its sides is made from silicone or rubber instead of the original material. 

The silicone edge offers advantages—its flexibility allows you to mix and scrape the sides of the bowl at the same time, eliminating the need for you to pause the mixture and scrape the insides of your bowl manually, using a spatula.

Using a flex edge beater will help a lot when you’re working with ingredients that tend to stick to the bowl, such as honey and cream cheese. 

It also helps in scraping remaining batter from the mixing bowl when you’re pouring it out, so there will be less of the yummy stuff going to waste! 

Hand Mixer vs. Stand Mixer—Which Is Better for Me?

The answer is—it depends on your needs! 

Hand mixers are more compact and easier to clean, making it the ideal choice when you don’t have that much free space in your kitchen. 

Read: 10 Actionable Kitchen And Pantry Reorganisation Tips To Make More Space In Your Kitchen

You can also move the beaters around freely in your mixing bowl, ensuring that everything is mixed evenly.

However, getting a stand mixer is a better option if you often make baked goods that require a long mixing time. 

Whipping egg whites to stiff peaks and kneading bread dough takes a while, so it would be better to use a stand mixer that doesn’t require you to hold it throughout the process.

If you have just started baking and are not keen on investing that much into a stand mixer (yet), getting a hand mixer should be enough to whip up lots of delicious treats, including our Signature Baking Kits!

Choosing the Right Mixer Attachment

Choosing the right mixer attachment is important, especially if you’re whipping up egg whites and kneading bread dough. 

The structure of the mixer attachments are designed to help you achieve the ideal textures in your doughs and batters. Therefore, using the correct one will help you achieve your desired results, and also protect your mixer. 

Try using a balloon whisk to whip cream based on our tutorial and see how well it goes. And if you’re ready to bust out your mixer for some decadent brownies, try it with our 45% Dark Chocolate Chunk Fudge Brownie Recipe. Whipping the egg mixture until it has lightened can help you get that ultra-crisp and shiny brownie crust!

Also, if you haven’t tried making a cup of Dalgona Coffee, a mixer will help you to get that fluffy foam without all the fuss.

Read Next: 10 Reasons An Oven Thermometer Is As Important As An Oven For Your Kitchen


  • Thanks for the information on the different mixer attachments. my cousin wants to start baking bread more. I’ll let her know that she should find attachments that can work for kneading the dough.

    Erika Brady on

  • I loved your blog and thanks for publishing this content about 4 types of mixer attachments!! I am really happy to come across this exceptionally well written content. I like how you have researched and presented these exact points so clearly. Thanks for sharing and look for more in future!!
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    Hautearte on

  • Great analysis, I love how you really went in-depth with everything it really projects what one needs to know about 4 types of mixer attachments. You have done an excellent job with this content I must say.

    joinery queenstown on

  • Hi Norma! Since we’re currently not retailing Sunbeam mixers, we unfortunately cannot answer your question. We suggest checking with their customer service to get the best solution :)

    Bakestarters Admin on

  • Do all sunbeam mixers use same beaters? I bought an old black mixer but no hooks, or beaters. Thank you

    Norma P Stowell on

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