Before there were any mixers, whether hand or stand, all mixing and beating was done by hand. And even today, if you don’t have an electric mixer of any sort, you can still follow a recipe all the way.
However, electric mixers have made the job of mixing dough a lot quicker and easier. There are a few different types to choose from and for certain recipes, simple hand mixing may suffice or may even be the best course of action to follow.
So before we go on to recommend what type of hand mixer you should get, let us explore the different types of tasks different mixers can handle.
If you prefer, go straight to our recommendations.
Hand mixer or stand mixer?
Without getting too technical, most people realize that a hand mixer comes with a lower price tag than stand mixers and also takes up less storage space.
It can also perform pretty much the same tasks as the stand mixer and if you do not need as much power or want to devote as much counter space to an appliance, then you could do very well with getting a hand mixer.
However, to be fair to the two types of mixers available, let us take a closer look at what both have to offer in terms of their dough mixing abilities and overall functions.
Hand mixer advantages
If you are an occasional baker or new to baking you might want to start small. Hand mixers can handle most mixing needs well, such as beating cake batter or cookie dough, on a fairly regular basis.
Plus, if you do not have a large kitchen to work in, we would definitely recommend going for the hand mixer. Here is what these handy appliances can do for you:
- Less expensive than stand mixers while offering the same functionality.
- Offer quick and easy cleanup since they come with detachable beaters and attachments.
- Require minimal space in the kitchen with most fitting well into a drawer or cabinet. Some models even come with storage cases.
- Incredibly easy to use appliances that are lightweight and safe for use by anyone. Even kids can use a hand mixer without any hassle.
- Well suited to certain tasks as whipping cream or egg whites, creaming butter and sugar or preparing frosting.
Hand mixer limitations
- With a smaller motor, the hand mixer’s mixing capability becomes limited. So, if you plan on working with a lot of dense or heavy dough such as pizza or bread dough, consider a stronger machine.
- Can be messy as the mixture may splatter everywhere if you do not use the correct technique.
- Can be difficult to work with thick batters in terms of maneuverability and grip strength.
- Not a hands free appliance as you need to stand there and manually operate the mixer. You can only tend to the task at hand and cannot multitask.
Stand mixer advantages
Stand mixers come with heavier duty motors than hand mixers and also have more attachments. These appliances are suitable for people who are busy bakers and work with heavier and denser doughs.
Since stand mixers do come with a space consideration, they are better suited for kitchens with ample counter space. Even the smallest model that can be moved around will demand adequate storage space in kitchen cabinets.
Stand mixer advantages
- The large mixing bowl prevents splattering out of the bowl. It is a mess free appliance where most models also come with a splashguard.
- Hands free appliance letting you walk away and do something else as well.
- Quicker mixing even with thicker batters or denser doughs.
- More power for heavy duty jobs.
- Most models come with additional features such as programmable settings letting you perform other tasks around the kitchen.
Stand mixer disadvantages
- Not all parts are dishwasher safe. Cleaning can become cumbersome.
- Expensive price tag attached to stand mixers may not make them suitable for every budget type.
- Demand a lot of storage space whether on counter tops or inside cabinets.
When is it best to mix by hand?
Despite all the benefits offered by hand and stand mixers, it may come as a surprise that there are certain mixing needs where old fashioned hand mixing may do the best job.
For instance, if a recipe calls for “lightly beaten eggs”, then all you need is a fork or wire whisk to get the job done.
Likewise, if you are required to “fold in” an ingredient, it is best done by hand. Folding in is a gentle action that does not need the speed or ferocity of a hand mixer. Think stirring chocolate chips into cookie dough or egg whites into cake batter.
Also, if a recipe requires you to mix something over heat such as melt chocolate, please do this with a hand whisk and not a hand mixer.
So while beating by hand has its own specific perks, let us not forget that hand mixers do shine as a replacement for a hand whisk when it comes to mixing cake batter, cookie dough, creaming butter or beating egg whites for a meringue.
With this in mind, let us now take a look at how the 5 best hand mixers for cookie dough can help you bake that perfect batch of cookies.
Best Hand Mixer for Cookie Dough
1 – Breville BHM800SIL Hand Mixer (Top Pick)
A highly trusted name in the kitchen, this Breville model makes our list based on its smart features.
This hand mixer comes with the Beater ID Intuitive Interface. This feature detects the type of attachment being used and synchronizes the speed based on what you are mixing. There are nine different speeds to work with so you can start slow and work your way up.
One feature unique to this Breville model that really impressed us is the coated beaters. The beaters are coated allowing you to beat right against the side of the bowl with less noise.
The model also features a count up timer to keep track of mixing time for recipes that require so.
Another smart feature of this unit is a mixing light that allows you see what is in the bowl. Should you come across a lump in your dough, a power boost button will let you increase speed momentarily to get past the lump and then resume mixing at normal speed.
There is also a pause button included to stop mixing while you add in ingredients.
The unit comes with an assortment of attachments including two scraper beaters, two balloon whisks and two dough hooks to take care of all your mixing, beating and whisking needs.
Smart storage solutions for this model come as a clip-on case where you can store all attachments in an organized manner. The cord will also tuck in there nicely.
We won’t hesitate to call this the smartest hand mixer on our list today.
- 240 watt motor
- 9 speed selection
- Intuitive beater IQ features
- Coated beaters
- Mixing light
- Clip-on storage
- Pause function included
- Quick release trigger
- More expensive than other leading brands
- Mixer is heavier than others in this category
2 – KRUPS Quiet 10 Speed Hand Mixer (Budget Pick)
For buyers looking for specific features but without splurging, this KRUPS hand mixer is an ideal pick. The mixer comes with 10 speeds and a turbo boost for extra power.
It also features 2 silicon coated beaters a whisk and 2 dough hooks. There is also a slow start feature to keep ingredients within the bowl when you start to operate the machine.
Other features include a count up timer, a pause function and a snap on case for easy storage. This model offers all the features of a high end product but without the expensive price tag attached.
- Comes with attachments
- Easy to use, lightweight product
- Snap on storage
- Stylish design
- Powerful performance
- Good value for its price
- Hand washing recommended
Other Hand Mixers To Consider
3 – Cuisinart HM-90S Power Advantage Plus
The Cuisinart HM-90S comes with 9 different speeds of which there are 3 low speeds to handle cookie dough well. The model has a simple on/off button that makes it easy to use without any hassle.
This hand mixer comes with a clip-on case for storing all attachments. Attachments and additions include two extra-long beaters, two dough hooks, one chef’s whisk, one spatula and a recipe book. All detachable parts are safe to wash in the dishwasher.
The hand mixer also allows you to tuck the cord in for easy storage.
To release the beaters, this models features a latch rather than buttons and is built to North American electrical standards. This is a good hand mixer to consider for everyday baking needs with everything from handy storage options to quality attachments.
Both new and expert bakers can find impressive baking results with this kitchen appliance.
- 220 watt motor
- Automatic feedback
- User friendly appliance
- 9 speed option with LED display
- 3 low start speeds
- Snap on storage case
- Additional attachments included
- All removable parts are dishwasher safe
- Slow speed may not be as slow as other brands
- Motor tends to over spin when first turned on
- Not suitable for heavy duty tasks
4 – Oster FPSTHM2578 6 Speed Hand Mixer
This hand mixer by Oster is a powerful machine with a 250 watt motor. This is enough power to work through thick batters and cookie doughs. The model features 6 different speeds and a “burst” button to get through heavier mixtures.
An interesting feature of this model is its “clean start slow” option that gradually brings up the speed of the mixer so that your batter or dough does not splatter everywhere.
The hand mixer comes with a set of whisks and beaters for everyday mixing needs. These attachments are made out of chrome so they are both durable and easy to clean.
The attachments let you do a variety of tasks ranging from beating wet and dry ingredients to whipping egg whites and cream.
For convenient storage, the unit comes with a retractable cord and a heel rest allowing the mixer to sit upright when it is time to remove the attachments.
We recommend this small appliance for all kitchen types where light to medium duty mixing tasks are done on an everyday basis.
- 250 watts
- 6 variable speed settings
- Burst button
- Clean start slow feature
- Retractable cord
- Relatively quiet machine
- Beaters and whisk attachment fit in both openings
- No clip-on storage
- No dough hook included
- This is a heavy machine to keep holding in hand for longer beating sessions
- Retractable cord may not always retract
5 – KitchenAid 9 Speed Hand Mixer
With 9 different speeds, this hand mixer does more than just mix. It also comes with a few extras that add to its functionality than many other mixers.
There is a 9 speed option to choose from where you can start off with super low speed for tasks like stirring in ingredients and increase speed levels for mixing batter, creaming butter and eventually go to full speed for whipping jobs like making meringue or whipping cream.
Attachments include two turbo beaters, one stainless steel whisk, two stainless steel dough hooks and a blending rod. Instead of a clip-on storage option, this model comes with a storage bag to keep all attachments together when not in use.
The unit also features a soft start option where you can bring the beaters to your preferred speed gradually and prevent ingredients from splattering.
The cord on this model locks into either the left or the right side of the unit for more freedom of maneuverability during mixing tasks.
The model comes in a variety of colors with one to match your kitchen décor. For many customers, this model serves the same functions as a stand mixer minus the bowl.
- 9 speed settings
- Soft start option
- Cord locks on either side of unit
- Soft grip handle
- Handles heavy mixing well
- Multiple attachments with storage bag
- Pricier than the competition
- Some concerns about beaters wobbling on higher speeds
So when you go out to buy your new or next hand mixer, keep these pointers in mind. We were particularly impressed by units that offered built in storage facilities, slow start features and coated beaters since they make the task of using and storing hand mixers very convenient.
If you are looking for basic features with no frills attached, you can do with most small appliance brands. But if you want a lot of additional features, then take a look at some of our recommended high end products.
In the end, your choice will depend on your brand preference, if any, and the best quality product that you can afford.
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.