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When do you use the whisk beater versus the flat beater on a stand mixer?

Mar 17, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose

The whisk beater is used to aerate mixtures such as egg whites for a meringue; the spade or flat beater to mix things together. Unless otherwise specified in a recipe, it is generally the flat beater that is meant to be used.


Hi, does anyone know if you can use the flat beater on an electric food mixer for mixing a Crumble mixture?

Be really grateful if someone can let me know as I've just got my food mixer and not used it yet.

Many thanks for any help.


Happy Independence day USA!

Does anyone have the cuisinart 7qt stand mixer? Rose mentioned it not too long ago. If anyone does, I'd like to ask a few questions about it.


I almost forgot...I also have only a KitchenAid, and I couldn't LIVE without it!!


I thoroughly enjoyed reading your exchanges, and I learned a few things in the process! I happened upon this site as I was also trying to find out about the difference between the paddle and whisk beaters - now I know. Thanks so much! And I agree, it is so amazing to connect to others all around the world and know that we all share some of the same problems! I live in Smithers, BC Canada :0)


Isn't technology great - here were all are, so far from one another, and yet we can talk with each other like we're in the same room; amazing!

I only have a KitchenAid; I would highly recommend it to anyone.


I don't think you can help me with that. I am located in South-east Asia. Singapore to be exact.
It is a really small island, compared to the US, so getting from North to South or East to West takes about 2 hours.

We have equipment from Europe and the US over here. I just thought you might be able to recommend one or two brands based on your experience.


Where are you located?


I don't know. I haven't done much research with mixers except between Kitchen-Aid and Kenwood. The kenwood high-end one has a stronger motor than the KA high-end one, so I might get a Kenwood. Do you or anybody else have other suggestions? I haven't compared European brands yet.


Hi Juliana - when I was a new bride 19 yrs ago, I would frequently go to my mother's house to use her KitchenAid. I guess she grew tired of that, because she offered to purchase me my own. Well, I waited and waited ( ...and waited... ), occasionally reminder her about it, but I eventually decided if I really wanted one, I was going to have to get it myself. It was a HUGE purchase for me at the time, and it took me quite a while to save up for it, but I've never regretted spending that money! It is such a pleasure to use, and I tell you what, having the right equipment really does makes a difference! So much so, that it motivated me to upgrade all my kitchen equipment (slowly over time of course). Sounds like you'll never regret purchasing one either (Kenwood I assume).


Thank you Rose and Patrincia for sharing your ideas with me.

Patrincia: yes, I do know the pointers that you mentioned regarding cheesecake making, but sometimes I forget, and I appreciate the recap.

Both: no, the mixer is not a KA. It's a very old and small black-and-decker mixer, and it's from my mother-in-law, not my neighbour. She gave it to me because she bought a kenwood mixer. She wanted to give the kenwood to me after she lost interest in baking, but she misplaced the dough hook.

By the way, I don't own a food processor either, so I guess I would still have to save up for a mixer.


Juliana - if you've been borrowing the mixer from your neighbor, you have a great neighbor! I like Rose's idea of saying thank you by getting her a replacement paddle - a copy of The Cake Bible would be good too!!!


Hi Rose - giggle jiggle schmiggle - it's a happy cheesecake :)

(and yes, I was referring the mixing only the cheesecake batter in the food processor - I had originally written that part later in the message, but moved it up to the top paragraph without realizing how it kind of changed my intended meaning - thanks for picking up on that)


p.s. the most important reason to butter or oil the sides of the pan for cheesecake is that if you don't, the batter will try to pull away from the sides and instead find it easier to pull away and shrink slightly in the middle causing cracks.


i'm "giggling" patrinicia!!! just have to add a couple of things.
first i agree with everything you wrote except for one thing--and i probably agree with that too if you mean mixing the cheesecake batter in the food processor. that works but for a butter cake it makes it tough.
also juliana, if i understand correctly, has been borrowing a neighbor's KA which is missing the paddle or flat beater. that's why i wrote she deserves her own. but while she's at it she should buy an extra paddle and give it to her neighbor as a thank you--don't you think?!


Juliana - if your mixer is a KitchenAid, you can purchase replacement paddles directly from the manufacturer. I've also seen them for sale at a few stores, and on ebay. Alternatively, if you have one large enough, you can mix the ingredients together in your food processor - the mixing is super fast, and the blade doesn't really whip any air into the batter.

I don't know how new to cheesecake baking you are, but I've learned a few really important things about them over the years. Forgive me if you already know these tips, but they may be helpful to others:

Be sure all the ingredients are fresh and at room temp before you start.

Unless the recipe specifically calls for low-fat cream cheese, avoid it.

If you use a stand mixer, mix all the ingredients together on low; just until they are smooth and combined (using the paddle).

Butter the sides of your spring-form pan for easy release.

Don't over bake - the center should still giggle a bit when it's done baking (it will continue to cook as it rests).

Be sure to chill completely before serving (I'd say at least 4 hours).

Try to avoid freezing leftovers - the texture gets a bit "grainy".

Leftovers should be stored in the fridge. I like to keep mine in an airtight container to avoid picking up any odors from the fridge (they absorb odors/flavors like a sponge).

Also, don't cover the storage container until the cheesecake has cooled completely. Doing so will cause condensation to form on the underside of the lid, which will drip onto the surface of your beautiful cheesecake.

Happy baking!


you deserve to have one!
unless you're doing wedding cakes and have the oven space to bake for ex. two 12 inch layers, you'll probably be happiest with the 5 quart artisan the head of which (connected to the beaters) tilts backwards.


I see. Thanks for explaining to me.
Now I understand why my cheesecakes tend to inflate in the middle during baking, and then sink after baking.

For butter cakes, if I follow your instructions to use softened butter, I usually have no problem with mixing using the whisks. But now that you've mentioned the effects that the whisks have on cheesecake batter, I guess it is time for me to save up and get a complete mixer set.


I see. Thanks for explaining to me.
Now I understand why my cheesecakes tend to inflate in the middle during baking, and then sink after baking.

For butter cakes, if I follow your instructions to use softened butter, I usually have no problem with mixing using the whisks. But now that you've mentioned the effects that the whisks have on cheesecake batter, I guess it is time for me to save up and get a complete mixer set.


i've tried using the whisk for butter layer cakes and it's hard to get the batter started as it tends to ball up inside the whisk.
if you used it for cheesecake you would get too much aeration and the cake would rise and then fall. with butter cakes it shouldn't make that much difference if you can get it going.


Rose, you mentioned that paddle beaters are usually used unless the recipe specifies using the whisks. What happens if I use the whisks in place of the paddle beater to mix your cakes? I've always been using the whisks to mix your cakes because the person who gave me her mixer misplaced her paddle beaters.

How will the cakes mixed with the paddle beater differ from the cakes mixed with the whisks before and after baking?



yes--most paddle beaters are aluminum and what's happening is the beater is touching the bowl. i believe there's an adjustment on the rival that allows you to raise and lower the beater.


When I was creaming butter for cookies today, my mixer kept discoloring the butter. I hadn't used the mixer in a few months, but it is a Rival Chef and has never had any problems before. I washed the flat beater and the bowl before use and wiped down the mixer itself. After the first time discoloration occured, I wiped everything down again and couldn't find the source, but when I creamed the next batch of butter, it happened again! Any clue what is happening? The discoloration is metal colored - are most beaters made of aluminum? That's what mine looks like...


I'm seeking a very specific texture in my ginger molasses cookies. I'm not a novice baker but having trouble reproducing "grandma's" version. What I'm after is not the usual "dropped in sugar then baked" version nor the rich, unrisen chewy kind. These are good, but I'm trying to achieve the following: cookies are about 3-4 inches in diameter and about 1/2 inch thick. They are somewhat less moist than most cookies and have something of the texture of dense (but not chewy) bread. They are the result of some rising, but they are not at all puffy. Probably grandma got them from a mix that was more batter than dough. The closest I've come is to adapt a biscuit baking technique and use more wet ingredient than dry to get a kind of thick batter which spreads out a bit on the cookie sheet. I wonder if anyone is familiar with this texture and could send me a tip or two. Thanks!


thank you jim. music to my ears!

the power and acidity of the "wild" yeast will resist the invasion of the commercial yeast in no short order! not to worry.


zach, i happen to have a personal aversion to the aroma and taste of lemon verbena. i must admit to being in the minority as it is such a ubiquitous ingredient in desserts. i can't imagine it being a problem in the small quantities used in dessert preparation as surely word would have been out by now.

many foods in large quantities can make people ill such as wild mushrooms, or even raw wild mushrooms.


Jim Harding
Jim Harding
03/18/2006 12:39 PM

I have read many books on bread, but to my taste, there's simply no contest - yours is by far the most thorough, reliable, precise, and instructional one out there, and if I read it enough times, I'm sure I'll have answers to every question I need.

But I have a sourdough question. In the rush to get dinner ready, the unused proofed starter (with a pinch of commercial yeast) got tossed back into the storage starter, and I am wondering if I will have a problem. I'm guessing that the commercial yeast won't survive much time in the acid environment, but that's but a guess - and I may try the rye/white mix just to help out. Any thoughts?


Zach Townsend
Zach Townsend
03/18/2006 12:04 PM

Have you ever used fresh lemon verbena in any of your desserts? I have a concern about it because of its camphor content which can be poisonous in large quantities. I am wanting to use it to steep in cream, but assume there is no risk at reaching such levels in this way. Do you have any experience with this herb?

Thanks, Zach



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