Cake batter is a cornerstone in any baker’s repertoire. Whether it’s a Victoria Sponge, Chocolate, Red Velvet, Banana, or Carrot, your options are virtually endless when it comes to your choice of cake recipes.
Regardless of which recipe you follow, many of the processes remain the same, as do the ingredients. A typical cake will use eggs, butter, flour, sugar and some sort of raising agent. Those ingredients are the foundations of a delicious cake. You can then add anything you want to your cake batter. Cocoa powder, shredded carrot, lemon, you name it.
When making cake batter, it can be frustrating trying to figure out which KitchenAid attachment to use for your cake recipe. The good news is, with a recipe like cake, it really isn’t the end of the world if you end up using the wrong attachment, you will still get a delicious cake out of it. That said, using the correct one will guarantee the best results, as it will allow for a thoroughly mixed batter.
KitchenAid Attachments For Cake Batter
The flat beater, or paddle attachment, is the best KitchenAid attachment for cake batter. I am sure you will already be familiar with this tool, it comes standard with every KitchenAid stand mixer and is one of the most versatile accessories in your arsenal. Because of this, we table about the flat beater a lot here at Mom’s Baking Co.
If you don’t know what a flat beater is, it is basically a metal attachment that looks like a rounded triangle with 2 to 4 crossbars going across the middle of the attachment. The crossbars allow the batter to fold over itself as it rotates around the bowl and is great for everything from making frosting to whipping up a batch of cookies.
The key to making perfect cake batter is to not beat too much air into it. The paddle attachment is designed in a way that it uniformly combines all the ingredients without beating any air. With that said, it is possible to overbeat your cake batter and put too much air with the paddle attachment if the stand mixer runs at high speed for a long period of time.
Unless a recipe specifically states the use of another attachment, always reach for your paddle attachment.
The flex edge beater is pretty much the same as the paddle attachment with one key difference; the flexible silicone edge. The silicone edge scrapes the sides of the bowl as it rotates around, leaving no batter untouched.
The flex edge beater is not a necessary attachment but is one that will make life so much easier. Scraping the bowl down with a spatula is a mundane task that can be avoided with the use of a flex-edge beater.
If you are tired of having to scrape down the bowl every few seconds, then the flex edge beater might just be the one for you.
Fun fact: Every Artisan Mini KitchenAid stand mixer comes with a flex edge beater.
The balloon whisk, or wire whip, is used for specific cakes, like Angel Food, Genoise or Chiffon Cake. These cakes are very light and aerated and require a lot of beating to get to that consistency. All of these types of cakes use either egg whites that are beaten to soft peaks or whole eggs that are beaten for a long period of time so they increase in volume.
The wire whip is designed in such a way as to beat as much air into the mixture as possible by creating lots of air bubbles.This is what gives the sponge that light, pillow-like texture. This is why the balloon whisk can also be used for certain types of frosting like whipped cream or swiss meringue buttercream.
That said, the flat beater will definitely be your default KitchenAid attachment for the majority of cakes unless a recipe specifies the use of a wire whip.
If you want to get maximum air into your mixture, you can upgrade to a balloon whisk with 11 wires. The more wires, the more air is beaten into your mixture.
Pouring Shield/Splash Guard
The 2 in 1 pouring shield and splash guard is a great attachment to have if you make cake a lot. This attachment comes with most Artisan Series stand mixers, but for the rest of the models, it is an additional purchase.
The pouring shield clips at the top of the bowl and has a gap with a chute. This chute allows you to add ingredients as the mixer is still mixing ingredients, meaning you don’t need to keep stopping the mixer each time you want to add a new ingredient.
The pouring shield also acts as a splash guard and prevents any ingredients, in particular any dry ingredients like flour or icing sugar, from making a mess in your kitchen.
KitchenAid Cake Recipes
Everyone has a go-to cake recipe. My favorite cake recipe is a well-kept secret in my family that has been handed down by my grandmother. It’s a cake recipe that is made on very special occasions.
Another favorite cake recipe that I like to use when making tiered cakes is this one from Sally’s Baking Addiction. It’s a moist and decadent vanilla cake and with the help of my trusted paddle attachment, it comes out perfect every time.
KitchenAid has some brilliant recipes for cake too. In this recipe, KitchenAid show us how to use the wire whip for making cake batter
Ready to get baking?
Whether you use a balloon whisk or flat beater to make your cake, you will still yield a nice cake, but knowing which attachment to use for specific recipes will ensure your cake comes out perfectly.
If you accidentally use the wire whip to make cake, it’s not the end of the world. KitchenAid, in their cake recipe, actually recommends using a wire whip when making cake batter. This shows that it is possible to make cake with a balloon whisk. The risk of over-mixing and putting too much air into the batter however definitely makes me reach for my paddle attachment every time.