Hello! I just got a new KitchenAid mixer and was very excited to try it out last night on a scratch wasc vanilla cake but ran into a few issues. Until now I've been using a regular hand mixer that's gotten the job pretty well done enough. Are there any changes I should keep in mind as I transition to using a stand mixer?
My first problem was creaming butter and sugar. I'll be honest, with my hand mixer I just don't have the patience to beat the dickens out of it until it's "light and fluffy" so I usually cream it for about 2 minutes and call it a day. Last night I was excited to finally cream until that light and fluffy texture, but even after 10-15 on medium high it never quite got there. I read about over creaming so decided to stop. How long does it usually take??
Next I had trouble beating my batter. I alternated dry and wet ingredients and made sure to keep the speed low but I noticed it took longer for everything to mix together. Naturally I was concerned about over beating, so I stopped the mixer and tried to finish a bit by hand.
In the end my cake hardly rose, sunk in the middle and the end result was very dense. Clearly because of the problems I ran into. I'm almost tempted to go back to using my trusty old hand mixer but I know I just have to stick it out with my new KA until I get the hand of it. Is there something I'm missing? TIA
That's really weird...usually it takes a few minutes to cream butter, maybe 4 at the most. Try it on high for a few minutes and see if that makes a difference. For the mixing part, I usually do the combining of the ingredients and then scrape the bowl and give it a good beating on high for about thirty seconds, but I could be wrong on the times because I don't really pay attention to how long it's going. It will probably just take a little time to get used to the mixer and the different times that it takes to do things. Don't be afraid to turn it up to high and beat the heck out of stuff :)
What attachment were you using for creaming the butter? For cake batters, frostings, etc., I only use the paddle attachment.
As far as beating your batter - how many alternations each of wet and dry ingredients did you do? For finicky cakes, especially WASC, which can easily be over-beaten, I do two alternations of each, max, and I have no problems getting the batter to come together.
Is your butter too cold? I have a KA mixer and use room temp butter (or butter that has been sitting out for 30min). I also use a max speed of 4, I don't go up any higher for anything. You do need to scrape the bowl once or twice because it never seems to mix the stuff on the bottom no matter what attachment I use. And the paddle attachment is the one I use, unless my recipe calls for a different one.
So don't give up! Once you find that sweet spot you won't want to go back!
does your paddle need adjusting so it hits the bottom of the bowl better? baking is such a funny conflicted adventure --
for most cake batters i use cold butter and usually cold eggs too because the planetary action of the stand mixer gets it done and kind of warms things up a bit too -- i stopped beating my cake batters higher than 4 or 5 to try & avoid all the holes you can accumulate in a cake so i can make a prettier serving -- but i do zip it up higher initially to cream ingredients -- but 10-15 minutes is too long to cream something --
one baker's never ever do is another baker's 'i swear by this'
Creaming butter and sugar really should only take 4-5 minutes, max.
you mighta wore your eggs out, natiflor09
It also depends on proportion of butter to sugar- if there is a low proportion of butter relative to sugar you will not really get it light and fluffy e.g 1/2 cup butter to 2 cups of sugar.
Also, get a beater blade- it's worth it, I never have to scrape the bowl with mine and ingredients incorporate faster
The KA scraper blade only has 1 side with scraper on it and doesn't work as good as the metro which has it on both sides
Thanks so much for the replies! I'm so sorry I haven't been able to come back sooner enough!
Hmm the proportion of butter and sugar could be a factor in that case. I hadn't thought about that
And yes I think I'll definitely switch to using a paddle for cake batters. I'm sure the whisk was not helpful and wore everything out. I'll just have to keep trying! Thanks again :)
It also sounds like the beater/paddle isn't reaching the bottom of the mixing bowl. Reading your experience of the butter and sugar taking a long time reminded me of my similar problem with my Kenwood and the cake results because of this. so I went online to learn how to adjust the height of the blade when mixing. Once it was adjusted, cakes were perfect. I have also gone online to learn how to adjust the speed of the KA. I found setting 1 to be too fast and everything was flying out of the bowl. YouTube is a great wonder!
That sounds like a great idea! I'll look into that thank you!