Top five stand mixers for 2021
For keen bakers, a stand mixer is a must. Whether you're kneading, mixing, whisking or whipping a food mixer takes much of the effort out of everyday baking jobs.
We've tested all the major brands, from Kenwood to KitchenAid and Sage, to find the mixers that turn out perfect bakes. Our top picks are also robust, a breeze to use and easy to clean.
You don't have to spend a fortune either. We've found some great cheaper mixers, so there's no need to splash out unless you really want to.
How we test stand mixers
Testing stand mixers has its own rewards - you get a cake at the end or, in our case, multiple cakes.
How well that cake has risen and how even the bake is counts towards the overall score for each mixer, because if the mix isn't right then you'll end up with a stodgy, heavy bake rather than a delicious, light cake.
Before those cakes gets anywhere near an oven, we've already monitored how quickly the machine mixes and how often we have to scrape the side of the bowl down during mixing to make sure all the ingredients make it into the batter.
The best mixers are swift and leave the sides of the bowl clean. The worst will have you checking your watch and will leave the sides caked in flour.
But it's not all about mixing. Whether it's mixing cake batter, kneading dough, whisking egg whites or whipping cream, we're looking for well-incorporated ingredients, voluminous results and speed.
When the cake is resting on the stand it's time for the clean up. It should be easy to take the mixer apart and get the bowl and tools clean, so you don't spend more time clearing up than you did baking.
Choosing the best mixer
Stand mixer design hasn't moved on all that much in decades, but in recent years we've seen a wave of handy extra features make an appearance, such as glass bowls and built-in lights for improved visibility when mixing, timer controls and even additional mini mixer bowls for when you are only making small quantities.
If you bake regularly, you might find an extra mixing bowl saves on washing up, between making your sponge and your topping for example, while better visibility in the bowl can make it easier to avoid over-mixing, as you can easily see when your ingredients are incorporated.