No self-respecting home baker would be without a stand mixer. But amateur cooks can benefit from them too. Indeed, stand mixers - otherwise known as food mixers - can be a godsend for anyone who enjoys making cakes, bread, pastry, puddings and muffins but who doesn’t relish the idea of spending hours slaving away preparing them or having loads of cleaning up afterwards.
1. Bosch MUM57830GB: £340, amazon
This is a premium machine that mixes cakes quickly and without the need for a spatula, but it’s much more than a stand mixer, hence the hefty price tag. It comes with just about every attachment you can think of, including a whisk, citrus press and food processor.
2. Sage Scrape Mixer Pro: £300, John Lewis
We love the attention to detail on this machine, including innovative stainless steel appliances and sensors that adjust power accordingly, but it’s still quieter than most. With Heston’s name attached, it’s nice to get some recipes thrown in too.
3. Kitchenaid 6L Bowl Lift Stand Mixer: £700, John Lewis
You need to be serious about cooking to splash out this much, but this new model of the versatile classic is the business. The retro, all metal design means it’s robust and ideal for making large quantities. The glass bowl lifts from the base so you can keep a firm eye on your creations – from cakes to perfect dough.
4. Breville Pick & Mix Hand and Stand Mixer: £60, amazon
With a twin motor and 10 speed settings, this attractive-looking machine can also be used as a hand mixer (which you can’t do with the more expensive ones). Available in cream, pink or pistachio.
5. Kenwood Chef Sense: £450, John Lewis
This is ideal for festive recipes. Use the K-Beater attachment to produce a tasty pastry for your Christmas mince pies, the dough hook to knead festive spiced bread or the whisk to whip up a cream topping for the Christmas pudding.
6. Russell Hobbs 21200 Stand Mixer: £45, amazon
Here’s another great-value mixer that works as a hand and stand mixer. There are five speeds, along with a turbo setting for that extra blast. Not as sturdy as some, but attachments are simple to use.
7. Morphy Richards Folding Stand Mixer: £53, amazon
Featuring six speed settings, this is great for everything from batters to cakes. You can wipe clean the unit and fold it down to a third of its height to store away and bung the mixing bowl and detachable accessories in the dishwasher.
8. Wilko Freestanding Food Mixer: £100, Wilko
This has the feel of a much more expensive model. With 12 speeds to mix, beat, whip and knead, there’s also a soft start action and plastic lid to cover the bowl – and the attachments are durable.
9. Russell Hobbs Creations: £122, amazon
A good mid-priced option for keen bakers. While it’s not as fast as some of the pricier machines, there are 10 speeds, a pulse function and good splash guard. We found it was particularly good for silky-smooth cake mix.
10. Kenwood Prospero, £120, John Lewis
Great for cooks who want a top-notch stand mixer with all the bells and whistles, but don’t want it to take up half their surface space. It’s compact, but has five speeds, loads of attachments - and 90 recipes to get you started.
For a budget option, our vote goes to Breville Pick & Mix Hand and Stand Mixer. But if you can afford it and really enjoy baking, the Kenwood Chef Sense, which is new on the market, is intuitive, durable and highly practical. Finally, for the crème-de-la-creme of stand mixers, the Kitchenaid 6L Bowl Lift Stand Mixer wins hands down.