I’m a Former Pastry Chef, and This Compact Hand Mixer Gives My Bulky Stand Mixer a Run for Its Money

published Jan 20, 2023
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ricotta cookies on wood and blue plate
Credit: Photo: Paola + Murray; Food Styling: Jessie YuChen

You don’t have to know me personally to know that I live and die for pastry. If you’ve read just about anything I’ve written here on Kitchn, you’ll find I’ve snuck a little tidbit about my past life as a pastry chef or my journey to perfect gluten-free versions of my favorite desserts. And, while I no longer work in restaurants or have my own donut company, I do find myself whipping up a batch of blueberry oatmeal muffins early on a Sunday morning or popping a late night single chocolate chip cookie in my state-of-the-art toaster oven as a midnight snack.

In order to have those sweet treats at the ready, I’ve equipped myself with the best tools to make it happen. I’m talking about my favorite spatula, reusable baking mat, and trusty KitchenAid stand mixer. And, while I continually depend on the baking essentials that have proven themselves to be non-negotiables in the kitchen over the years, I recently discovered a new find that has totally (and unexpectedly) changed the baking game: the Breville Handy Mixer.

TBH, I was hesitant to use this little handheld thing. My mother purchased it in November, and raved about it for weeks before I came home for the holidays. But, I believe in the power of stand mixers — I love the hands-free design, the ease of use, and the dependability. During a busy pre-Christmas baking frenzy, while the KitchenAid was occupied with a prolonged frosting-whipping process, I had no choice but to try out the hand mixer, and I’m so glad I took it for a whirl.

My first takeaway while removing the mixer from the cabinet was that it’s incredibly well-designed. For starters, unlike every other appliance in my parents’ kitchen, the Breville did not have a loose cord tangled and/or taking up precious shelf space. In fact, not just the cord, but also the six included attachments (two silicone-coated wire beaters, two whisks, and two dough hooks) were also neatly tucked away in the mixer’s compact, clear storage container that attaches to the bottom. As someone with close to zero free space in my kitchen, this storing situation is a huge plus.

Credit: Stella Totino

Another element of the appliance that I love: This hand mixer has abandoned buttons in favor of a knob. Need to speed up? Just roll the little wheel forward and watch as the 250-watt motor effortlessly turns those runny, translucent egg whites into stiff, foamy pillows. What’s even more special: For the moments when I’m not manually adjusting the knob, the hand mixer uses its patented Beater IQ to sense the correct mixing speed. In other words, I just need to put in the right attachments, add ingredients to the bowl, press on, and let the mixer do all the work for me.

It also has a built-in timer displayed on an easy-to-read LED screen in case you, like me, lose track of time while mesmerized by the dough magically coming together before your very eyes. And, I love how silent it is, especially when using the beater attachments. Like the Flex Edge beater for the KitchenAid stand mixers, these beater attachments are coated in silicone, which not only keeps your bowl from getting all marked up, but also works to incorporate the mixture evenly and thoroughly — limiting the need for a spatula scrape around the sides. Oh, and the little machine is super lightweight. On the aforementioned baking bonanza, I swear I must’ve had the thing in hand for over three hours throughout the day and my arm wasn’t sore in the slightest!

Bottom line, after using my mom’s these past couple of weeks, I’m snagging one for myself. I never thought I’d meet the day when I found a hand mixer that rivals my stand mixer, and now that I have, well, I’m just not sure I can go on without having one by my side for all my upcoming baking adventures.