A stand mixer is a great investment. These powerful machines can beat whipped cream as readily as they can knead dough or mix up cookies, shouldering the brunt of physical kitchen labor (and saving your wrists and arms). Our longtime top pick is the planetary-style KitchenAid 6-Quart Professional 600 Series Stand Mixer (as in, the attachments operates like the planets, rotating around a central axis). However, we were curious about another high-end stand mixer that some bread bakers swear by: the Ankarsrum Stand Mixer. This machine, from a Swedish brand, has a larger capacity than most mixers and takes an entirely different approach to mixing in that it spins the bowl rather than having a planetary setup. These are some of the reasons Andrew Janjigian, a frequent Serious Eats contributor and author of the Wordloaf newsletter, switched to the Ankarsrum. “The main reason I moved to an Ankarsrum from a planetary stand mixer is its capacity: I can fit into it nearly twice the amount of dough than my planetary could hold (around 10 pounds, versus less than seven in a 6-quart Kitchen Aid),” he says. “It can also mix at higher speeds than many planetary mixers, even when handling stiff doughs.”
Since it employs a different way of mixing, it also has particular instructions when it comes to adding ingredients; instead of placing the dry ingredients in the bowl first and adding the liquids, you strike that, and reverse it: liquids and wet ingredients go in first, then dry ingredients. For example, when making bread, you would first add water, yeast, and salt, and then add flour. But, like the KitchenAid, the Ankarsrum comes with multiple attachments, including two types of beaters, a kneading hook, a scraper, and a dough roller (as well as two bowls and a bowl lid). We received a sample of and tested this powerful machine by using it for two months, making whipped cream, cookies, cakes, and of course, bread, to see how it performed.
- Cookie Test: We used one of the stand mixer’s beating attachments (the one featuring a single wire per beater) and its plastic bowl and lid to cream butter and sugar and mix thumbprint meltaway cookies.
- Whipped Cream Test: We fitted the mixer with the whipping attachment and beat one cup of heavy whipping cream in the plastic bowl with the lid.
- Bread Tests: We mixed and kneaded three bread recipes (buttery rolls, fruit-studded stollen, and basic white bread) using the scraping paddle, dough roller, and metal bowl.
- Pound Cake Test: We mixed ingredients for a lemon pound cake in the metal bowl using the single-wire beaters.
- Cleaning and Usability: We noted how easy it was to set up and use the machine, disassemble it, and clean it.
What We Learned
The Mixing Style Took Some Getting Used To
While a traditional-style stand mixer features a rotating head built into the top of the machine, the Ankarsrum takes a different approach to mixing: it spins the bowl. And, we admit, we were skeptical about it. But after testing multiple recipes in the stand mixer using various attachments, we found that it was a surprisingly effective method for integration—if used correctly. A big difference with this style of stand mixer is that you have to add the wet ingredients first, or else things won’t properly integrate. This took some getting used to and meant adjusting recipe instructions a little bit, but once we got the hang of it, it wasn’t a big deal. The other challenge was knowing which attachment and bowl setup to use. For example, when beating butter and sugar for cookies, we did some research and learned you should use the beaters that feature a single wire per beater rather than the more whisk-like ones, which are better for whipping. We also found that using the clear bowl was nice for whipping cream and beating butter since you could clearly (no pun intended) see what stage in the process you were at.
The Dough Roller and Scraper Were Very Effective at Kneading
When we first saw the dough roller, we were very confused; how could a rounded attachment with grooves knead bread as well as a dough hook? But then we got started kneading and our doubts vanished; it excelled at kneading stickier doughs as well as hardier ones, with beautiful baked results. To set the mixer up for kneading, you pull up the pin at the end of the arm, place the roller underneath, then let the pin slide down into the roller. Then, you attach the scraper to the bowl by slotting it into one of the holes to the left of the arm. To get the machine started, turn the knob on the left with a quick twist, or set the timer for longer kneads; to raise or lower the speed, adjust the knob on the right. As you begin to mix, the scraper ensures that ingredients fall back into the center of the bowl, while the roller integrates and kneads. An important aspect of this setup is that the arm holding the roller can be adjusted so it’s closer to the inner part or outer part of the bowl. This took some getting used to, but in the end, we appreciated the control it gave us over the kneading process. It also prevented the dreaded dry ingredient pileup at the bottom of the bowl that can happen with other stand mixers.
The Plastic Bowl and Lid Were Great for Messy Jobs
When it came to creaming butter and whipping cream, the lid and plastic bowl combo was a winner. The translucent plastic bowl helped us to gauge where ingredients were in the beating process (there was no chance of accidentally overbeating the whipped cream), and the lid helped contain the inevitable splatter of beating at high speeds. Not to mention they produced perfect results in a short amount of time.
The Verdict: The Ankarsrum Stand Mixer is a Powerful, Versatile Machine
While the Ankarsrum is known to excel at kneading dough for bread, we found it was actually quite good at a variety of mixing tasks; it easily creamed butter and sugar, thoroughly mixed poundcake batter, and took a mere 35 seconds (!!) to whip cream into stiff peaks. Not to mention its ability to knead both sticky and stiff bread dough with ease (we also liked its wide bowl which was easy to get a spatula or spoon into; no clunky head impeded access). That said, it is quite expensive, so consider your use-case of a stand mixer—if you’re a frequent bread maker, then the Ankarsrum might be a good fit. And overall, if you are patient and willing to learn (and don’t mind watching a few Youtube explainers along the way), we think this machine is worth the learning curve (and price tag).
Price at time of publish: $750.
- Weight: 28 lbs
- Voltage: 120 Volts
- Wattage: 600 Watts
- Dimensions: 18.5 x 18 inches
- Capacity: 7 liters (30 cups)
- Attachments and bowls included: Dough roller, scraper, kneading hook, two single-wire beaters, two multi-wire beaters, plastic bowl, lid, metal bowl
- Care: Attachments and bowls are dishwasher-safe; to clean the exterior of the machine, wipe down with a damp rag before drying.
- Warranty: The mixer has a 7-year factory warranty which covers the machine (though it excludes the bowl and accessories)
Is the Ankarsrum stand mixer worth buying?
If you don’t mind taking the time to get to know how the machine works, and if you’re the type who likes to whip up a loaf of sourdough on a Tuesday, the Ankarsrum could be a worthy investment. The powerful motors excelled at kneading both stiff and sticky doughs, and the other attachments performed quite well, too (we were particularly impressed with the 35 seconds it took to make perfect whipped cream). The only downside is it’s quite expensive—about $200 more than the KitchenAid 6 Qt. Professional 600 Series Bowl-Lift Stand Mixer—and it takes more legwork to understand how it works.
How is the Ankarsrum stand mixer different from a KitchenAid stand mixer?
While the KitchenAid has its motor in its head which spins the attachment, the Ankarsrum’s motor is in the base and spins the bowl. The kneading style is quite different, too. The Ankarsrum features a dough roller, which kneads the dough in a style more akin to hand kneading, though it does also come with a standard dough hook.
What can I make in the Ankarsrum stand mixer?
The Ankarsrum stand mixer is great for kneading bread since it sports a powerful motor that can tackle all manner of dough. We also found its other attachments (such as the beaters) quite effective at beating butter and whipping cream, making it great for all manner of baking projects, including cookies, cakes, and pavlovas or meringues.
How do I clean the Ankarsrum stand mixer?
The metal bowl, plastic bowl, and attachments are all dishwasher-safe. To clean the machine itself, use a damp rag to wipe it down before drying it.