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Buyer's guide to immersion blenders

Chris Perrin is part mad scientist, part glutton, and part culinary adventurer who is always ready to hit the kitchen to make something delicious. Cooking, especially for friends, has always been one of his deepest passions and explains ...

Kitchen gadget tips & recipes

What looks like a boat motor and turns simple soups into gourmet meals? An immersion blender, sometimes called a stick blender, wand blender, or hand blender, and oftentimes lovingly referred to by its fans as a boat motor. These kitchen gadgets, which were virtually unheard of several years ago, attained culinary rock star status overnight. Now, they are must-haves for foodies, soup lovers, bakers, smoothie makers, and anyone who can cook and loves truly useful kitchen gadgets.

Immersion blender cake recipe

Stick Blender Red Velvet Cake

Word of caution: stick blenders are great at spraying ingredients, so use a very deep bowl when mixing.

Cake:
1-1/2 cups shortening, softened
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 ounces liquid red food color
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon butter flavored extract
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2-1/2 cups all purpose flour

Icing:
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 cup milk or half and half
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and grease 2 (9-inch) cake pans.

2. Using your stick blender, cream the shortening and sugar in a very deep bowl. As you do so, move the whisk back and forth, then side-to-side slowly to get everything well mixed.

3. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until well incorporated. Add the cocoa powder and food coloring and mix until well incorporated.

4. In a second deep bowl, blend the buttermilk, vinegar and extracts with the stick blender on its lowest speed.

5. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together salt, baking soda and flour. Begin adding wet and dry ingredients to the sugar mixture in the first bowl, alternating wet and dry ingredients. Add about a third of the dry and blend, add a third of the wet and blend. Repeat twice more for each. All mixing should be done using the back and forth, side-to-side motion until the batter is smooth.

6. Pour the batter into prepared cake pans and bake for 30 minutes. Cool.

7. Meanwhile, make the icing. In a small saucepan over low heat, cook the flour and milk, stirring occasionally, until thick. Let cool.

8. In a large bowl, use immersion blender to cream butter, sugar and vanilla until fluffy. Finally, add cooled flour mixture to butter mixture and blend until it has the consistency of whipped cream.

9. Assemble your cake, fill it, frost it, and eat.

Now go try this recipe for yourself. You will get a smooth batter faster and without the work. It will make you a stick blender believer for sure.

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