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I've been doing more baking than usual, so this problem keeps bugging me: how do I effectively scrape the butter/sugar mixture or half-beaten cream cheese or whatever it is off of the paddle beater, so I don't end up with lumps later on in the process?

Lots of recipes call for scraping the bowl, but that's easy: it's a smooth curved surface, so any half-decent rubber scraper will do the job. A paddle attachment, on the other hand, has Nooks. And Crannies. And oddly-angled almost-but-not-quite-curved-but-certainly-not-flat surfaces. And did I mention the Nooks and Crannies?

What do people do? Struggle through with messy rubber scrapers and even messier hands? Don't bother scraping the beater, and end up with lumpy cheesecake or unmixed cookie dough? Am I missing some great secret of cookie bakers? Are there beaters that are easier to scrape than my Kitchen Aid flex-edge?

(Don't even get me started on the whisk attachment. Especially when the volume of meringue goes higher than the neck of the whisk.)

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Use a rubber spatula to scrape the mixture off one side of the paddle. (For a head lift mixer, do this on the "uphill" side.) Then use the spatula diagonally in the holes, pushing the remaining mixture through the holes onto the unscraped side and off the paddle. The idea is for the mixture to fall out/off in clumps.

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  • What about when the beater stops at just that angle where you can't reach things, and gravity is working against you? – Marti Dec 27 '19 at 1:08
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    Pulse the engine a bit to get it into a better position. – Sneftel Dec 27 '19 at 7:02
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I replace the bowl with a clean, high sided bowl, and turn the mixer on high. The blades throw everything off into the bowl. Then it's easy to scrape that out. I often end up using that bowl for something else anyway, so there's no extra washing.

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  • What about for something like cheesecake, where you're stopping to scrape things once a minute, at least? That seems like a lot of bowl-swapping... – Marti Dec 27 '19 at 1:07
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    Well, it may not be the perfect solution for every batter texture, but it has come in handy sometimes. – RalphMudhouse Dec 27 '19 at 2:49
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I don't have much experience with paddle beaters. Mostly double whisk attachments. This advice is based on my experience.

If you intend only to clean most of the material off of it;

  • I'd suggest first removing the attachment and then shaking the bulk of the mixture off. Shake down into the bowl as gravity/inertia are your best friends here.

  • Then, using a silicon spatula, scrape most of the remainder off top-to-bottom. Starting with the largest surfaces, and using the side of the beater to get any buildup off the spatula.

This won't get everything off the beaters, but hits the sweet-spot of time vs effectiveness for me. (plus, I don't lose any material)

If you do want to get everything off the beaters, add a third step:

  • Quickly whip the beater through some warm soapy water (either by hand, or using the motor if you're very lazy) and rinse+dry it off.

I cannot over-emphasize the benefits of removing the attachment before cleaning for increased maneuverability, and the warm soapy water for loosening the remaining (likely non-polar/oily) bits off.

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  • Excellent tip & welcome to this site. – BaffledCook Mar 15 at 9:59

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