The Morphy Richards MixStar isn’t anything like a conventional stand mixer, and yet it does everything your old faithful does, and it takes up half the space. Stand mixers come in many shapes and sizes, but one thing they tend to have in common is a tilt-head design with an overreaching stand that can whisk, knead and mix from above. The Morphy Richards MixStar can whisk, knead and mix too, but it does all this from the base up.
I’ve been using stand mixers for years to make everything from bread and pastry to meringue and whipped cream. In my experience, the best stand mixers are hardy and easy to clean, and while I appreciate the flair a mixer can bring to a kitchen counter, it needs to be built for purpose too. If you’re curious as to how (or if) the MixStar mixer works, you’re not alone. That’s why I put it to the test for a few weeks to make bread, cake, whipped cream and more baked goodies for this Morphy Richards MixStar review.
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Ideal Home’s Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
The Morphy Richards MixStar doesn’t come with quite the same aesthetic appeal as your KitchenAid or Swan mixer, but it’s also significantly more compact and can be easily stored if you’re short on counter space. The bowl is actually very large and more flat than most mixers. Despite its small size you can pack the mixer with large quantities of ingredients and create plenty of batches of your favourite goodies without any struggle. In fact, I encountered more of a struggle when dealing with smaller quantities, because the width of the bowl meant they sat flat at the bottom. This still gave me great results though, and for a relatively inexpensive stand mixer it feels well made and sturdy. It also comes with an in-built timer which is a feature I didn’t know I needed on a stand mixer, but which is amazing for recipes with strict timings.
Reasons to buy
- Compact design
- In-built attachment storage
- Sturdy and well-made
- Timer display
- Large capacity
- Easy to store
- Kneads, mixes and whisks very well
Reasons to avoid
- You lose the conventional charm of a traditional mixer
- Handles larger better than smaller quantities
- No other functions or attachments
Morphy Richards MixStar
- Capacity: 4 litres
- Dimensions: 28.5 x 31 x 28 cm
- Controls: Continuous speed dial
- Speed settings: 1-6
- Cleaning: Dishwasher safe
- Attachments: Knead, whisk, beat, built-in scraper
- Wattage: 650 watts
How does the Morphy Richards MixStar work?
The machine uses a middle pillar onto which you can attach dough hooks, whisks, and flat beaters to rotate around the bowl and combine or mix ingredients. These come with a scraper that prevents anything from being left at the side of the bowl. As opposed to a conventional stand mixer which would come with one attachment for each function, the MixStar has two – one for each side of the bowl.
Attachments clip on to a central arm, which is easy enough to do. This works like clockwork, literally. The attachments have cogs that all work together for continuous synchronised rotation. This is powered by the central pillar, and as you increase the speed of the mixer from 1-6 using the dial the speed of central rotation and of the attachment rotation will increase.
The MixStar comes with a timer for precise cooking. This counts upwards and can be reset at any time. I used it to time my bread as it kneaded for ten minutes, and while it doesn’t come with any sort of timer alarm it was nice to be able to leave my bread to knead and return to an exact record of how long it’s been since I started. The timer can also work when the machine isn’t mixing, so if you need to leave your dough or batter to rest you can time this using the base of the machine itself.
How does the MixStar knead?
The true test of any mixer is in its kneading skills. Even the sturdiest stand mixers can struggle when set on a high speed to form a dough and then knead it for a prolonged period. The MixStar did amazingly at this and I was very impressed with the result. Because there are two dough hooks it was able to pass the ball of dough between both of them and beat it as it circulated around the bowl.
The mixing bowl is quite shallow compared to a conventional mixing bowl, and I had to take the lid off to allow the dough to rise above the rim as it mixed. In all of my tests though I was never concerned about anything spilling outside the mixing bowl, and because of the timer I was able to leave the dough as it kneaded for a few minutes while I prepared the resting bowl.
When making dough in my regular stand mixer I am able to simply cover the bowl in a warm place to allow it to rise. Because of the central pillar in the MixStar I had to move the dough to a separate bowl to allow it to expand in all directions. When it had proven the dough was smooth and stretchy, and had risen significantly. This mixer is the best I have ever used to knead bread dough, and it definitely outperformed my expectations.
How does the MixStar whisk?
Like the dough hooks, the whisk feature on the Morphy Richards MixStar uses two whisk attachments that circulate around the bowl to whip up cream and egg whites to stiff peaks. I used the whisking attachment to whip some cream for the inside of a victoria sponge. Because I only used about 300ml of cream the MixStar’s flat-based bowl still looked fairly empty, and I was worried that it wouldn’t be able to mix the cream effectively. It still did a good job though, and I had perfect whipped cream in less than two minutes. That said, I think it would have struggled with any less cream as it may have been hard to pick it up on the whisk attachments.
Can the Morphy Richards MixStar mix?
I made some cake with this mixer and it came out very well. Creaming the sugar and butter was easy, and the scraper attachment proved essential in making sure no sugar or butter got stuck to the side of the bowl and wasn’t integrated. This is a feature I’d love to see on other stand mixers as it makes my job so much easier. I was able to mix it with the lid off, but when I added the flour into my wet ingredients I placed the lid on and added flour through the slot. This is a little small for adding flour in a mess-free way, but I used a spoon to scrape it through and it fed the flour into the mixer effectively.
The cake came out light and fluffy, because I was able to fold in the flour on the lower settings without knocking too much volume out of my mixture. I did notice that with all of these recipes the MixStar made a fair bit of noise. It’s noisier than many stand mixers I’ve used before. The noise is very mechanical and comes from the base of the machine. It’s not so loud that I couldn’t speak to my partner as a used the machine, but equally if you’re someone who bakes for hours and hours you may find the level of noise frustrating when compared to a quieter machine.
How do you clean the Morphy Richards MixStar?
The MixStar attachments and bowl are both dishwasher safe, and you can simply wipe the base clean. I was worried that the attachments would be difficult to clean by hand, but I discovered that by filling the mixing bowl with soapy water and running the attachments around using their in-built cogs the machine was actually able to clean itself fairly well. I then just went in to wash any other residue off and give the bowl and attachments a good polish.
The MixStar is designed to stack away in one unit. It comes with an attachment holder that slots into the bowl of the mixer when it’s not in use, and this has allocated slots for everything. It keeps all your attachments in one place and makes storage a lot easier.
If you’re looking for a mixer for a small kitchen, this is the one I’d recommend for you. Keep in mind though that it’s got the capacity of a stand mixer, which while a good thing, means it’s not a small appliance. In terms of counter space, I’d compare the MixStar to a food processor in terms of size and storage.
Ideal Home’s verdict: do you ‘knead’ the Morphy Richards MixStar?
If you love to bake bread and cakes but don’t have the space to store a full-sized stand mixer, the Morphy Richards MixStar is absolutely the solution you’re after. It’s still not small, but it’s significantly more compact than any other stand mixer I’ve tried and its in-built storage makes it easy to stow away when you’re done with it.
Many turn to stand mixers for an iconic countertop appliance, and if you want the style that a tilt-head stand mixer can bring to your kitchen then this isn’t the machine for you. While I think it’s a good looking machine, it doesn’t emulate the same style as a KitchenAid or Kenwood mixer. What it does do is mix just as well as these, and for its small stature it can tackle large batches in one go.
About this review, and the reviewer
Millie Fender heads up all things small appliances at Future, and there’s nothing she loves more than testing out the latest and greatest cooking gadgets for indoor and outdoor use, from toasters to air fryers. Millie lives in South London and is constantly squeezing more appliances into her modest kitchen. If it makes it onto the kitchen counters full time, you know an appliance is worth the hype.