Hey friends! As a baking fan I thought it would be helpful if I shared my thoughts on stand mixers with you! As someone who previously owned a budget version of a KitchenAid, and now uses a KitchenAid, I can bring a picture of what different stand mixers bring to the table, and answer that important question – is it worth paying £300+ for a KitchenAid?
Firstly, it’s important to note that you really don’t need a stand mixer for most things. Yes, they come in handy, but you can make the vast majority of cupcakes, cookies, breads and cakes without one. In fact, lots of recipes like my foolproof cream cheese frosting, and most cakes, are far better off not made in a stand mixer, because of the dangers of over-mixing in the flour, resulting in a tough cake.
However, if you’re interested in making things like marshmallows, pavlovas, really delicious cupcake frostings, and super easy breads, I would really recommend getting a stand mixer. All of these things need prolonged high-speed (or medium-speed in the case of breads) mixing that you just wouldn’t be able to replicate the same results by hand.
So, which one should you go with and how much should you spend? I baked entirely with a hand electric whisk until about 2 years ago when I got the Breville stand mixer shown above (which you can currently pick up for under£50) I loved using the breville – it made mixing and kneading much easier and it was a whizz to whip up pavlovas. However, the bowl size could be frustrating when I was making my Rainbow Cake (admittedly, a lot of batter!) – the batter would be almost over the lip of the bowl.
It was also relatively flimsy and after two years (of weekly use), it was on it’s last legs (damaged beaters, motor making an odd noise!).
I would say that if you are a frequent baker or someone who loves the look of a KitchenAid, it will be worth spending more. After all – it’s something that you’re going to see daily and use weekly – it has the potential to make you happy every one of those times! And KitchenAid’s really are incredibly pretty.
I’ve laid out the main things which I think set the KitchenAid apart from a more value stand mixer below. If one or more of these things matter to you a lot, get the KitchenAid! The model I have is currently (April 2015) £260 on Amazon.
KitchenAid – What sets it apart from a budget stand mixer?
- HUGE bowl capacity – mine is over 4 litres – ie one BIG cake!
- Excellent speed control – from very slow to super fast in increments
- Really weighty (heavy) and well-made – better suited for heavy use
- So much beautiful on your kitchen counter
Things to bear in mind with the KitchenAid
- They’re very heavy – you’ll need to have room for a permanent home on your counter
- The Artisan version comes in different colours, has a 4.8l capacity bowl and a splash guard, but it’s currently £110 more expensive.
- It’s actually easier to add ingredients in while the mixer is running on the Breville stand mixer – there’s not much clearance on the KitchenAid, and the beaters can sometimes fling flour back out. It’s best to stop the mixer or have it running on very low speed
If you’re considering getting a stand mixer, I hope this post has been useful!