Monday, August 8, 2011

Ode to the KitchenAid Stand Mixer: Baking a Cake without You is Not the Same

I love my red KitchenAid stand mixer.  It was probably my favorite wedding gift (thanks Fellners!).

For my mom's birthday I decided to bake her a cake (as a surprise).  Naturally, I browsed the cake recipes over at Smitten Kitchen, one of my favorite cooking blogs.  My mom's birthday is only a week after mine, and she made me my favorite cake--yellow cake with chocolate icing.  So, I wanted to make something other than chocolate.

Pink Lady Cake. Strawberry cake with cream cheese icing. Yes ma'am. Mom loves strawberries so I thought it would be a success.  The cake turned out awesome (although not as good looking as Deb's from Smitten Kitchen).

The road to the finished product was quite frustrating and hilarious.

I did not make this cake in my kitchen.  We are living with my mom right now, so her kitchen was my workspace.  Not only is it difficult to cook in someone else's kitchen because you don't know where everything is, but also because their equipment is not your equipment.

I found a stand kitchen mixer, combined all the ingredients, and started her up.  It was horrible. Horrible. The cake batter was thick and looked like ice cream--which was apparently too much for this feeble mixer. It started smoking a little, and it smelled like burnt motor.  My mom always has a hand mixer, so I found it and began using it.  Every time I moved it a little, the beaters fell out. I even mixed it with one beater for a while.

I have never before yelled that many profanities while baking.

After struggling with the unstable beaters of the second mixer I realized that they were the wrong ones and searched for another pair--which I found in a different drawer.  Life moved on much easier after that, and I felt stupid.

I baked the cake, let it cool, and assembled it. Much smoother.

I bought some pink icing that comes in the aerosol can (I don't have any piping materials) so I could decorate the cake like the one on Smitten Kitchen--because her's is so adorable! Now, I've baked a lot of cakes, but have piped none of them.  Trying to pipe letters and polka dots on the cake with the aerosol can was so hard. You have to push the nozzle to the side, and after a few minutes my hand was shaking. Needless to say, it looked good, but a bit squiggly.

Mom was pretty surprised!  The cake tasted great--especially the icing! It was rich and sweet, but not too sweet.  I loved the texture.  Thank you Smitten Kitchen!

The moral of the story is that my KitchenAid mixer is amazing, and my cake adventure would have been a lot less exciting if I was using it.

If you don't have one, find one on sale and buy it now. Seriously. 


  1. Ah, my kitchen aid mixer is also one of my favorite kitchen appliances. Right up there with my cast iron skillet and my bread machine! Thanks for the Smitten Kitchen reference. I will be reading her blog for a while tonight.

  2. Oh, cast iron. I love it. I have a dutch oven and want some smaller skillets.

    And, smitten kitchen is my go to for any fun recipes. It has great pictures, too.

  3. I look for cast iron skillets at garage sales... you can sand the rust off if they look bad and just reseason them in your oven.