Should I buy a Kenwood or a Kitchen Aid? - Pretty Witty Cakes
Dec 19

19 December 2018

Should I buy a Kenwood or a Kitchen Aid?

Should I buy a Kenwood or a Kitchen Aid mixer for my cake business?

The question I am asked most often is not about cake!  It is:

“Suzi – Can you tell me - should I buy a Kenwood or a Kitchen Aid”.

When I first started baking – around and about 50,000 cakes ago – I spent weeks looking into this.  I must have read every forum post and article that I could find on the topic.  The result was clear... no one agreed that one was better than the other.

At that time, my research showed a slight swing in favour of Kenwood mainly down to the fact that most people’s grandmas still had one that had been working for 50 years.  Equally those in the Kitchen Aid camp were totally in love with the stunning design and colours.

And, well...pets had preferences too you know....

So, in the end I did my own research and borrowed one of each.  I wanted to look into this question from the angle of a cake maker – which one would give me super fab cakes every time? Which would be best to use in the Pretty Witty Cakes Classes and online school? Which one should I buy if I needed 12 of them for classes and so on?

Being a bit of a Top Gear fan, I created my own Top Gear Challenge for the Kitchen Mixers.  Of course, I didn’t hurl them off the top of the Grand Canyon to see which one broke into more pieces, or strap a car engine to them to see if they could break the land speed record, but I did put them through their paces with a lot of flour, eggs, sugar and butter!

To keep the contest fair, I looked at two machines that had similar price tags – around £450 in high street stores.

What is Gum Tragacanth at Pretty Witty Cakes

Kitchen Aid (left), Kenwood (right)

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The Kenwood vs the Kitchen Aid Challenge

The Kenwood vs The Kitchen Aid Challenge

Looking at the above pictures, I thought it would be an easy choice. On looks alone, the Kitchen Aid wins hands down.  After all, look how many colours it comes in!  It is like having a whole sweet shop in your kitchen and those who know me know I am just a teensy-weensy bit of a sweets addict!

On the other hand the Kenwood Chef looks so sturdy and robust.  It has a lot of additional parts included for the price: -  a mixer, blender, a food processor, a bread hook, loads of beaters – and most importantly, a beater that scrapes the sides of the bowl down as you are mixing so no need to keep stopping and starting to do this manually

Kenwood Mixer at Pretty Witty Cakes

The Kenwood Chef Titanium KM010 – What comes in the Box!

What about a smaller Kenwood with less bits?

For many of my students, they also found the Kenwood K Mix really good as an entry level mixer that was cheaper but still great.  The one with the glass bowl and black top was always the most popular. 

Should I buy a Kenwood? Black K Mix

And the winner is...?

For me, the hands down winner was, and still is to this day, the Kenwood Mixer.  It was quick, efficient and super sturdy.  There were no cumbersome mechanisms and it felt like a cake maker had tried and tested features during the design process. 

The Kitchen Aid looked fantastic but part of that look comes from seeing all the colours together.  When you just have one colour unpacked in your kitchen, it is less “wow”.   I am not saying a Kitchen Aid is bad but it is a question of personal preference and the small details and ease of use that made me choose the Kenwood.

It was when I used both mixers side by side and when our students used them in cake decorating classes that the differences became abundantly clear.  The Kenwood just gets on with it.  You throw all ingredients in the bowl and turn it on – that is pretty much it. The Kitchen Aid needs far more attention.  The levers are fiddly and it is easy to get confused about which does which as they all look the same (when you have employees this costs you money!) .  If you need to give the cake mixture a stir or add ingredients you literally have to remove the entire bowl rather than lift the head up which slows you down.

Keeping with the Top Gear theme.  If the mixers were cars, the Kitchen Aid is like a manual drive car (or a “stick shift” for all you Americans out there).  It will get you from A to B perfectly.  Your cakes will be fab and life will be better than doing it by hand but, just like a manual car, you need two hands to drive it and have to put in a bit more effort and concentration.  The Kenwood is like an automatic car on cruise control – it drives you all the way to perfect cakes with very little effort on your part and just makes it feel easy

Why did I choose the Kenwood?

Both mixers have some fab features especially for cake makers and both have some serious power.  Undoubtedly, whichever you bought, you would be happy with it.  The difference comes down to small things and personal preferences.

The Kenwood

  • Doesn’t look that pretty.
  • Most reports refer to having had a Kenwood for 20 plus years with not a single issue.
  • People who buy it say they love it!
  • Two handles on the mixing bowl makes it easier to lift.
  • The gap between the top of the bowl and the head is large enough to be able to add ingredients without taking the bowl out.
  • The beater that cleans the side of the bowl down is brilliant – no more scraping the sides manually.
  • The start, stop, speed and head lift functions are all together on one side.  It is therefore possible to operate with just one hand and an elbow freeing up the other hand throughout your baking.
  • The beaters lock in firmly with a click.
  • Comes with load of additional attachments including a blender and juicer.
  • It is super sturdy.
  • It is easy to clean.
  • It is seriously strong.  I dropped mine on the floor (my mistake!) and it was still fine (the floor wasn’t!)
  • Later models have a clock counter which is a great feature.
  • When you pop up the head, a lot of the movement happens internally so less manual pushing up making it a bit easier to work with.

The Kitchen Aid

  • Looks super pretty. 
  • Reports of breakages are not unheard of.
  • People who buy it say they love it!
  • One handled bowl so not so easy to lift.
  • Most of the time when I wanted to add ingredients like flour etc I needed to remove the bowl entirely.
  • The main beater is a bit clunky.
  • It is a two handed operation. The on, off, speed and head lift functions are split between both sides and looks similar so easy to accidentally press the wrong one and cover your kitchen in cake mix!
  • The beaters are more fiddly to attach.
  • It doesn’t come with as many attachments so it is comparatively more expensive.
  • It is sturdy when still but feels less sturdy when moving the parts on it.
  • There are more nooks and crannies for icing sugar to get into so slightly harder to clean.
  • It is strong but a little bit too cumbersome for me to say it is easy to move around.
  • No clock counter and few additional parts over and above a basic mixer.
  • The head is heavy and harder to lift up and down.

So what if you have a Kitchen Aid and have read this blog post? Well I am definitely not saying Kitchen Aids are bad.  If you have a Kitchen Aid it is likely you think it is fab as you will be used to it.  But if you are yet to choose and sitting on the fence about which one is best, in my opinion that has to be the Kenwood. 

I am always open to being convinced otherwise of course!

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