Kenwood vs Kitchen Aid
One of the questions we are asked most often is not about cake!
The perennial question for budding cake decorators is whether to buy a Kenwood or a Kitchen Aid cake mixer. After all they will become your best friend.
If you look online and do some research on the matter it becomes quickly clear that no one can agree which is better than the other. At the time of our research we saw 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. In fact I started cake making as a child on a very old Kenwood that was handed down to my mother. Equally those in the Kitchen Aid camp are totally in love with the stunning design and colours. And who can blame them? They make baking sexy!
To keep the contest fair, we looked at two kitchen mixer machines that had similar price tags – around £500 in high street stores, and put them through their paces churning and mixing a lot of flour, eggs, sugar and butter.
KENWOOD CHEF Elite XL
KITCHEN AID 4.8L STAND MIXER
We wanted to look into this question from the angle of a cake maker – which one would give super fab cakes every time? Which would be best to use on a daily basis for heavy duty, repetitive work? Which one should I buy if I needed 12 of them for classes and so on?
On looks alone, the Kitchen Aid wins hands down.
A plethora of sweetie toned colours to choose from, and iconic design to complement most kitchens. What the Kenwood Chef lacks in beauty points though it makes up for in robust construction and additional parts included in the price: - a mixer, blender, a food processor, a bread hook, loads of beaters – and most importantly, a beater that also scrapes the sides of the bowl down as you are mixing (so no need to keep stopping and starting to do this manually.)
But let's see them side by side shall we?
Not the prettiest looking Stand Mixer
Super sexy looking stand mixer
Most reports refer to having had a Kenwood for 20 plus years with not a single issue
Reports of breakages are not unheard of
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.
Most of the time when I want to add ingredients while mixing, the bowl needs to be removed entirely.
The beater that cleans the side of the bowl down is brilliant – no more scraping the sides manually.
The main beater is a bit clunky
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
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!
Comes with many additional attachments including a blender and juicer
It doesn’t come with as many attachments so it is comparatively more expensive
It is super sturdy
It is super sturdy
It is seriously strong. I dropped mine on the floor (my mistake) and it was still fine (the floor wasn’t!)
It is strong but a little cumbersome to move around.
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 head is heavy and harder to lift up and down but this makes it feel more industrial
People who buy it say they love it!
People who buy it say they love it!
And the winner is...?
Despite the iconic design the winner by a nose has to be the Kenwood Mixer. It was quick, efficient and super sturdy. No cumbersome mechanisms to navigate and maybe rightly or wrongly it felt like a cake maker had tried and tested features during the design process. Whilst both are solid cake mixers 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 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.
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 are powerful, and both offer fabulous features. The differences are small and as ever are down to personal preference. I love the aesthetic of the Kitchen Aid. it is a classic design and it looks beautiful in my kitchen. But my Kenwood is a work horse. What it lacks for in beauty it makes up for in function and when time is money these little features matter. And if price is still a turn off, Kenwood do an entry level mixer, The Kenwood K Mix which despite its lighter price tag, and fewer attachments still seriously delivers on function. The Artisan Mixer however IS the entry level for Kitchen Aid so a lot of money to shell out especially if you are a beginner to the trade.
Ultimately I suspect the cake mixer camp is divided but if you are yet to choose and sitting on the fence about which one is best, I would say the Kenwood has it by a nudge. (But so says the girl that owns both of them!)
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