Conquering the Kitchenaid

posted Tuesday May 27th, 2014


This past weekend, we held an early celebration for Annabelle’s 13th birthday. I made her cake with simple recipes for white cake and buttercream frosting I found online. It did include four layers in varying shades of pink, per the almost-birthday girl’s request, but otherwise it was the simplest of cakes.

And it was a milestone for me. I actually used a Kitchenaid mixer.

I have a lot of fears. In no particular order, I am afraid of dental work, heights, the ocean (and everything in it), snakes, turtles, rodents, birds, using a corkscrew, oncoming trains, roller coasters, elevators, escalators and falling down stairs.

For the most part (elevators and escalators aside), I embrace my fears. Really, I’m okay with never teetering on the top of the Ferris Wheel. I don’t need to pet your desert tortoise or eat sushi. After 47 years, I’ve learned to work around my fears. Even work with them.

But one fear was really getting in my way, and last week I decided it was time to conquer it.

I was afraid of my Kitchenaid. For several years and more than one model, I refused to turn on my mixer, mostly for fear I’d wind up covering the entire kitchen with a fine spray of flour — or something worse. I received a couple as gifts, but always gave them away to friends, muttering about not having enough counter space but really, in my heart, terrified of the thing.

And yet, I love to bake. After years of smooshing cookie dough and cake batter with my fingers (sorry to any of you who tried to eat any of it) last summer I finally eyed a hot pink number in Target and brought it home, vowing to use it. Eventually.

The Kitchenaid gathered dust for months. From time to time, a friend would come over and use it, but we all know that didn’t count.

“Hey, you’re going to make my cake from scratch, right?” Annabelle asked last week. She’s big on “from scratch.” 

“Of course!” I replied, realizing as soon as the words were out of my mouth that there’s no way to make buttercream with your fingers.

And so I did it. I put the ingredients in the bowl, secured the latch,  held my breath and turned it on to the very slowest speed, just like everyone who’s ever heard me express my fear of the Kitchenaid has told me to do. I didn’t spray the kitchen with powdered sugar. There were no I Love Lucy moments. In fact, the cake was done and baked and iced before I knew it. The layers came out even (for me), the icing was creamy and easy to spread. I didn’t try any, but I’m told it tasted pretty good, too.

That night, I had trouble lighting the sparklers (another fear) but hey, one phobia at a time.

For now, I’m taking birthday cake orders.




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3 Responses to “Conquering the Kitchenaid”

  1. I’ve had my mixmaster for years and love using it!!! If you ever come to the NW, we’ll bake a cake together.

  2. So proud! It’s gorgeous. I have one and really the most it gets used is when I make cinnamon honey butter for all friends & neighbors at Christmas. I’m inspired to go all ombre now!

  3. LOL- we really are cyber-souls. We sold the kitchenaid we got as a wedding gift for the “counter top”reason as well- and yet I love cooking/baking etc…with you on snakes- also really any bug,slug,spider etc…crossing bridges, other people driving ( I sit in the back if at all possible), trash compactors, unlabeled goat cheese, peeing outdoors, being on stage/performing, natural childbirth….I could go on- I’ll just thank you for the recipes instead :)

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