The shiny red finish, the sturdy silver bowl, the perfect white paddle snapped into place — it’s Kitchen-Aid mixer go time. Part of me wanted to crack a bottle of champagne against the base to mark its maiden voyage, but no way would I risk that kind of damage to my baby.
For my very first foray with my new mixer, I decided to go with cupcakes. Honestly I didn’t really care what I made as long as I got to get that paddle spinning for the first time. I had seen a frosting recipe in Martha’s Cupcake Book that caught my eye — honey cinnamon frosting. She paired it with a roasted banana cupcake, which sounded delicious, but I decided to go with the Applesauce Spice Cupcake instead. The flavors are a bit autumnal, but they’re just so darn tasty that who cares what season it is?
As excited as I was to christen my new mixer, the baking process soon progressed into a bit of a comedy of errors. I’m familiar with using a Kitchen-Aid mixer because I grew up baking with my mom and busting out her classic white one for all types of cookies and cakes. But of course, now that I have my own, all that knowledge went out the window. At one point I turned the mixer on before locking the bowl into place. Amateur move! The little attachment knob on the front of the mixer popped right off in protest and landed in the batter. Fortunately, no harm was done (to the mixer or the batter).
The cupcakes came out moist and soft and filled my kitchen with the heavenly aroma of apples and cinnamon. These treats were intended as dessert for a dinner party I was headed to that evening. Since the dinner guests totaled all of seven people, I didn’t find it necessary to make a full batch of two dozen cupcakes. So I halved the recipe. This worked out for the most part, except for the fact that this mixer is accustomed to handling a greater bulk, if you will. I felt like the mixer was mocking me as it whipped up the tiniest amount of ingredients possible. The powerful motor seemed to laugh in my face as it turned the small portion of eggs, butter, sugar, and flour into creamy batter in no time flat, as if to say, “Is that all you’ve got for me?” Next time I’ll be busting out the big guns — maybe some bread dough? Or a two layer cake?
I topped the cupcakes with a swirl of frosting and a sprinkling of cinnamon. The frosting was quite simple and began the way most frostings do — with an obscene amount of butter. I just eyeballed the additions of honey and cinnamon until I got the flavor and consistency I was looking for. I think there’s a reason these might be Fall treats, because this icing does not stand up to heat. They maintained their perfectly swirled peaks in the refrigerator, but turned to soft mounds by the time I reached my destination. However, they still looked scrumptuous and the party guests had no trouble gobbling them up. Maybe I’ll revisit these once the leaves turn. I also intend to experiment further with honey frostings. Honey is the best. I bet the bees are pissed that we take it from them.