This Old Mixer

by connie on June 30, 2014

ThisOldMixerPretty soon,  I am going to have to say “Good Bye!” to this old mixer. It’s a Kitchen Aid made by Hobart.  I am pretty sure this mixer is from the mid to late 70’s, but with no serial number, it is hard to pinpoint the year. Based on a google search, the Model K5-A mixer has been in production since the 40’s and the white cord indicates the late 70’s.

I can hear its motor straining, especially when I make Springerle dough. This old mixer’s zip and speed is gone. Several weeks ago I cut down the batch to two thirds size to relieve the strain on the motor. I tried to buy additional bowls and beaters more than 10 years ago and this bowl size was not available even then. It will be bittersweet, because the mixer has given me many baking memories, including family baking favorites and my ownership of House on the Hill  Cookie Molds. I can’t imagine having made all the Springerle cookies I’ve made over the last 20 plus years for family, friends, photography shoots, classes, and Open House samples if I had to have made them without a high powered standard mixer like this one.

It has been a workhorse in my kitchen for many years and I have given it a good run. More than a good run really, because I have abused the thing by using it for Springerle dough more than anything else. It was given to me, used, in the early 1990’s  and I was so very grateful to have such a wonderful tool – one that I would have been unlikely to purchase for myself. At that time, I did a lot of baking for bake sales, ball games and for my children’s activities. And it was during this same period that  I became a serious baker of Springerle, as my grandmother was not able to make Springerle cookies anymore. In 1993, I submitted my grandmother’s recipe and sample cookies to the annual Chicago Tribune holiday cookie contest and was one of the winners that year. And thus began a series of Springerle related events in my life, leading to my purchase of House on the Hill, and of course, this blog.

And so, I think in July , I will be buying a new Kitchen Aid Mixer. I will be looking for an 8 quart instead of a 6 quart bowl, and I am going to want that very low speed feature that I have used in teaching kitchens when travel teaching. I am going to get an extra bowl and extra beaters. I might even go for a red mixer; not quite sure about that yet. But I won’t forget you, my old mixer. You have been with me for a long time, and you have eased my work load on many an occasion. People have praised my cookies and you went without accolades. But I have been thankful to have such a great tool in my kitchen. Hmmmmm…..I’m not even sure I will say “good bye” , maybe just put you on light duty!

Wishing you warm baking memories too! Connie

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Diane Hoffman 07.15.14 at 7:54 pm

Connie, I have a white one that my Grandma gave me many years ago. I remember when my Granfather( a very cute little German Man ) bought it for her for her birthday. It was1969. I had never seen a mixer like that before in my life! She worked as a baker at the local high school back in the days when they actually baked real food for the kids!I treasure the many hours we spent in her kitchen and my Moms. I learned so much from her. My grandparents were German immigrants and I was very close to them. So far, my mixer has held up, even with my daughters using it as they grew up with me in the kitchen. If it dies,I will mourn it! It is a piece of my Grandma that I still have. So I understand your feelings about your hard working mixer. I eye up those metallic red ones too but I can’t turn my back on my old workhorse just yet!

2 ~ ~Ahrisha~ ~ 07.31.14 at 10:08 am

Hi Connie,
I too have abused my Kitchen Aid but it is still going strong. Mine is also from the 70’s and I believe it is a bit older than yours. When I buy my new one I am going to because they have great colors no one else has. When it is Todays Special Value you can really save money and get additional attachments. Take a look at them.

3 patricia 07.31.14 at 3:36 pm

I have an old white Kitchenaid from the early 80’s. When I remodeled my kitchen I decided to get the new shiny red one with the bigger bowl. I still have my working white mixer and kind of miss it. The red is beautiful and I like the slow start, but the bowl is big for a lot of recipes. Just as the old one strained on some recipes. The shield is nicer on the new one. The bowl is mirror finish stainless and shows spots….not as nice as the brushed stainless. SO many things are nicer on the old one. I had an off market bowl scraper blade that work like a million buck.s I bought the new KA blade for the red baby and it sucks. It does not scrape the bowl and it makes me sick. So enjoy your ‘old reliable white’ mixer. I did’t think I’d miss it so much. And I shopped around…if you have Kohl’s in the area with coupons it is a lot cheaper than QVC. I got the first one at Costco. They have a special design with a bowl with a lip.
Also have a question about the molds. Can I make beeswax in the molds.? I have tried but they do not come out whole. I have found these in needlework stores and wanted to ‘custominze’ some for friends. I have not tried Springerle yet, but I will.

4 Karen 08.18.14 at 10:06 am

My mother in law gave me a kitchen aid mixer for Christmas as few years prior to wedding. It’s at least 20 years old, one of the first professional series. I remember standing in front of it thinking I should be doing something as I had hand mixed most things prior or burnt out many a hand mixer!
My faithful mixer is also showing some age and I occasionally think of replacing but not quite there yet. Bittersweet!

5 Rhoda Ann 08.18.14 at 11:31 am

I paid $169.oo for my Kitchenaid in 1973…big $$ for me at that time. Best investment I ever made. Used to use it for grinding meat as well as what I learned from my Wilton cake decorating course. Now, a pescatarian, I use my kitchenaid for baking only

6 Kitty 08.18.14 at 1:29 pm

I received my first kitchen aid in 1963 when I won a cake decorating contest. My daughter-in-law still uses it as my hubby decided I “needed” a new one. I’m with you, I miss the old one with all its memories. I never went into business but it carried me through 5 boys worth of birthdays, bake sales, church events and yes, decades of springerle baking. I still have my mother’s roller from at least the 30’s, perhaps older. This is my first visit to your blog since I was sick a couple of yeas ago. I am hoping to find a recipe like my mother’s, no leavening, just the well beaten egg whites.

Good luck with your new machine. God bless it and you.

7 Dana 08.18.14 at 3:57 pm

I have a white K5a that I received when I was 11yo, in 1970. I was a big bread baker from that time until the 1980s, so the mixer has had some heavy-duty use. It is in my kitchen now, used by my daughters still. About 5 years ago, the motor stopped in the middle of making gingerbread dough (almost as dense as springerle) at Christmastime! My engineer husband nosed around with it while I got online to troubleshoot. We ended up buying replacement motor brushes. They replace the coiled carbon brushes that are inside the slotted, circular openings on either side of the motor. Easy. It worked. So, we are still going (pretty) strong 44 years after purchase!!

8 teresa 08.20.14 at 11:58 am

I have enjoyed using my black Kitchen Aide from the late 80’s and purchased one for my daughter a couple of years ago.
I’m having to replace a whisk ( which now has a detached wire) and the area where the whisk attaches to the machine now needs to be replaced.
Does anyone have suggestions as to where they do repairs on Kitchen Aides in the LA area?
The machine is so heavy, so not sure about sending it somewhere via mail for repair. I appreciate any suggestions. I love this machine.

9 ellen mason 08.22.14 at 9:33 pm

i have almost that exact model kitchen aid — including the no serial number and discolored marks above and below the name band. my mom bought it for me as a wedding gift in 1972. last year i couldn’t get the bowl to stay properly positioned while i was making xmas springerles. i thought i was putting too much batter in or making the motor work too hard.

but i couldn’t bear to part with the wedding gift from my mom — or from all the memories that the mixer held. so i called kitchen aid asking where i could get the mixer fixed. they sent me the repair part free and told me how to fix the machine. i didn’t ask about an extra bowl because i had bought one earlier in the year on ebay.

i, too, love the new red kitchen aid. but not as much as i love my no-serial-number old kitchen aid!

10 Lynne 09.01.14 at 5:47 pm

I just got my very first Kitchen Aid this Mother’s Day! A hand mixer is all I’ve ever had. My cookie molds have been used for everything except springerle cookies. My husband bought the mixer so I can finally attempt the cookies. It’s from Costco and the motor amazing. The only thing I don’t like is the top doesn’t lift up to add ingredients and put attachments on. Instead the bowl arms drop down which doesn’t give much room at all to add flour or change the attachments.

As much as I love the bright red Kitchen Aid I did end up getting the black to match my appliances. I don’t live very dangerously.

11 connie 09.02.14 at 9:43 pm

I am so enjoying all the stories about your mixers. So much appreciation for these favorite tools means love in the kitchen! Our friends and families reap the benefits!
Keep on baking! Connie

12 Barbara 09.11.14 at 12:05 pm

Don’t throw it out. There are instructions online how to take it apart and grease it. That’s probably all it needs. Or if it needs a new gear they are CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP. You will NEVER get anything as good as this one. The Hobart K5ss is the quintessential mixer. Fix it or if you don’t want it I will take it and fix it! 🙂

13 Doris 09.30.14 at 2:25 pm

Connie, I still have my mother’s old Kitchen Aid mixer that she received when she got married in 1944, and the darn thing still works like it was brand new! Only problem is mother broke the glass mixing bowl and we have been keeping an eye out at the antique malls for a replacement. The old attachments fit our 1972 Kitchen Aid (except for the ice cream maker), they even fit our DD’s 2013 Kitchen Aid! IMHO, Kitchen Aid has proven to be the BEST mixer on the market! Don’t get rid of it, ever!

14 Barbara 10.16.14 at 12:30 pm

I, too, had exactly the same mixer and had to say “Good-Bye” this past summer. I’m the last baker in my generation, so I, too, remember many, many batches of cookies, cakes, and sweets I made in that dented old stainless steel bowl. Best of luck with your new one!

15 Donna 10.30.14 at 11:54 pm

My husband and I inherited his mother’s old white Kitchen Aid mixer. He cannot remember when it was not a part of the cooking done everyday in his Polish grandparents and mother’s kitchen. Everything was made from scratch.
We used the Kitchen Aid mixer for several years before it began leaking oil. When nothing more could be done (new motor off eBay) we put the mixer on a shelf of honor in our kitchen.
I was unhappy to not use our mixer. We bought a hand held Kitchen Aid mixer, but it was limited to box cake mixes. The speed could not be regulated as we wished.
Christmas of last year, our youngest son (also a great cook!) bought me a black Kitchen Aid mixer. I could hear the angels singing!!
There are items in our life that form a bond with us. The mixer is one of them. Another memory I have are the Springerle cookies my mother bought at a German bakery in downtown Louisville at Christmastide. They were heaven to bite into…..

16 Cheri 11.17.14 at 11:12 am

I too had an old white Kitchen Aide mixer. The only reason that statement is in past tense is because I have already passed it along to my daugher. The mixer is on it’s 4th generation of bakers and still going strong! This mixer belonged to my German grandmother and was the one she used to teach me how to make Springerle cookies.

17 Kathleen 12.17.14 at 6:46 pm

I also have a Hobart Kitchen Aid circa 1970s. I only have the whip beater… and unable to locate the beater you used in the video to incorporate the flour. In checking with La Sur Table they had two – one too small and one too large (6 quart). Is there a source that might have the right size beater?

I made Springerle cookies for the first time. They turned out so beautiful…and tasty. Used lemon oil as I couldn’t find the anise oil ..just the seed. Is it possible for a novice like me to make anise oil from the seeds?

18 carla 12.18.14 at 7:10 pm

I have the same one too. Similar vintage too. I purchased it with the proceeds from my first paycheck (an engineering position after graduation from college). I had made my living through school making pastries at night and going to school in the daytime. In that job I made six cheesecakes at a time in a 30 qt Hobart mixer. I sometimes squeeze two (at a time) out of my trusty 5 qt Kitchenaid. I’ll replace it with a larger unit if it ever stops serving me. Of course, it may last longer than I do.

19 connie 01.05.15 at 9:17 pm

Hi Kathleen,

Do you want the flat paddle attachment or the beater blade? Is your mixer like mine the lift style rather than the tilt-head?


20 Kathleen 01.21.15 at 9:20 pm

I found the flat paddle attachment through Kitchen Aid. $14. What is the beater blade? Is this used in your video? When do you use beater blade vs. flat paddle?

21 connie 01.22.15 at 10:31 am

Hi Kathleen,
The beater blade has a rubber spatula along the outside edges of the blade and thus scrapes the bowl while it is mixing or beating. In the video, I am using a beater blade. The flat paddle is stronger if it is metal, but you often will have to stop and scrape the bowl.


22 connie 02.10.15 at 9:24 pm

The beater blade is a mixing paddle that has small spatulas on the outside so that the bowl is constantly scraped as the beating proceeds. There is no need to stop and scrape the bowl. Great for all batters that need to be thoroughly mixed, but also works for heavy dense dough. Full disclosure: I have broken tow of them making Springerle dough, but I make LOTS of Springerle, so will continue to use this product!


23 TB 02.11.15 at 2:41 am

I, too, enjoyed reading about your Kitchen Aid mixer. I bought a white Kitchen Aid (tilt-back) mixer around 1962-63. I have used it for everything from cakes/frosting – fondant – to Swedish potato sausage. Recently it gave out (speed control stopped working). I have replaced it with a new teal-colored Kitchen Aid mixer. Unlike many other small appliances, my attachments from the old Kitchen Aid mixer will also fit my new one! My kids also have Kitchen Aid mixers. We wouldn’t have any other brand! 🙂

24 jill wong 02.26.15 at 9:31 am

I love your story ,only I need to warn you the new kitchen aids are not made by Hobart anymore. If used frequently they fall apart within a year . Please check out the reviews on the web before purchasing .
Also the heater paddle is covered in plastic which quickly peels off leaving a
lead based metal exposed ,very dangerous !!!!
Will never buy again 🙁

25 Janis 05.08.15 at 5:00 pm

I take my Kitchen Aid (Hobart) mixer in for yearly maintenance, they can repack or replace bearings, parts, make adjustments….its going strong. enjoy your website very much.

26 Judi Yingling 03.16.17 at 11:05 am

I too recently said good by to my Kitchen Aid after 25 years of service….but, before running out to buy another kitchen aid I did some homework. Although my kitchen aid served me well, there were a lot of things I didn’t like about it.

After a couple months of searching websites and looking at reviews, I decided to go with the Ankarsrum Mixer. It’s made in Sweden…..and it’s been around forever. I love that the top is completely open and it has a built in scraper. Several of my Springerle cookie companies use this mixer and I can’t say enough good things about it.

I got mine through the Bread Becker company in Georgia (they gave me a real deal on a 2014 model. So happy I went with this. It’s my go to appliance in the kitchen.

The Ankarsrum Original Kitchen Machine (formerly known as Verona, Magic Mill, Electrolux Assistent, DLX), a favorite mixer of Swedish cooks since 1940, is now available for North American homeowners. Fashioned from sturdy chrome and steel, this 600 watt professional quality kitchen tool is a durable all-purpose mixer that produces superior baking results. A variety of optional attachments transforms the Ankarsrum Original into a complete kitchen center, eliminating the need for a separate food processor, meat grinder, or slicer. The Ankarsrum Original offers professional functionality and versatility in one convenient countertop tool.

Basic Package Includes:
7L stainless steel bowl
3.5L Double whisk bowl assembly (bowl, whisks, head gear, and shaft)
Dough hook
Dust cover / accessory bowl
Cookie Beaters
Instructional DVD
Owners Manual
Available OPTIONAL attachments include: flake mill, grain mill, blender, citrus juicer, meat grinder, food slicer/shredder and 3 different pasta rollers. Â For the meat grinder there are optional attachments: pasta discs, nut grater, strainer, cookie extruder, 3 different size meat discs

Powerful and quiet 600 watt motor features self adjusting speed control. Includes lighted controls, 12 minute timer and bowl speed control (adjusts from 45 to 130 rpm.)
Unique engineering puts the motor in the bottom of the unit. A movable steel arm holds the roller with a separate scraper that simultaneously rolls and kneads dough and batter.
Mixer may be turned on its side to accommodate a variety of attachments purchased separately. These include a meat mincer, vegetable slicer, blender, citrus press, strainer, grater, pasta discs, flake and grain mills and cookie press.
Large plastic beater bowl whisks meringue, creams butter and icing and holds up to 18 egg whites.
The Assistant weighs only 19 lbs. with stainless steel bowl and fits conveniently under overhead cabinets on most kitchen counters. Rubber feet and solid construction keep mixer in place during operation.
WARRANTY: 5 years on motor base and 1 year on attachments

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