HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


Got a Kitchen Aid K-5A. What should I make?

Just purchased a great deal on Ebay of a Kitchen Aid K-5A mixer (the hobart made one). I made my first cake in it last night,. What a breeze after not having a stand mixer since I left home decades ago. I'm planning bagels and another cake for this weekend. I'm looking for suggestions of what else would really take advantage of it.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. macarons, tamales, cinnamon buns (if it has a dough hook), pavlova, lemon meringue pie totally from scratch, cookies of any kind, souffle........

    1. Get the new dough hook for it (the wavy one), the old one sucks in my opinion. I didn't use my KA K5A for bread because of it. And one of the paddle attachments with the plastic scraping edges if you really want something useful. Both available on Amazon as well as other places. I am happy to have my understanding confirmed that this model was made by Hobart - have had mine since 1987 and still in perfect condition (except for having to replace the dough hook and paddle - the paint on the old paddle came off in chunks after 20 yrs or so of use, no complaints).

      5 Replies
        1. re: buttertart

          The new spiral dough hook is more like hand kneading, but be aware that Kitchen Aid strongly advises against the use of the spiral dough hook with mixers that did not come with a spiral dough hook, because it puts more torque on the gears and the motor and could damage the mixer. I think the main problem they've had is with the newer mixers with plastic gears, where people have used the new style dough hook and stripped the gears.

          That said, I've been using the spiral dough hook with my 1990s-era KA 5-quart bowl lift Professional mixer for a few years, and it's still working. The "Professional" models of that era have a thermal cutoff switch to prevent the motor from overheating, and I believe they have steel gears, rather than nylon. I don't use the spiral dough hook with very heavy doughs, like pasta or bagel dough, and I generally try to avoid using it with more than 4-5 cups of flour, so I'm well under the capacity of the mixer (8-9 cups, if I remember correctly).

          1. re: David A. Goldfarb

            Whoa, very good to know, David.

            Thank you very much for the info.

            I will now investigate my model, vintage, construction and determine if I should continue to use the spiral hook.

            Appreciate the heads up!

            1. re: David A. Goldfarb

              Re: new dough hook with old machines - I've recently gotten a smartly refurbished K5A to replace the perfectly sound but cosmetically challenged one I've had for years, keeping the old one as a "parts car", so to speak. (Also got a new plastic-bodied food grinder attachment, which is a genuine improvement over the old cast-iron model.) I think it's safe to assume that the '50s Hobart-built KAs did have steel gears, as plastic ones hadn't even been invented. The weak point would be the motor itself; we would need to determine if that new dough hook would strain its pulling capacity. I know that the newer motors have a higher power rating, and now I'm wondering if a higher-capacity motor could be adapted into an older machine...?

              1. re: Will Owen

                Yes, I think that would be the question. As I understand it, before they added the thermal cutoff switch (which I've managed to set off two or three times) to the "Professional" models, and plastic gearing on lower priced models that would fail before the motor overheated, burning out the motor was the most likely service issue with a KitchenAid mixer.

          2. i just got one too! care to post recipes for the bagels and cakes you're trying?

            1. You may as well go for the gusto: Brioche dough. It will test the mettle of your machine. Mine bucks and sweats and cusses in Spanish... sometimes it demands tequila poppers during cooldown. Obviously I oblige.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Sal Vanilla

                Definitely. I wait to see if it'll start walking at some point.

                Other than doughs, I like how quickly buttercream, whipped cream, whipped egg whites come together in it. Much easier than a hand mixer.

                1. re: chowser

                  True, so much so that you have to hover over it if you don't want butter or egg whites past optimum point. Many's the time I've turned away to do something quick and turned back to overwhipped egg whites...

              2. Thanks for all the info, and ideas.
                For other seeking ideas, I'm adding one myself:
                I forget I was waiting to make them. I have done them before and homemade is so worth it, and easy with a standing mixer.

                1. the meat grinder might seem like something of a jimcrack. however, i do like a nice rare burger (with a dark outside) and am much more comfortable cooking ground beef that way if i grind it myself.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: silverhawk

                    Used my new one for the first time when I had a big chunk of boneless pork loin and a package of pork fat. Made me some killer sausage. Whole lot of fun and as a reward you get to eat it!

                  2. I forget to list Marshmallows. One of the reasons I started looking for the mixer in the first place.
                    Report on the bagel dough. Mixed up really easily. I mixed the first batch with the paddle blade and then switched to the dough hook. The second I just used the hook to see if washing the paddlle was worth it and I don't really think so.
                    It mixed up well and kneaded it for a bit, but then it started creaping up the hook. The bowl started to shake. Just the bowl, not the whole mixer. Then the bowl came off the stand on one side. I tried again and held the handle but that really didnt't help much, But it only took a few minutes of kneading at this point, so I think its still worth mixing in the mixer. The is a pretty heavy dough. May have to look into the spiral hook.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: Stuffed Monkey

                      The otherwise useless, but cheap, set of pasta extrusion disks that work (or don't work as the case may be) with the grinder comes with a pair of clips for keeping the bowl attached to the mixer (for bowl lift models) for heavy doughs like for pasta and bagels.

                      1. re: Stuffed Monkey

                        That's what drove me insane about the dough hook. Look away for a second and the dough climbed up over the "shield" and into the spring that allows you to jam the mixer attachments on to the machine. Gaah!

                        1. re: Stuffed Monkey

                          Spray your dough hook with a little PAM to prevent climbing in the future. adam

                          1. re: adamshoe

                            Thanks for the tip Adam. That's simple enough.

                            1. re: Stuffed Monkey

                              Sorry but tried that and it only works for a short while in my experience.

                        2. Update as I've just made a batch of challah dough (1 loaf only) and have figured out and or did the following:
                          1. Oiled the hook
                          2. The bowl probably wasn't on all the way. I can click it harder than I thought.
                          3. For extra measure I put a rubber band around each side where the bowl hooks in. Thank you David for advising about the clips.
                          Worked pretty well, though I still did a bit of hand kneading though not sure that it really did need (pun intended) it.