I’m the resident cake maker for our family. I get called upon to make my homemade icing and cakes from scratch for every birthday and celebration. The last one I made was for the wedding anniversary for my in-laws. They both really like decadent chocolate, so I made them a very chocolatey cake with simple ingredients and a hand mixer. I do not have any fancy equipment for making cakes other than some decorating tools for icing cakes and an amazing recipe for different flavors of icing.
My mother has visited while I was making cakes. She told me that she would buy me a countertop mixer. I prefer the hand mixer instead. I like the feel it gives me for getting the consistency just right from batch to batch of fresh ingredients. A larger bowl type mixer would not allow me to retain the level of control that I need to make the best cakes and icing that I can.
However, I do like a mixer that has some oomph to it. I don’t want it to break every few months, especially if I am in the middle of a recipe. I found a tough mixer that is made very well. It has been holding up to deep and shallow bowls containing all kinds of different cake and icing ingredients. The peanut butter and creamy chocolate used for some of my recipes needs a powerful hand mixer to tame it into something usable. This requires a motor that will not overheat, and it requires enough torque to fold in chocolate chips for cookie recipes too. The beaters need to be strong, and the motor needs to be able to force itself to turn the batter no matter how thick and tough it is. A tabletop mixer might be more powerful, but I like the feeling of using my mixer.