I like to make cakes that are fast and easy... so I use a mix from a cake box. Let's just put it this way, when you spend so much time on decorating a cake I just don't have the energy to make a cake from scratch and still have time left over to breathe. They taste just as great especially if you modify the recipe on the box. They are very moist and people never know the difference!
1 box of chocolate cake mix
1 cup of milk*
1 tsp. vanilla extract (optional)
1 package (4 oz.) vanilla pudding mix (powder)
1 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 box white cake mix
1 cup milk*
1 tsp. vanilla/almond/lemon extract (you can choose which flavor you like best)
Combine the cake mix with all of the ingredients. Bake at 350 for 14-16 minutes (for cupcakes) or if you are making a cake follow the time instructions on the box but make sure you keep checking on the cake! I have found that ovens vary and I always have to be careful. To check to see if the cake is ready, touch it with your finger lightly and if it springs back then you're good to go!
*You can also substitute 1 cup of sour cream instead of milk! I know it sounds gross but if you are ever daring enough to try it, it makes the cake so moist!