I enjoy baking cakes and have had several comments on the fluffiness and moistness of each cake. I attribute this to:
1. Generally, the box recommends mixing at low speed for 30 seconds, which I do. However, I mix the cake for about 5 minutes at medium speed and constantly use a spatula to mix in any mix that is sticking to the walls of the bowl. You have to be careful not to catch the spatula in the mixer, but this gives a more even mixture. The box normally says to mix only 2 to 3 minutes at medium speed, but I find mixing the additional time actually gives a noticeably “fluffier” mix even before it goes into the oven.
2. Use a small amount of oil to grease both the sides and bottom of the cake pan, even if instructed not to. Also, dust a small amount of flour after greasing to help prevent sticking.
3. Cook the cake at about 25 F lower than recommended by the box. If the cake rises a lot more in the middle than along the sides, you might want to reduce by an additional 25 F the next time you cook one.
4. After removing the cake from the oven, move it around carefully (don’t jar it) and allow it to stand for at least 45 minutes or so before attempting to decorate it.