For many people, cake is a lot less intimidating to make than pie, even so, to make a good cake from scratch, it still takes a measure of skill. Over beating, not following the proper order and method of adding ingredients, and improper temperatures can yield discouraging lack luster results. Most of these pitfalls can be avoided by using a cake mix base. Yes - I said - a cake mix. I'll wait for the gasps of horror from the cake police to die down before I continue. A cake mix is a good place for a beginning baker to start. Not much is worse for an experienced baker, than slaving over a mixer, and hot oven only to have your cake not come out right, this is especially true for a beginner. Cake mixes can offer a degree of insurance, as it is really hard to mess them up. So, some of my recipes will include a "doctored up" cake mix, and if a cake mix was good enough for billionaire shipping tycoon: Aristotle Onassis, then it should be good enough for the rest of us!