I made this cake for the 1st time last night (along with an improvised, home-made cream cheese chocolate frosting) and it came out great. Like other users, I used butter instead of shortening.
It came out looking exactly like every box cake I've ever made. It was not dry or dense. Then again, I took the time to follow the directions exactly. (grin)
Yes, it's faster and easier to just make it all in one bowl or to throw all of the eggs in at once, etc but you won't get the same results. Follow the directions EXACTLY. Every step DOES make a difference in how your finished product will come out. You really need to add, mix, add, mix, add, mix as described or you'll end up with a saw dust tasting brick.
In addition to doing the slow add/mix with the eggs, I also did that while adding the flour mix and milk. I added 1/3 of each in turn between mixings.
My finished product was suitably light, tasted good and was very moist. Instead of the pan size suggested, I used 3 small square pans (as I love the frosting to cake ratio of 3 layer cakes) and baked it on the middle over rack for about 20 minutes on 350.
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I made this cake for the 1st time last night (along with an improvised, home-made cream cheese...