Sorry, but this was the worst cake I have ever made! I had to double it, as it said it would only fill one 9x13 (but three round pans? Doesn't seem right.) Anyway, that added to the difficulty of mixing this very heavy batter. Yes, I softened the butter prior to creaming, and also beat the eggs until they were stiff enough to form peaks, although it took so long, it overheated and destroyed my favorite hand mixer :( The finished cake had an OK, dense muffin-like taste. The only good thing about this cake is that I expect it is dense and hard enough that it would hold up to being decorated with heavy fondant without caving in. But still, if even children won't eat it, might as well not bother. I have a rheumatologic condition, with bad joints in wrists, fingers, and feet, and making this cake was so physically strenuous in that regard that I am now in too much pain to help with preparing Thanksgiving dinner. And I have to buy a new mixer. I am not happy at all with this recipe.
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Sorry, but this was the worst cake I have ever made! I had to double it, as it said it would...