Follow the directions on the box, EXCEPT
Usually the cake mix directions say 2 minutes. In that case beat it for 4 minutes.
After you have poured the batter into the pan, before baking it, drop the pan onto a cloth spread over your kitchen counter. I drop it from a height of an inch or two. The idea is that after beating extra air into your cake you need to get any big bubbles to rise to the top and pop. Otherwise you will have holes in the middle of your cake.
The results are impressive. Shortly after I first learned this technique from Mr. Dana's daughter, a neighbor asked me to bake cakes for her two children, whose birthdays were 2 days apart. (I was an amateur cake decorator at the time.) I decided to bake one childs cake by the box directions and the other by Mr. Dana's method. There was such a difference that I had to give each child a layer made by each method. Otherwise the child with the box directions cake would, I'm sure, have felt cheated.
My family always uses Duncan Hines cake mixes.
As they used to say in some TV add, "Try it. You'll like it."
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