I tried the Yellow Cake recipe out of the Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book 11th edition page 131. I made it into a tall, 6" round cake with 11 cupcakes. (It was designed to be two 8 or 9 inch round pans or a 9 x 13 inch pan). It baked up nicely and tasted fine, but it was not super wonderful or anything. It was not light and fluffy like a boxed cake mix would be. I looked at other recipes and some used cake flour and some used more eggs, so I will keep looking for the perfect cake.
Here are the cupcakes with buttercream icing and a half strawberry on top! An hour later the strawberries showed their juices, so if you're going to do this and want the cupcakes to remain dry, put the berries on at the last minute.
Now for the cake, and its fondant covering: remember that a while ago in Bulk Barn Buys, I made a batch of Marshmallow Fondant (MMF for short)? Well, I used today's trial cake to test it out. First, I covered the cake in a thin layer of buttercream and then I warmed a fist-sized blob of my MMF in my hand. (It was stored in the fridge). I rolled it on my fondant rolling mat and placed it on the cake, just like the store bought fondant. It did not tear and it molded up easily and evenly around the cake.
When I took a closer look, it wasn't as perfect as the store bought fondant - it had very small cracks over most of the cake. You had to look closely though.
Maybe you can see it in this photo. I think if I had kneaded the fondant more or added a little more shortening, the cracks may have disappeared. Either way, I like the taste of this stuff, whereas I throw out store-bought fondant on the pieces of cake I eat. I'll try kneading it more next time. You can see that it also colors nicely. The blue is also MMF. The pink hearts are not. They are left-overs from Valentine's day.
I used my new 6" round by 3" deep cake pan. This cake was probably as thick as my usual two-layer cake, but I baked it in one pan and cut it in two using my cake levelling tool. I have the cheap cake levelling tool - the one with the wire. I found I had to start the cut with a knife because I didn't want to break the wire to get it to "cut" into the cake's crust. Maybe with a thinner cake that didn't bake quite so long, the crust would not be so thick and it would work better. I'll keep you posted!