Baking Tip of the Day
When doubling, tripling or quadrupling a cake recipe, make sure you pay attention to how much you fill the pan. The math might tell you that a 12 x 18 pan requires you to multiply everything in your normal yellow cake recipe by four, but it doesn't necessarily mean that you'll end up with the correct amount of batter for said pan. When in doubt, just fill the cake pan to between 1/2 and 3/4 full and put the rest in a smaller pan...(yes, I know it's hard to accept that you can't use every bit of the batter that you've slaved over for an hour in that one pan). If you put any more than this amount in such a gargantuan pan, you might find yourself cleaning up cake-batter stalagtites and stalagmites in your residential oven until 2:30am...not to mention extinguishing multiple oven fires.
Also, remember that if you are using farm-fresh eggs to bake (NOT ones that have been refrigerated and at Kroger for a week), they will cause a cake to rise twice as much as store-bought eggs. Also, whereas stiff peaks might form when you beat the whites of store-bought eggs in about three minutes, it only takes about 30 seconds with farm-fresh eggs!
Probably the best take-home message I can give you is that one can never underestimate the wonders of a store-bought cake for your roommate's birthday.