The recipe definitely depends on personal preference, though I have found a lot of great recipes on allrecipes.com as well as various cookbooks; the cookbook I use most is a Taste of Home cookbook that has a ton of different recipes that are easy to vary. A basic white cake takes sugar, flour, butter and/or shortening, baking powder, possibly milk, and some vanilla. Specific recipes will have more or less. Cakes are quite easy to make, but you must be very careful not to overmix them, even if they still look lumpy only stir until the dry ingredients are wet. When baking, be very careful not to stomp or jump near it (the latter is mostly for those of us with small children) and remove it from the oven VERY CAREFULLY and set it down as gently as possible to keep it from falling. In addition, my favorite frosting takes only butter, powdered sugar, and cream cheese for a delicious buttercream...add a bit of chocolate, lemon juice, maple extract or other flavoring to the frosting as desired.