When I bake cakes, I really prefer to use a cake mix, and go from that. I like the texture of cakes baked from mixes and don’t think you can match it from scratch. I will make an exception in that sponge cakes are better from scratch. The Duncan Hines cook booklet, Best Recipes Duncan Hines Holiday Spectacular has recipes that use cake mixes as the base, so is my kind of book. Published in 1991, it has several good recipes and I would really recommend that you use Duncan Hines mixes when using any of these recipes. The Duncan Hines cake mixes are a little different in texture from most of the other mixes out there, and I think while another brand might work, it might not be quite what the recipe calls for.
That said, I would recommend this little cookbook to all of you, who are busy and may not have the time or inclination to do cakes by hand. There are a variety of types of cakes not limited to just the Holidays.