Preparation / Directions:
With a fork, gently stir basic cake mix in its container; measure 4 3/4 cups into a bowl and with a fork stir in water, vanilla extract, and eggs, one at a time. With an electric mixer at medium speed, mix for no more than 2 minutes. Pour into two 8-inch, well-greased, then floured layer pans. Bake in a preheated 350 oven 25 to 30 minutes, until edges begin to pull away from the pan. Cool the cake on a rack for 5 minutes, then remove from pan and cool on a rack; this will keep the crust dry and prevent it from becoming soggy.
If baking cupcakes, fill up to 24 greased and floured muffin cups 2/3 full - or use paper cup liners - and bake in preheated 375 oven 20 to 25 minutes.
Variations: Rich Chocolate Cake: Add 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
Spice Cake: add 1 1/2 tsp all purpose baking spice, see recipe, OR 1 tsp ground cinnamon PLUS 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg and 1/4 tsp ground cloves.