Thanks for the nice comments Cassyb30 - you made me smile :) Actually, my 'big' secret is that I only use Duncan Hines cake mixes ! Depending on what I am making, I may 'doctor' them up a tad. Also, I always make pound cakes whenever I have to carve a shape - it has a more dense texture that is great for carving..... so the ark is all pound cake. You know, I have tried cakes from scratch but they are always dry. Also, I always freeze my cakes at least 1-2 days - I have found this adds moisture. Oh yeah, I always use those cake pan strips that you wet and put on the outside of your cake pans. They really do help cakes rise very even....I highly recommend using them.