if i find a recipe for yellow cake to be too sweet (for my taste) can i safely reduce the amount of sugar?
also, I was going to use a soaking sugar to be sure it would stay moist. won't this make it even sweeter?
You can reduce the sugar, but try doing it 1/2 cup at a time. Or you can look for a recipe that has a lower percent of sweetener. Yes, a simple syrup will increase the sweetness level, but not by that much. Or instead of using the simple syrup to increase moisture, bake for a few minutes less.
Sugar does more than just sweeten a cake, and the correct ratio is important for the correct leavening.
Reducing sugar too much = tough cake and tunneling.
You are better off finding a recipe that is too your liking and doesn't need a syrup to keep it from being dry
Or do some research and start developing/altering a recipe, but the trial and error involved requires a lot of time and money usually.