Wow, I really didn't put enough batter....mine are the standard 2" deep pans, and they definitely were NOT just over half-full... I'm an eyeball-measurement baker like you--agree that there's way too much mess involved!
I'm just after that holy grail of cake--super-moist yet super-light, fluffy, tender....you know, perfect
My *original* WASC recipe is super moist, tender BUT not light & fluffy. It is more on the side of a pound cake yet delicious & easy to work with for carving. Many people around the world use it especially for their wedding cakes.
kakeladi is 100% correct about her *Original* WASC recipe! I don't know a single person who has tried it who does not love it! It has the advantage of being adaptable to any flavor and, while it is super moist, is sturdy enough for carved cakes. I've been baking for more than 50 years and it is my go-to recipe for vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry cakes.