After saying, I always get compliments on my lemon cake and my chocolate cake, I'm embarrassed to post recipes. I don't really have recipes.
I use cake mixes, and the more expensive your cake mix the better the cake tastes. I highly recommend Duncan Hines Lemon Cake mix.
When I serve people cakes with an extra egg and milk instead of water they often ask if its a from scratch cake.
As far as frosting goes. It depends. If I'm making devils food cake for people who don't like chocolate too much I use cool whip. (Yes these kind of people exist.) If I'm making it to enjoy it or to impress people. I use Better Homes and Garden's New Book Cook Recipe for chocolate cream cheese frosting.
At this altitude (7,000 feet) I honestly can't make buttercream frosting. If I'm making frosting from scratch I have to have cream cheese. A friend of mine that makes nearly professional cakes told me at this altitude you have to use half shortening or your frosting just won't work. The butter melts to fast, or something like that... I can't remember exactly what she said. It was reassuring to know I'm not stupid.
If I had confidence it making buttercream frosting here I would have made lemon frosting from scratch for the cake, at lower altitudes I have had a lot of success. But here, I went for quick and easy. Lemon Pudding Frosting.
1 package of Lemon instant pudding
1/4 cup of powder sugar
3/4 a cup of milk (at lower altitudes maybe a full cup of milk)
a tub of cool whip mixed together.
These recipes are extremely easy. So I don't know why I get so many compliments. Maybe because they are practically from scratch?
More likely because my secret ingredients is "love" "dang it"
I find most people enjoy simple homemade desserts, nothing fancy, and mostly not store bought. I do love to bake so maybe that's why. They can taste the love.