1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease and flour (or grease, then line with parchment, then grease again) two 8" x 2" round cake pans. Note: These pans need to be at least 2" tall; if you have non-standard, shorter 8" pans, substitute 9" round pans.

  2. Whisk together the dry ingredients.

  3. Add the eggs, oil, and vanilla, beating until smooth.

  4. Gradually add the water, again beating until smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pans.

  5. Bake the cakes for 35 to 38 minutes (a bit less if you use 9" pans), or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

  6. Remove the cakes from the oven. Cool themes in the pans for 15 minutes, then turn them out of the pans to cool completely on a rack.

  7. Fill and frost as desired.