I understand. It can be kind of a revelation to find that baking is an area of cooking that is not as forgiving as making a stew. And you can't really tell how it's going along the way and have to wait for the outcome to see if you did it right.
There are at least two different levels of accomplishment in baking. One is to accumulate a collection of recipes that work reliably and stick to them. At this level, you use exactly what the recipe says to use. If it says "cake flour," use cake flour, not all-purpose flour. There are many recipe sites on the Internet. Find one that includes user reviews:
Simple White Cake Recipe - Allrecipes.com
...or where the recipes are developed professionally for home kitchens:
Top-quality baking recipes - King Arthur Flour
And take advantage of sites with collected baking tips and general techniques that aren't mentioned in recipes, like these ten steps/tips in a layer cake:
The perfect layer cake (10 tips for success): King Arthur Flour
Another is to also stay with those recipes but learn to bake them in different configurations than were specified in the recipe. For instance, the recipe is for a chocolate layer cake of two layer baked in 8-inch cake pans. And you want to make a single layer of the whole recipe.
There are Internet sites about such things:
How To Substitute Pan Sizes, How to Measure Pan Size, Baking Dish and Pan Size Conversions
And it's a very good idea right from the start to stick to recipe sites with the ingredients by weight. Flour amounts can be very different, depending on how you measure volume. And you will find that nearly all baking is a matter of ratios of ingredients, like flour to liquid to fat, etc. And those ratios are by weight. If you learn the ratios, you can make up anything from scratch. Want to make bread, it's 5:3, five units of flour to three units of water (by weight), plus a teaspoon of yeast or so and a teaspoon of salt or so. Buy a reliable kitchen digital scale with a "tare" button that lets you zero the scale to a bowl or cup. We're talking metric here, grams. (It's not all ratios. Pound cake and sponge cake have the same ingredients ratio, equal weights of flour, butter, eggs, and sugar, but they're put together in very different ways.)
Knowledge that can be very useful if you don't want to have to run to the store for every specific ingredient is what can be substituted and how.
Ingredient Substitutions - Kitchen Notes - Cooking For Engineers
Ingredient Substitution - Joyofbaking.com
If you're really serious, you can work toward creating your own unique recipes. To do that successfully, you need an understanding of each ingredient and its role in the recipe. That can take a while, but you can begin by reading up on each part of the standard recipes you use. For instance, just what is "cake flour" and "all-purpose" flour? What's the difference between baking soda and baking powder and double-acting baking powder, and why is one or another used in a recipe? What does salt do in a baking recipe? The amount seems so little. Why does the tiniest bit or oil keep you from making stiff egg whites? Why can't you melt chocolate like you melt butter?
It sounds like a lot, but you just tackle it one bit at a time as you encounter things.
You do need, at the very least, a reliable oven thermometer. It doesn't have to be expensive. And some good plain cake pans. Just plain smooth metal. You don't need non-stick or silicone. Get decent ones. You can't do better than Fat Daddio. And the digital scale.
There is nothing magic of mystical here. And very little that requires any particular talent, other than perhaps high level decoration.