I have had much the same problems in the past...give this recipe a try I think you will be very happy with it.
Be sure to read the directions well before putting the cake together. They are a little different than the usual recipe.
There is a picture of this cake in this thread...FINALLY!!! That perfect homemade yellow cake
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (do not sift the flour)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 cups milk
1 stick butter (not margarine), softened
1-tablespoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
Preheat oven to 350°
Cut wax paper to fit the bottom of (3) 9 x 1 1/2-inch round pans. Spray the pans with cooking spray, place the wax paper in the pans and spray the paper.
In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt, mixing well.
Measure the 1-1/4 cups of milk in a 2 cup measuring cup….then add enough vegetable oil to bring the liquid up to 1-1/3 cups.
Add the milk/vegetable oil mixture, butter and vanilla to the flour mixture and beat with an electric mixer on medium to medium-high speed for 2 minutes, scraping sides of bowl as needed.
Add the eggs and continue beating an additional 2 minutes. Pour batter into prepared pans.
Bake at 350° for 20 to 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted near center of cake comes out clean, or until cake springs back when touched lightly in the center.
Cool cakes on wire racks for 15 minutes; remove from pans and cool completely.
Frost as desired.