The cherry on top
When you're just starting to learn about DeFI and you find out how exchanges and liquidity pools like https://pancakeswap.finance/ work, like me, you'll get very excited. It doesn't matter if it's cub, cake or whatever other farm dapp you want to use, their swap system is usually much cheaper than trading and withdrawing from big exchanges like Binance.
Let's say I want to withdraw 4 AXS from Binance so I can breed a new Axie: that's a 16 dollars fee right now (0.39 AXS)! But if I already own some other token listed on a swap, it costs less than 1 dollar on BSC. Many tokens aren't listed on major exchanges at all, so swapping is the easiest option. And then you scroll through the list of farms and pools available.
Pools are easy: you need cake, you stake it in a pool generating tokens of your interest, you let it sit there. Beware! Even if the "Auto CAKE" pool looks promising with its ~99% APR, it's actually the worst pool. All other pools provide better yield, as long as you harvest them yourself once a day.
What to do when you want to stake in a pool? You have to understand compounding has a small cost to it. If you don't stake a high enough amount of CAKE, you won't earn as much as the daily compounding fees will cost you. So the amount of times you want to stake is directly correlated to the amount of money you're investing in a pool.
The only time you want to stake in the auto pool is when you don't want to be bothered with manually compounding your gains every now and then, even if that means earning less, which is okay depending on the rest of your financial life.
But otherwise, you should use this free app: https://cakecalc.herokuapp.com/ - it's an incredible tool. It tells you how often you should compound your earnings, according to how many CAKE you're using and the pool's APR! I am using it, so I don't have to do any complicated math in order to maximize my earnings. Thoroughly recommended.
EDIT: I suppose auto cake is also a good option you're staking so much money, you actually have to compound many times a day to properly optimize it.
EDIT 2: Everything in this post is good for all other pools too, including cakecal, because both staking and earnings are always measured in USD.
Image source: my screenshot of the cakecalc app's website.