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1. Allow butter and eggs to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and lightly flour three 9x2-inch or 8x2-inch round cake pans or grease one 13x9x2-inch baking pan. In a medium bowl stir together flour, cocoa powder, and salt; set aside.
2. In an extra-large bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Gradually add sugar, about 1/4 cup at time, beating on medium speed until combined. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes more, scraping side of bowl occasionally. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in food coloring and vanilla. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. In a small bowl combine baking soda and vinegar; stir into batter. Pour batter into the prepared pan(s), spreading evenly.
3. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes for 9-inch pans, 25 to 30 minutes for 8-inch pans, or 30 to 35 minutes for 13x9-inch pan, or until a toothpick inserted near center(s) comes out clean. Cool cake in the pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely on racks. Or place 13x9-inch cake in pan on a wire rack; cool completely.
4. Prepare Buttercream Frosting (cut recipe in half if making 13x9-inch cake). Place one cake layer, bottom side up, on a serving plate. Spread with one-third of the frosting. Top with second layer, bottom side up; spread with one-third of the frosting. Top with third layer, top side up. Spread top with the remaining frosting. Or spread frosting over top of 13x9-inch cake in pan.
1. In a medium saucepan whisk together sugar, milk, flour, and salt. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat; cook and stir for 1 minute more. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Cover and cool completely at room temperature. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Gradually beat in softened butter at medium speed of an electric mixer until mixture is smooth, scraping side of bowl occasionally. (Frosting might look curdled until all of the butter is incorporated.)