Everyone needs to have a GOOD vanilla cake recipe that always turns out fantastic. This is my favourite one!!
You can bake this in a 9x13 pan or use two 9" pans then layer your cakes with frosting or ganache. You can even make cupcakes out of this, it would yield about 24 cupcakes.
You can make buttermilk at home. Take 1 cup room temperature milk and add 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice. Let this stand for 5-10 minutes and then use accordingly.
Preheat oven to 180C.
Grease and put some parchment in your pans. Then grease the parchments as well and dust with a bit of flour.
Sift together flour, salt and baking powder. Set aside.
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Scrape sides of bowl every few minutes using the whisk attachment or a rubber spatula. This is crucial. Otherwise you're going to be left with chunks of butter in your finished batter. So make sure you cream it well and don't rush! :)
Add eggs one at a time. Making sure each egg is perfectly incorporated before you add another. If you skip too quickly past this stage, you will have a cake that smells of eggs because the bits of egg that aren't fully beaten in will bake separately in the cake and it will be like having scrambled eggs cooking in your cake, eww! So incorporate the eggs whenever you reach this stage for any cake recipe!! Remember to scrape down the sides of the bowl after every few eggs. Add vanilla.
Add flour and buttermilk in three alternative pours, starting and ending with flour. Mix on slow speed and scrape the bowl during the process. I know, it's a pain in the butt. It's worth it. At this stage do NOT over mix, just combine until the batter is incorporated. Over mixing can ruin your cake.
Once everything is well incorporated, use a plastic spatula to fold the batter a few more times to make perfectly sure you've got everything will mixed.
Divide the batter between your cake pans. Bake in preheated oven for twenty-five to forty minutes. Check for doneness by pressing gently on the cake. If you leave an indent, not done. If it bounces back gently without leaving a mark, done. You can use a toothpick to check also. Don't over bake the cake! :)
Let the cake cool in the pan for a few minutes then turn it out onto a rack to finish cooling completely.