Preheat oven to 350°F.
Liberally grease the pans with butter (or shortening), and then dust with flour. Tap the pans to remove excess flour.
In a medium bowl, sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, cream (beating on medium) the sugar with the butter until fluffy and a pale yellow, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
Add ⅓ of the flour mixture. Mix until combined. Next, add ½ of the buttermilk, then another ⅓ of the flour mixture. Next, the other half of the buttermilk, and then the rest of the flour mixture.
Beat in the food coloring, and vinegar, then add the vanilla
Spread the batter into the prepared pans.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool on a baking rack for 10 minutes. Use a sharp knife to loosen the edges of the cake from the sides of the pan. Invert the pans and tap on them with the end of a knife or fork to help release the cakes. Carefully remove the pans. Let cool completely on the rack before icing.