Preheat oven to 375. Cream the butter in a large bowl. Gradually add the sugar, creaming the mixture until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla, stirring to blend. Add the eggs, beating well. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the vinegar to the buttermilk. Alternately add the buttermilk and flour mixture to the butter mixture, stirring well after each addition.
In a small bowl, combine the cocoa, food coloring, and just enough boiling water to make a thick paste; cool slightly, then add to batter, beating well. Spoon batter into 2 well greased and floured 9in cake pan, or 1 greased and floured 11x8in baking pan.
Bake until done, about 25-30 minutes for the cake pans, or 35-40 minutes for the rectangular pan. Remove from oven and if using layer cakes turn out onto a wire rack to cool. If using rectangular pan leave in pan to cool.
Frost Ermine Frosting
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