Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Grease 3 8-ich round cake pans with butter or nonstick cooking spray and set aside. (You can also use two 9~inch pans or 36~count cupcake pans.
Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt in to a mixing bowl and set aside.
Beat the butter in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment at high speed until it is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Add the sugar and mix on medium~high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula halfway through to ensure that the butter and sugar are well mixed.
Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition. Again, scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure the ingredients are fully combined.
Add approximately half the flour mixture and mix on low speed just until the flour is incorporated, about 30 seconds. Add the vanilla and buttermilk and mix until combined, about 15 seconds.
Add the remaining flour and mix until combined, about 15 seconds. Remove teh bowl from the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula to make sure that all the flour is fully incorporated.
Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pans. The batter should come about halfway up the sides of the pans.
Bake for 40 ~ 45 minutes, rotating the pans once halfway through.
When the centers of the cakes spring back to the touch, remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool in the pans for 5 to 10 minutes. Run an offset spatula or dull knife around the edge of the cakes and the pans Transfer the cakes, right side up to a wire rack to bring them to room temperature.
Once the cakes are at room temperature, ice as desired.