Preheat your oven to 350°F, and lightly grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, sugar and eggs till light and fluffy. Make a paste of the cocoa and food color (making this paste is what keeps the red
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt (and dried buttermilk, if you're using it). In another bowl, or measuring cup, whisk together the buttermilk (or water), vanilla and vinegar. Alternately add the dry and wet ingredients to
Spoon the batter into the prepared pans, and bake the cake for about 25 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven, cool it on a wire rack for 5 to 10 minutes, then turn it out of the pans and cool i
Prepare the frosting. Ice one layer first, then set the second layer atop it, ice that, and smooth icing completely over the cake. Decorate with silver dragees, if desired.