Step 1 Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans.
Step 2 In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. Place the milk in a small bowl and stir in the vanilla; set aside.
Step 3Using a mixer, beat the butter at medium speed until creamy. Add the sugar and continue beating, stopping to scrape down the sides, until the mixture is light and evenly combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well each time, until the mixture is thick and smooth.
Step 4Add about a third of the flour mixture to the batter and beat well at low speed. Add about half of the milk, beating well. Add another third of the flour mixture, followed by the rest of the milk and then the remaining flour mixture, beating well each time until the mixture is thick and smooth. Quickly scrape the batter into the cake pans, dividing it evenly. Bake until the cakes are golden brown, spring back when lightly touched in the center and begin to pull away from the sides of the pans, 25 to 30 minutes.
Step 5Remove the cake pans from the oven and leave on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Turn the cakes out onto wire racks or plates, then turn the layers top side up and allow to cool completely.