Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 2 (8- or 9-inch) round cake pans with shortening; lightly flour. In medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt.
In large bowl, beat sugar and butter with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, scraping bowl occasionally. Beat in vanilla and eggs until well blended. Alternately add flour mixture and milk, beating well and scraping bowl after each addition. Pour batter evenly into pans.
Bake 27 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes. Remove from pans; place on wire racks. Cool completely, about 1 hour. Fill and frost as desired.