Grease two 9" round cake pans with shortening, then dust with flour. You can also line them with parchment paper or use cake release to ensure the cakes come out cleanly.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
In a large bowl, melt the butter using the microwave.
Add the granulated sugar and mix together.
Beat the eggs in a small bowl, then pour them into the butter and sugar mixture. Mix well.
Add the vanilla extract and mix again.
Add the sifted all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt. Mix together until the mixture is well combined with no lumps.
Pour evenly into the two prepared pans.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the cake springs back when you touch the center. Allow the cakes to cool for 10 minutes, then turn the cakes out to a wire rack to cool completely.
*Make the buttercream:
As the cakes are cooling, make the buttercream. Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix on high until the butter is almost white in appearance.
Add in the powdered sugar, one cup at a time. This is so that the sugar doesn't go flying everywhere.
When you have finished adding the powdered sugar, add the vanilla extract, heavy cream and pink food coloring. Mix together on medium speed until it forms a creamy, smooth buttercream.
Assemble the cake:
Place a cake layer on a cake plate.
Cut of the dome of the first layer if needed to make it flat. Add a dollop of buttercream to the top of the cake. Begin to spread it around, covering all parts of the first layer including the edges.
Turn the second layer of the cake upside down and place on top of the first layer. Place buttercream on top of the second layer ensuring that it's covering the top completely.
Begin to spoon buttercream on the sides of the cake, using a flat icing spatula to smooth the edge of the cake.
For the final touches, get a cup of hot water and put the cake palette knife into it for it to heat up, wipe it with a tea towel and then begin to smooth out the buttercream. The heat from the palette knife will warm the buttercream giving it a smoother finish.
Place the palate knife back into the hot water, wipe it, then go around the top of the cake carefully folding over the edges of buttercream pushing the scraper away from you.
Put the remaining buttercream in a piping bag with a 2D nozzle size and pipe swirls onto the cake.
Sprinkle valentines theme sprinkles onto the buttercream swirls and onto the bottom of the cake.
Store the cake in an airtight container at room temperature.
*This makes enough for a thin layer of frosting. If you'd like thick layers of frosting and enough for lots of swirls on top, make a double recipe of the frosting.Refer to the article above for more tips and tricks.The calories shown are based on the cake being cut into 15 pieces, with 1 serving being 1 slice of cake. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information. The information in the nutrition box are calculated through a program and there is room for error. If you need an accurate count, I recommend running the ingredients through your favorite nutrition calculator.**