1cupchopped, toasted pecans(additional ½ cup to sprinkle on top if desired)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three 8-inch cake pans and set aside.
Cream together the shortening and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue beating for 1 minute on medium speed.
Add the cocoa and red food coloring to the creamed mixture. Note: some people make a paste of the cocoa and food coloring and the paste to the creamed mixture. It helps prevent splashing of the red food coloring.
Add the vanilla to the buttermilk and set aside. Sift the flour with the salt. Alternately add the flour and buttermilk to the creamed mixture. Blend the vinegar and baking soda and beat it into the mixture.
Divide the batter between the cake pans and bake 20-28 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pans for approximately 10 minutes. Turn out layers onto a rack to cool completely.
For the frosting:
Beat the margarine and cream cheese in a medium mixing bowl until light and creamy. Add vanilla and confectioner’s sugar and beat well. Stir in pecans. Spread frosting between layers, on top and sides of cake. Sprinkle top with additional toasted pecans.