Mix sugar, salt and shortening together until fluffy. Add eggs, on at a time; beat well after each addition.
Mix coloring and cocoa. Add to sugar mixture, beating well. Add buttermilk and flour alternately, beating well after each addition. Mix baking soda and vinegar and fold into mixture.
Bake in three 9- inch greased and floured pans at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. The cake is done when it pulls away from the sides of the pan. Do not over bake. Let cake cool in pans or on racks for 10 minutes.
Cream cheese and butter need to be at room temperature. Mix cream cheese and butter until fluffy and slowly add powder sugar until mixed well, add vanilla and stir in chopped pecans.
I use butter and shortening sticks for easy use.
Use the butter and shortening paper to grease the pans.