The trick is to press all the air out of the batter when you spoon it into the pans. Really beat it up - there's no need to be gentle.
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, softened
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
3 cups flour, sifted
2/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
8 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
4 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 (12 ounce) jar raspberry preserves
Cake: Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease three 9-inch round cake pans.
With an electric mixer set on low speed, beat butter and sugar together
until blended; increase speed to high and beat 1 to 2 minutes (approximately).
Reduce speed to medium; add eggs, one at a time, scraping the bowl after each
addition. Add flour, milk, baking powder, salt, vanilla extract and baking soda.
When mixed, divide batter evenly between pans. Push to the edges (batter
is very stiff, almost like a sticky dough). Press with the side of a spatula
to remove air bubbles. Bang each pan a few times on the counter to level batter.
Bake 25 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted into the center of a layer
comes out clean. Cool cake completely on wire racks.
Frosting: With an electric mixer, beat together cream cheese and butter
until smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar and vanilla extract; mix well.
Assembly: Slice each cake layer horizontally to make 6 round layers. Place
a layer on a plate, with the cut side up. Spread with 1/3 raspberry preserves.
Top with a second layer, cut side down. Spread with frosting. Repeat with remaining
layers. Do NOT spread jelly on top of last layer.
Frost entire cake smoothly.
Source: Derby City Cafe by Dalal, Louisville, Kentucky