Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans or one 9 x 13-inch cake pan. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together shortening and butter with an electric mixer at medium speed. Gradually add sugar and beat until mixture is light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Sift together flour, baking powder and salt.
In a small bowl, combine milk and flavorings.
Add dry ingredients alternately with milk mixture to butter mixture, beginning and ending with dry ingredients, and beating well after each addition.
Ladle batter into prepared pans, dividing equally . Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Let cake layers cool for 10 minutes in pans. Invert onto cooling racks and let cool completely.
Frost cake with Easy Caramel Icing, Garnish with pecan halves and grated orange peel if desired.
In a 3-quart saucepan, combine all ingredients. Cook over low heat , stirring until ingredients are dissolved. Continue to stir until mixture reaches desired caramel color. For a thick, spreadable icing, cook mixture until it reaches the soft ball stage, 234 to 240° F. Less cooking time will produce a thinner, pourable icing that will thicken as it cools.
Remove icing from heat and transfer to a mixing bowl to cool until lukewarm. Beat with an electric mixer at high speed until icing is thick and creamy. If icing becomes too thick, thin with a small amount of corn syrup or milk.Makes 4 Source: