Into the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the homemade cake mix, water and oil. Mix on low until combined.
With the mixer on low, add the vanilla plus one egg at a time to the cake mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each egg.
Divide the cake mixture (about 2 1/2 cups each) among the two prepared pans. Slide the pans into your preheated oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a tester comes out with only a few crumbs attached. Rotate the pans half way through baking to ensure even baking.
Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 10 minutes before running a knife around the edge and turning the cakes out onto a wire cooling rack.
Cool the cakes completely before frosting.
FOR THE FROSTING:
In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add the butter and mix on low speed until light and creamy (about 2 minutes).
Next, sift together the powdered sugar and cocoa powder into a large bowl.
Using a large liquid measuring cup combine the whole milk, buttermilk, vanilla and almond extract.
Add a few large spoonfuls of the cocoa mixture to the butter in the mixer, alternating with the liquids. Mix on low speed until just combined. Increase the speed to high and mix for 4 to 5 minutes or until the frosting is light and fluffy.
HOW TO FROST THE CAKE:
Spread a teaspoon of frosting in the middle of the cake plate/stand. Place the first cake layer onto a cake stand and loosely place strips of parchment or wax paper just underneath the edge all around the cake. Top with 1/3 of the frosting and starting at the center, spread the frosting out to the edge, leaving a little extra frosting overhanging the edge of the cake. Place the second cake layer on top of the frosting and top it with the remaining frosting. Spread the frosting out from the center and down around the sides of the cake.