Preheat oven to 350°. Beat together first 6 ingredients and, if desired, almond extract at low speed with an electric mixer just until dry ingredients are moistened. Increase speed to medium, and beat 2 minutes or until batter is smooth, stopping to scrape down bottom and sides of bowl as needed. Pour batter into 3 greased and floured 8-inch round cake pans.
Bake at 350° for 20 to 22 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 5 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks, and cool completely (about 1 hour). Wrap in plastic wrap, and freeze 1 hour or up to 1 month.
Spread Vanilla Buttercream between layers and on top and sides of cake. Garnish, if desired.
Note: For testing purposes only, we used Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Classic White Cake Premium Cake Mix.