Grease and flour 3 9-inch round pans; set aside.
Preheat oven to 350°.
Place flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl and mix well; set aside.
In large bowl with electric mixer, beat butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla until fluffy. Gradually stir in flour mixture alternately with milk just until blended.
Divide batter into prepared pans.
Adjust racks to divide oven in thirds; stagger pans on racks. Bake, rotating pans once to insure even layers, for 20 to 25 minutes or until pick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool in pans on rack for 10 minutes; invert cakes on rack; remove pans; turn cakes right side up; cool completely.
Make Coffee-Cream frosting: In well chilled bowl beat heavy cream until it starts to thicken; beat in sugar and instant coffee until stiff.
Divide frosting evenly to fill between layers and frost top. Garnish with almonds if desired.