Note: It's VERY important that your cold ingredients are at room temperature or slightly warmed. See video for tips. Heat oven to 335º F/168º C — 350º F/177º C. I tend to use lower setting to prevent my cakes from getting too dark on the outside before the inside is done baking.
Place 4oz of the milk and oil in a separate bowl or cup and set aside
Combine remaining milk, vanilla extract, almond extract and room temp eggs in a separate measuring cup and set aside
Measure out dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt) and place them into the stand mixer bowl.
Attach the paddle to the mixer, and turn on the slowest speed (setting 1 on Kitchen Aid mixers). Slowly add chunks of your softened butter until it is all added. Let mix until batter resembles coarse sand.
Add milk/oil mixture into the dry ingredients and mix on medium speed (speed 4 on my KitchenAid) and mix for 2 full minutes. Do not skip this step or your cake will not rise.
Add in 1/3 of your milk/egg mixture. Repeat 2 more times until batter is just combined. Don't forget to scrape your bowl.
I always start by baking for 25 minutes for 8" and smaller cakes and 30 minutes for 9" and larger cakes and then checking for doneness. If the cakes are still really jiggly, I add another 5 minutes. I check every 5 minutes after that until I'm close and then it's every 2 minutes. Cakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs.
Remove the cake pan from the oven and "tap" it lightly on the counter once to remove air from the cake and keep it from shrinking un-evenly.
Place cakes on a cooling rack and press down the dome immediately with an oven mitt covered hand. After cakes have cooled for 10 minutes or the pans are cool enough to touch, flip the cakes over and remove from the pans onto the cooling racks to cool completely. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator.
Once the cakes are chilled in the refrigerator (about an hour for this size, longer for larger cakes), tort, fill and crumb coat all at once. If you do not plan on crumb coating the same day, you can leave the wrapped cakes on the countertop. Chilling can dry out your cakes before they are iced, so avoid keeping them in the refrigerator longer than necessary. Cakes can be frozen in freezer bags for later use as well.