Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. To make the cake, in a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk to the creamed mixture. Stir in the vanilla and water. Pour into 3 greased 9-inch cake pans. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the pans and cool on wire racks.
To make the frosting, in a large bowl, cream together the cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar. Add the milk, cocoa, and almond extract and beat until smooth. Place one cake layer on a serving plate and top with frosting and one-third of the pecans. Repeat for the second layer. When the third layer is in place, frost the top and sides of the cake and decorate with the remaining pecans.