Prepare the cake. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter the bottom and sides of two 9-inch round cake pans. Pour some cocoa powder in the pan and shake all over until evenly coated. Remove any excess by tapping the pans.
Sift all the dry ingredients into a large bowl, mix until well combined. Set aside.
Whisk together all the wet ingredients in a large bowl until well combined. Slowly, mix the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients using a spatula until a smooth batter forms. Make sure you remove any lumps from the batter.
Evenly distribute the batter into the prepared pans. Place in the oven and bake for 23 - 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when you insert it in the center of the cake. Remove from the oven and allow cakes to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans and allow them to cool over a cooling rack.
In a food processor, process the freeze-dried strawberries to powder. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, and strawberry powder at low speed until well combined. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 3 minutes. Scrape the sides of bowl. Add almond extract and beat until combined. Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the heavy cream. Beat until the buttercream is soft and spreadable.
Assemble the cake. Using a large serrated knife cut both cakes horizontally as even as possible. Using both hands, place one layer of cake on a serving platter. Pipe frosting on top of the cake. Place another layer of cake and repeat the process. Finish the cake by icing top and sides with frosting. Heat up the hot fudge topping according to manufacturer’s instructions. Dip the strawberries in the hot fudge and set aside. Add the rest of the hot fudge to a pipping bag and decorate the cake creating a dripping effect. Pipe buttercream roses on top of the cake and place the chocolate covered strawberries on top. Serve.