Preheat the oven to 350°. Prepare an 8x8 baking dish by spraying with cooking spray or greasing with oil or butter.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or a hand held mixer and mixing bowl) combine the softened butter and 1 cup sugar until combined. Add in the almond extract and vanilla, and then one egg at a time. Continue mixing for about 2 minutes. The batter will grow in size and become light in color. Pro Tip- Do not skimp on the mixing time, it will help the cake leavening and make it tender!
In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.Mix half the flour mixture into the batter, then add the other half and mix just until combined. The batter will be thick!
Scrape the batter into the prepared baking dish. Smooth it out so it is evenly distributed in the dish.
Sprinkle the cranberries on top, then add the almonds, and finish by sprinkling the sugar evenly over top (all the way to the edges).
Bake the cake for about 35 minutes, if using a glass baking dish. If you are using a dark metal baking dish then you will want to check the cake at about 30 minutes.
You will want to let the cake cool for 1-2 hours. This will allow the cake to settle and the cranberry juice to seep into the cake. IF you can, make this cake a day ahead (12-24 hours)!
Cut the cake into 9 squares (3x3) and serve! It is excellent with a cup of hot coffee!
Keep this cake loosely covered at room temp for up to 4 days.
ROOM TEMP EGGS: To get room temp eggs quickly place your eggs in a bowl of warm water for 5-10 minutes.