This recipe is a hybrid of Spice Cake and Spiced Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting by Cook's Illustrated. The stronger spices make this simple carrot cake much more intriguing. The cardamom really brings the frosting to life. Cooking/Prep times do not include 2-hour cooling period. Nuts and raisins are listed as optional, but the cake is much better with them. If you decide to add both nuts and raisins, add 10-12 minutes to the cooking time.