I ended up making carrot cake because I had made a huge batch of frosting intended to go on top of cupcakes for Paul's birthday (this is Tech Paul, in order to differentiate him from brother-in-law Paul or work mate Paul, or any other Paul...). The cupcakes weren't all that great, so I'm sparing you the recipe, but the frosting was awesome. There was a whole lot leftover and all I could think of to go with it was carrot cake. Fran and Paul (that's brother-in-law Paul now) were due to arrive for a visit last night and it was too late for dinner, so instead they got carrot cake.
Like I said, I made the frosting first and it had to hang out in the fridge waiting for cake for a couple days, so I'll let it go first as a recipe component: Mix up a package of cream cheese until fluffy, then add about 1/2-3/4 cup of powdered sugar (you might want it more sweet). Added in the juice of 1 orange, mixed well, then put in 1 cup chopped pistachios and 1/2 cup shredded, toasted coconut. I happen to like coconut but I realize it is a polarizing ingredient so feel free to leave it out and add more and different nuts or whatever you like instead. Cream these ingredients all together and stick in the fridge until it is time to frost.
For the cake you will need 2 cups of shredded carrots. Do this first and get it out of the way because it is a pain in the ass to shred carrots. Three large ones seemed to be enough, but they were pretty damn big. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1 cup vegetable oil, 4 eggs, 1/4 cup honey, 1 teaspoon orange extract and 1 teaspoon almond extract. Beat it all together with your hand mixer (or a whisk, fork, whatever you have handy). In another bowl, sift together 2 cups of flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon cardamom, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Make sure it is all evenly mixed together, then add it to the sugar-oil-egg mixture. Add your 2 cups shredded carrots and mix until well incorporated. Pour it all into a greased baking dish. I used a 9x13 glass pan, you can use whatever is convenient, but if it is deeper than a 9x13, your baking time may be longer. Just keep an eye on it. Pop it in your preheated oven for 30-45 minutes, test it with a toothpick to see if the center is done--mine was done at about 35 minutes. Cool completely and frost gently.