Preheat the oven to 170°C. / 325°F / Gas mark 3
Grease and line two 9 inch / 23cm round cake tins
In a bowl, sift together the flour, spices, baking soda (bicarbonate of soda), baking powder and salt
In a separate bowl mix the maple / golden syrup ( if using) eggs, oil and sugar
Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients and whisk or beat well until there are no lumps.
Add in the carrot and the nuts and raisins( if using) and pour into the prepared tin.
Bake for about 30 - 40 minutes until a skewer or knife inserted comes away clean. SEE NOTE 2
Leave to cool slightly in the tin before turning it out, and allow to cool completely before icing/frosting