Heat the oven to 350º F. Grease and flour the bottom and sides of two 9-inch by 2-inch cake pans
In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, salt and the cinnamon until well blended.
In a separate bowl, whisk the oil, sugars and vanilla. Whisk in eggs, one at a time.
Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl then add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, stirring gently until they disappear and the batter is smooth.
Stir in the carrots, nuts and raisins. Hold out a few nuts for garnishing the sides.
Divide the batter between the prepared cake pans. Bake until the tops of the cake layers are springy when touched and when a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean; 35 to 45 minutes.
Cool cakes in pans for 15 minutes then turn out onto cooling racks.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with a handheld mixer on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute.
Beat in the powdered sugar, a 1/4 cup at a time until fluffy. Pour in cream and beat on medium speed for 1 minute.
Chill covered until ready to frost cake.
When the cake layers are completely cool, frost the top of one cake layer, place the other cake layer on top. Frost the top and sides. .
Scatter nuts on frosted sides.
To Make Carrot Cake Cupcakes: Bake for 14 to 18 minutes.