Preheat the oven to 350°. Coat two 8-by-4-inch loaf pans with cooking spray or grease and lightly flour the pans.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, cardamom and salt.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the light brown sugar and granulated sugar until smooth. Add the oil in a thin stream, beating at high speed until the batter has doubled in volume, about 2 minutes. Beat in the vanilla and lemon zest. Fold in the shredded carrots. Beat in the dry ingredients at low speed in 3 batches, mixing well between additions.
Pour the batter into the prepared pans, filling them two-thirds full. Bake in the middle of the oven for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the loaves comes out clean. Let the loaves cool in the pans for 10 minutes before turning them out onto a rack to cool completely.
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