makes 18 servings

3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon each allspice and cloves
2 cups chopped dates
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 cups packed dark-brown sugar
2 eggs
2 cups beer
confectioners' sugar (optional)
Rum-Butter Spread (optional)

Mix flour, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice and cloves; set aside. Combine dates and nuts; stir in small amount flour mixture to coat; set aside. In large bowl cream butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture alternately with beer, blending well after each addition. Stir in dates and nuts. Pour into well greased and floured 12 cup fluted tube pan.

Bake in preheated 350 degree oven 1 hour and 15 minutes or until pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack 10 minutes; then turn out on rack to cool completely. Wrap in foil; let stand 24 hours before serving. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar stirred through a strainer.