Preheat oven to Gas 3, 160°C, 325°F.
Grease a deep 20cm (8in) round cake tin and line with nonstick baking paper.
Place the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat well until pale brown in colour and creamy in texture. Gradually beat in the eggs, adding a little flour if the mixture starts to curdle. Then add all the remaining cake ingredients and stir to make a soft mixture.
Spoon into the cake tin and smooth top level. Bake for 30 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to Gas 2, 150°C, 300°F and bake for a further 1½ hours until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
Allow to cool in the tin for one hour, then turn out and let cake cool completely.
To decorate, place a paper doily on top and dust heavily with icing sugar, then carefully remove the doily. Finish off the festive look by wrapping the sides with velvet or other decorative ribbon.
This cake will keep for up to a month in a cake tin.
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