Sift flour once, measure, add baking powder and salt, and sift together three times. Cream butter thoroughly. Add sugar gradually, and cream together until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each. Add nuts and raisins and beat well. Add flour, alternately with milk, a small amount at a time, beating after each addition until smooth. Add vanilla.
Bake in two greased 23 cm layer pans in moderate oven (375 degrees F.) 25 minutes, or until done. Spread Boiled Frosting (see recipe) between layers and on top and sides of cake. Decorate top of cake with wreath of holly, using pieces of maraschino cherries or red cinnamon candies for berries, and slices of angelica or citron for leaves and stems. Or decorate with poinsettias made of candied cherries. Slice cherries in rings, cut rings in half, and arrange to form petals of poinsettias. If desired, Lemon butter Frosting (see recipe) may be used.
--Boiled Frosting --- half c water one third c light corn syrup 2.5 c sugar2 ea egg whites, large 1.5 ts vanilla Combine water, corn syrup and sugar in a medium saucepan. Heat to boiling; boil until the mixture thickens and forms a ball when a small spoonful is dropped into cold water (about 120ºC on a candy thermometer).
Beat the egg whites in a large bowl of the electric mixer until stiff. Slowly beat in the hot syrup. Combine to beat until spreading consistency. Beat in vanilla.
--Lemon butter Frosting ---4 tb butter3 c confectioner's sugar2 tb lemon juice2 tb water In bowl combine butter, sugar, lemon juice and enough water for spreading consistency; beat well.