Preheat oven to 325 degrees and grease a Dutch Oven. Cream sugar and butter in large bowl. Add in eggs one at a time. Add seasonings. Mix baking soda into the buttermilk. Alternate adding flour, buttermilk and raisins into mix. Bake for 2 1/2 to 3 hours in covered Dutch Oven. Cake is finished when knife inserted into middle comes out clean.
Optional- pour 1/2 cup of whiskey over cake immediately after removing from oven. Cake is best when cut after a few days.