Preheat oven to 150 degrees C. Grease a 23x33cm cake tin. Mix together the flour, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, bicarb soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together 250g butter and 1 1/2 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in the eggs. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk, mixing just until incorporated. Fold in the figs and pecans.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool.
To make the icing: In a large saucepan, mix together butter, sugar, evaporated milk and bicarb soda. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Then cook without stirring until the mixture turns brown, or until it reaches the soft ball stage. Cool to lukewarm. Pour into a small bowl and beat until it thickens to spreading consistency. Quickly spread icing onto the cooled cake.