Place butter, sugar, water, raisins, and dates in a saucepan; cook on low heat about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and let mixture cool completely. Set aside.
Combine 2 cups flour, soda, salt, cinnamon, and cloves. Add flour mixture to date mixture; stir well. Add eggs, mixing well
Dredge candied mixed fruit and pecans with remaining 1 cup flour; add to batter, mixing well. Spoon batter into greased and floured muffin pans, filling two-thirds full. Place a whole pecan on top of each muffin, if desired. Bake at 275° for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until cakes test done.