Grease 4.5 to 6 L capacity slow cooker and also line bottom and sides with 2 pieces of parchment paper (crisscross pieces inside slow cooker, crushing paper to fit against sides).
Combine milk and dates in small saucepan set over medium heat; simmer 5 min. to soften dates. Let stand 15 min. to cool.
Meanwhile, in bowl, whisk flour with baking soda, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and cloves. Set aside. In separate bowl, using electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 min. Beat in eggs one at a time, incorporating each fully before adding next. Beat in vanilla. Stir in flour mixture until just combined. Fold in carrots, orange zest, almonds and date mixture.
Transfer batter to slow cooker, smoothing top. Cover and cook on LOW setting 2 1/2 to 3 hr. until tester inserted into centre of cake comes out clean. Let stand 15 min. in slow cooker. Use edges of parchment paper to lift cake out of slow cooker. Invert cake onto serving plate; remove parchment paper. Dust with icing sugar to serve.
For a classic holiday pudding, serve with Butterscotch sauce.