Makes 12 to 16 servings
Prep: 25 minutes
Bake: 1 hour, 10 to 20 minutes
Vegetable oil or shortening and flour for prepping the pan
½ cup currants or finely chopped pecans
2 cups unbleached flour
1½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
1½ cups vegetable oil
2 cups granulated sugar
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons powdered sugar for dusting the cake
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Lightly brush a Bundt pan with vegetable oil or shortening and dust with flour. Shake out the excess flour, and set the pan aside. If using pecans, place them in a small baking pan and place in the oven to lightly toast while the oven preheats.
2. Meanwhile, combine the flour, soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger in a small mixing bowl. Stir to combine, and set the dry ingredients aside. Remove the pecans from the oven to cool.
3. Place the oil and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on medium-low speed until they come together, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the pumpkin, vanilla, and then the eggs, one at a time, blending well after each addition, until the mixture is thickened and smooth, 2 minutes. Stop the mixer and add the dry ingredients, and blend on low speed until all is just combined and the batter is smooth, 45 seconds to 1 minute longer. Fold in the currants or toasted pecans. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with a rubber spatula. Place the pan in the oven.
4. Bake until the cake is golden brown on top and springs back when lightly pressed with your finger, 1 hour and 10 to 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and immediately sprinkle the top of the cake with powdered sugar. Let the cake cool in the pan for 20 minutes.
5. Run a knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the cake, give the pan a few good shakes to further loosen the cake, then invert the cake over a serving plate. Slice and serve.