Elaborate, all-day baking projects like towering layer cakes and petit fours can certainly be fun to make, but nine times out of ten I'm drawn to simpler confections like this pumpkin loaf. No need to bust out your stand mixer; all you need is a whisk and a little elbow grease!
Dense, cakey, and assertively spiced with a heady combination of cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg, this pumpkin bread straddles the line between indulgent breakfast and dessert. I'm partial to serving thick slices toasted and slathered with salted butter — because, well, pretty much everything is better with a smear of salted butter — but it's rich enough that it doesn't really need it.
1 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 15-ounce can solid pack pumpkin
3 cups (15 ounces) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
4 ounces (about 1 cup) chopped toasted pecans, walnuts, or a mix of the two, plus more for the top (optional)