on orange trees and citrus cake

HG | Michael Graydon + Nikole Herriott


I often wish I lived someplace warmer.
Or more specifically, a place where orange trees grow.
I can imagine the scent of the blossoms in spring.
And the way walking
through a grove,
heavy with citrus, might feel.



In Italy, this past October
we stood on our tiptoes to see oranges over walls.
And in California a couple months later
we slowed the car for lemon trees.



But I’ve never actually been to a citrus farm.
I’ve never seen them picked
and processed and ready for market.
I haven’t seen rows and rows of orange fruit
or short grass between the trunks.
But it is something
I’ve always wanted to do.





For now I’m sticking to cake.
And this Cream Cheese Pound Cake by Cakes & Ale
for Bon Appétit
is especially good.

xo, N


HG | Michael Graydon + Nikole Herriott




this shop
these onions
this kettle
this photo
why weight? (via)
these food illustrations
these numbers
this looks like a fun place to be
photos & styling: michael graydon + nikole herriott


HG | Michael Graydon + Nikole Herriott



Cream Cheese Pound Cake - by Cakes & Ale - for Bon Appetit


  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup cream cheese (5 ounces), room temperature
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • Glaze
  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Coat loaf pan generously with nonstick spray; line bottom and long sides with parchment paper, leaving about 1 1/2-inch overhang. Coat paper with nonstick spray.
  2. Sift flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda into a medium bowl; set aside. Combine 1 1/4 cups sugar and all zest in another medium bowl; set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and cream cheese in a large bowl until blended and smooth, about 2 minutes. Gradually beat in sugar mixture; beat on high speed until very light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Reduce speed to low; add eggs one at a time, beating to blend between additions and scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla. (Make sure mixture is completely incorporated so flour won't clump when added.) With mixer on low speed, gradually add dry ingredients; mix just to blend (do not overmix or cake will become tough). Scrape batter into prepared pan; smooth top.
  4. Bake cake until top is golden brown and springs back when gently pressed with your fingertips and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 60-70 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cake cool in pan for 30 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, stir lemon juice and 1/4 cup sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat until sugar is dissolved for lemon syrup.
  6. Using parchment-paper overhang as an aid, remove cake from pan; peel off and discard paper. Place cake top side up on a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet. Using a skewer, pierce top of cake all over, inserting skewer about halfway through cake (this helps the lemon syrup to soak in).
  7. Using a pastry brush, baste with lemon syrup. Use all of syrup plus any that may have dripped onto baking sheet. Let cake cool completely.
  8. GLAZE
  9. Whisk all ingredients in a medium bowl; strain, if desired. Pour over cake. Scoop up any glaze that may have dripped into sheet and spread over top and sides of cake. Let cake stand at room tempera-ture until icing is set, about 30 minutes. DO AHEAD: Cake can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and let stand at room temperature.
  10. Cut cake into 1/2-inch-thick slices.


HG | Michael Graydon + Nikole Herriott


posted on March 5, 2013 by Nikole


  1. Sanda says:

    Nikole, If you ever com for a visit we can go to an organge farm, they are a lot around here. I am glad you liked photo.

  2. jen says:

    gorgeous, gorgeous photos!! now i want to visit an orange grove and eat some of that cake.

  3. Amber says:

    Lovely piece and lovely links. It’s the warmest day so far this year in the UK! It’s 6 degrees. Would like to move to Italy pronto for sun & citrus!!

  4. I would love to live in a place where orange trees grow too! I was the most happier girl in Sevilla (Spain) where orange trees are everywhere! But, well, I always miss Montreal when I am away, so I guess I should have two homes: one here and one in a sunny place! ;) Stunning pictures, as always. Love your work, guys!

  5. Kristal says:

    I adore my citrus birthday cake! these photos are so beautiful and it has made my day today to look at them and dream of orange trees and I am sure I will have citrus on my nose the whole day…thank you dear friend.

  6. Tiff says:

    That citrus pound cake was absolute heaven – happy b-day, Kristal! Thanks, Nikole, for including the recipe and the beautiful photos! It was great to see you and Michael again!

  7. Joy @ OSS says:

    I really need some citrus in me to fight the winter blues! Gorg photos.

  8. Lucy says:

    Thanks for the shout out Nikole :) So fitting because I just illustrated a recipe for Anthology Magazine of a shortcake with citrus sweet ricotta for their up and coming issue! I’ll send it your way when it hits the streets.

  9. kara says:

    come back to california soon :)

  10. Emily says:

    Hey lady! Such a lovely post – my grandpa had a single orange tree in his front yard that he cherished. That tree was magical. A whole orchard of them would be rather fantastical!

    Oh! And “we slowed the car for lemon trees” is THE most beautiful line I’ve read anywhere lately! I want to frame it! Hey – I just may!

  11. royal chill says:

    I love it ! Wonderful pictures, I’ll test it !

  12. BON&JOUR says:

    I can’t count anymore how often I googled ‘moving to California’ this winter… but your recipe looks already like spring :)!

  13. Natasha says:

    I live in Atlanta, and Cakes & Ale is one of my favorite places! The bakery serves the best lunch and has the most delicious pastries. This citrus cake is no exception! Lovely post and photos as always.

  14. Kate says:

    My next door neighbor has orange trees and the blossoms smell so amazing right now it makes me delirious every time I park by them! I really want to snip a little branch… hehe.

  15. My New Name says:

    [...] This cream cheese pound cake. [...]

  16. Stella says:

    I am in Florida right now, the “orange” State and i am taking so many pictures. Not to forget all the pastel homes. You would love it here!

  17. Mikey F. says:

    Love the pound cake… I’m so trying it.

    And love your links… They are lovely to look around!

  18. zivar amrami says:

    this cake is glorious and i love your photos! thank you.

  19. Oami says:

    My former employer, friend and mentor moved to a house in the middle of an orange grove in southern California a few years back. I was lucky enough to go work with her there for a week – it was so gorgeous and she said it smells heavenly in spring, when all the trees are in bloom.

  20. Lindsay says:

    I’ve been looking through your blog. It’s so refreshing and the pictures are gorgeous. I want to eat everything I’ve read about so far :)!

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