I am making a lemon birthday dessert for a friend's child who will be turning 11. He is not your typical 11-year-old; he has quite sophisticated tastes, including raw oysters, sushi, fancy olives and similar things.
He has said he is not a "cake" person, but when I was describing the Epicurious Lemon Layer Cake with Lemon Curd and Mascarpone (http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...) he said it sounded really good, I think mostly because of the lemon curd. I told him it wasn't your typical cakey cake (like a grocery store bakery cake with loads of gross icing). He loved the Fine Cooking lemon bars, which I made for a get-together last summer.
Still, are there other ideas? I'm kind of in the mood for a multi-step project.
Oh, AND--he's also into swimming, and while I'm not a very good cake decorator, if I could work that in somehow I think he would be over the moon!!