It was my mom's birthday a couple of weeks ago, and since I was in town for it for once (had you guessed that the past 6 weeks of radio silence had something to do with me reveling in the delights of the Great Bay Area?), I wanted to make her a little treat. Of course, my mom being the healthy lady that she is, I knew nothing rich or heavy would be up her alley, which made for a slightly tricky situation when, without thinking, I suggested that my nephew and I should make and decorate cupcakes together... My mom is so not into buttercream, or cake, really – she prefers fruit tarts and crisps and maybe the odd cookie (just one).
Still, I figured there was one way I could still have bonding time with my nephew (who's nearly 7, and a boy, and not so into grown-up baking like tarts) and serve my mom a dessert for her birthday that she'd actually enjoy: when in doubt, make it citrus. My mom, like me, loves anything lemon. And when I found a recipe, it came with an accompanying recipe for a whipped-cream-based frosting, which I figured would be much lighter than a buttercream, not to mention easier.