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28 is the New Black: Happy Birthday Balsamic Strawberry Shortcakes

Today is my 28th birthday. It’s actually super weird because every time I think about how old I am, I keep wanting to say 23 or 25 or, good God, no older than 26! I know, I know. I’m in my 20s still, 30 is the new 20, etc. etc. etc. But it’s still weird.

I remember when I turned 13 and chose to have a blowout dance party in my parents’ backyard instead of a Bat Mitzvah (who wants to go to Temple when they’re 13, anyway?). I remember the day I turned 16 and sat in the driver’s seat of my first, used car. I remember turning 18. I remember when I turned 21 (vaguely). 25 was a good year. Actually, 26 was a good year (26 on the 26th!). I got married (woah!). And I got a new job (wee!). And I took the longest vacation I had taken since being in school (my honeymoon in Argentina). These are the milestone years. So here’s 28. And I wonder what it will bring?

Hopefully there will be travel. Hopefully this here space will continue to bring new discoveries, friends, good food and good music. Hopefully there is more sun in San Francisco than fog (even in the Sunset!). Hopefully I finally master making homemade croissants. Hopefully all of my friends who have moved away to various cities and countries around the world will all move back and we can all live happily ever after down the street from each other (ok, that’s a stretch).

We’re headed to Seattle for the long weekend and we’re excited to catch up with friends — old and new — and discover some fun new places.

Do you have recommendations?

In the meantime, I made you some delicious treats. Well, actually I made myself some delicious treats and already ate them, but you can look at the pictures…and make these for yourself. They’re from a book I’ve been salivating over for some time — Flour — and they put a very Italian spin on a very American treat: the strawberry shortcake. These crumbly, tender little biscuits sandwich a mess of strawberries soaked in tangy balsamic vinegar and homemade whipped cream. Cheers!

Balsamic Strawberry Shortcakes
adapted from Flour
*serves 4

For the shortcakes:
1 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour
1/4 cup of sugar
1 tablespoon of large grain sugar (Demerara or Turbinado)
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of kosher salt
3/4 of a stick of unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
2 large eggs
1/4 cup of heavy whipping cream

For the strawberries:

1 1/2 pints of strawberries, thinly sliced lengthwise
2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons of freshly grated lemon zest
3 tablespoons of sugar

For the whipped cream:

3/4 cup of heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Make the shortcakes: combine the flour, 1/4 cup of sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Add the butter and cut it into the flour using a pastry cutter until the smallest pieces of the mixture are no larger than a pea.
2. Whisk together one egg and the heavy cream. Add it to the dry mixture and stir the dough with a fork until it just comes together.
3. Transfer the dough to a well-floured surface and press it down with your fingers until it’s about 1 inch thick. Use a 3 inch biscuit cutter to cut out 4 circles. Place them on an ungreased cookie sheet, a few inches apart.
4. Whisk the other egg in a small bowl and brush the tops of the biscuits with it. Sprinkle with the large grain sugar.
5. Bake the biscuits for about 30 – 45 minutes (until the tops are golden). Remove from the oven and cool until they are warm (you can make them ahead of time and rewarm them in a 300 degree F oven).
6. While the biscuits are baking, combine the strawberries with the vinegar, sugar and lemon zest, and allow them to sit on the counter for 20-30 minutes.
7. Make the whipped cream: pour the cream into a large bowl, add the sugar and vanilla extract. Use a hand blender with a whisk attachment to whisk on high speed for a minute or two until the cream holds soft peaks.
8. To assemble the shortcakes, slice the biscuits in half, then evenly divide the strawberries between the four bottom halves of the biscuits. Next, drop a generous dollop of whipped cream over the berries, and place the biscuit halves on top. Serve with additional whipped cream and macerated strawberries on the side (and a glass of port, if you wish).

Musical Pairings: David Bowie – Hunky Dory + Balsamic Strawberry Shortcakes

Check out today’s special pairing over on the Turntable side of things.

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Posted by Kasey

Kasey is the food editor and co-founder of Turntable Kitchen. She loves dark chocolate, warm crusty bread, and traveling to new places. She speaks Russian, but does not like vodka.

  • Happy birthday!! Have a wonderful time in Seattle and don’t worry about the rain- trust me, it makes it better 🙂 Just hole up in Brouwer’s Cafe with an amazing beer and all will be well xxxx

  • Jessica Fechtor

    Hey, we’re birthday buddies! I hope you have a wonderful day. Seattle recommendations: Sitka & Spruce, Delancey, and Elemental.

  • p.s. – I cannot figure out this Disqus thing for the life of me. That last comment was from me, Jess!

  • adrienne

    Happy Birthday! Stawberry shortcake has always been my favorite birthday dessert ever since I was a little girl. Recipe looks amazing, thanks!

  • Thanks, Jess! Delancey is definitely on my list. I haven’t heard of the others so thanks so much for the recs – will definitely explore 🙂 xx

  • Oh no! We actually installed it because we thought it made commenting easier! I normally choose to comment with Name/URL – I will look into it to see if it has gotten any more confusing since the last time I logged into the site 🙂

  • Thanks, Leo!! Another one to add to my list! I have been loving your Chiang Mai recaps! Def. going to look into that cooking school you wrote about- looks amazing.

  • Oh thank you Adrienne! I hope you like it 🙂

  • nicole

    I am sure great things are in store for you this year 🙂 Flour is another cookbook that I’ve been looking at and those shortcakes look like a perfect birthday treat. Happy Birthday and have fun in Seattle! Wish I had recommendations, but I’ve never been. Looking forward to hearing about what you see and do!

  • Skavianian

    Happy birthday!! I want some of your birthday treats, looks tasty.

  • Kickpleat

    Happy birthday – what a great treat to celebrate with! As for Seattle: Salumi for lunch is a must. The Oddfellows Hall for an afternoon beer. Cakespy shop! Cafe Besalu in Ballard for the best ginger biscuits (seriously, this place is amazing, I dream about it). Delancey’s of course. And there’s a ton of Seattle recs on this post:

  • Ok, I’ll share… Love you! Thanks!

  • Thanks, Nicole 🙂 Definitely check out Flour! I particularly like the way the author describes the steps in a recipe – very easy to digest, comfortable, approachable, conversational. I will definitely let you know what we end up doing in Seattle! I’ve been twice before but it’s been a while!

  • Thanks Jeannette! This is perfect. Unfortunately Salumi will be closed when we are there! My friend says they have weird hours. So many places to eat at, so little time! I will definitely be heading over to your post 🙂 xx

  • Happy birthday, Kasey! That shortcake takes the cake.

  • Janet

    Happy Birthday! Time seriously does fly, let me tell ya! Can’t wait to celebrate. 🙂

    PS: looks super delicious!

  • I know! It’s crazy, right?? Thanks hon.

  • Thanks, Noelle! 🙂

  • OH. AND! Wrote this somewhat half asleep and duh…HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU, TOO!!!!! xooxx.

  • Fabian

    Hope you had a wonderfull Birthday!! from Buenos Aires!

  • YEAH!! Happy Birthday Kasey. Looking forward to meeting you this weekend!

  • Yay! I will email you as soon as I have a clearer idea of what we have planned – can’t wait to meet you!!

  • Thank you, Fabian – Buenos Aires is one of my favorite cities in the world!

  • kitchen units

    I like your short cakes. I am curious to make this short cakes. As per your ingredients, it is easy to make this short cakes.

  • Hope you’re having the best birthday weekend ever! It rained here yesterday, so you’re not missing any stellar weather. 🙂 And I absolutely love this dessert. Perfect and creatively classic and celebratory. (The balsamic!)

  • Thanks, Kimberley! Our weekend was quite different than we expected (we had a family emergency and ended up rushing out to Ohio shortly after we arrived in Seattle). Thankfully, everything will be ok. We’ll be back soon..

  • A very belated birthday!! I’m so late, catching up on my favorite blogs. Ah, I remember turning 28 – found out I was expecting my first baby 🙂 There will definitely be wonderful times ahead.

  • These look wonderful! Happy belated birthday! 🙂

  • Anonymous

    Excellent birthday cake. It is easy to make and contain great taste in it. Thank for sharing this delicious recipe. I lobe your blog very much which inform me about this cake.
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  • Thank you!! xx

  • Superkokken

    Thank you, this is sweet!
    If you read Italian or Norwegian – pls check for more recepies.
    All the best from Superkokken

  • Ila Nguyen-Hayama

    oh. my. GAWD. looks sooooo good!

    p.s. i’m 26 going on 27, i still pretend that i’m no older than 25 :-d

  • Thanks! I still pretend I’m 19!

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