Discover Why Budding Chefs Need This Book!

20 Recipes Kids Should Know
20 Recipes Kids Should Know von Esme Washburn

The perfect book for children, this fun and engaging cookbook is written and photographed by a pair of young sisters for budding chefs.

Whether they’re helping stir cake batter or producing their own YouTube cooking channel, kids of all ages are getting increasingly busy in the kitchen. This cookbook features twenty classic recipes that are fun, healthy, adaptable, and easy to prepare.

From banana bread and the perfect grilled cheese to breaded chicken and apple pie, each recipe is written in a clear, accessible style that budding chefs of every level will be able to follow. The author is a young chef whose love of cooking developed from her own family’s food traditions like baking popovers with her grandmother and Sunday-night pizza making.

By teaching kids basic recipes that can be adapted in endless ways, this book is the perfect launching pad to finding their way around the kitchen–or launching their own cooking careers.

About the Author + Photographer


ESME and CALISTA WASHBURN are sisters living in New York City. Esme, who is in middle school, is an amateur chef and cooking enthusiast. She has learned everything she knows from her grandmother. Calista, a recent high school graduate and budding photographer, loves helping out in the kitchen and eating the delicious food that Esme cooks.

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Strawberry Shortcake Recipe

Strawberries are only in season for a short time, but when they are, I make strawberry shortcake as often as possible. Even when strawberries are not in season or not available, I still make strawberry shortcake using frozen berries, which are picked and frozen in season, so they taste great anytime. These biscuits are adapted from a James Beard recipe and one from Cooks Illustrated magazine. They’re fast and easy and come out consistently well each time. These biscuits are also delicious just with butter and jam!

Yield: 8-10 biscuits

Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry Shortcake

Excerpt from 20 Recipes Kids Should Know (Prestel, 2019), Recipes and Text by Esme Washburn, Photographs by Calista Washburn.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes


  • For the biscuits
  • 2 cups (260 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (360 ml) heavy cream
  • For the strawberries
  • 1 1/2 pounds (680 g) fresh strawberries
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • For the whipped cream
  • 1 1/2 cups (360 ml) heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  1. Make the biscuits
  2. Preheat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC).

  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Make sure the dry ingredients are thoroughly mixed together.

  4. Add the heavy cream and stir until the dough is almost fully together, about 30 seconds.

  5. Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface and knead for about 30 seconds.
  6. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough until ¾ to 1 inch (2 to 2.5 cm) thick. Be sure to rotate the dough every couple of rolls and to lightly flour the work surface as needed to prevent sticking. Don’t use too much flour!
  7. Using a 3-inch (7.5 cm) round cookie cutter, cut the dough into 8 to 10 biscuits. Be sure to just press straight down and do not twist the cutter. Pull away any excess dough then reroll it and cut more biscuits.
  8. Place the biscuits on a baking sheet. Bake for 7 minutes then rotate the baking sheet and continue baking until just golden brown, about 8 more minutes.
  9. Remove the biscuits from the oven and, using a spatula, place the biscuits directly on the wire rack and let cool slightly, about 5 minutes.
  10. While the biscuits are baking, prepare the strawberries
  11. Rinse the strawberries thoroughly. Cut off the green tops then cut the strawberries into quarters and place in a medium bowl.
  12. Add the sugar to the strawberries and stir. (If the strawberries are in season and very sweet, you don't need to add sugar.) With a fork, in the same bowl, crush about a quarter of the strawberries then let all the strawberries and juice sit together in the bowl.
  13. Make the whipped cream
  14. In a large bowl, use a large whisk to beat together the heavy cream and sugar. Add the vanilla extract and keep beating until the cream thickens and soft peaks form.
  15. Assemble the shortcakes
  16. Split the cooled biscuits in half and place the bottoms on individual plates. Spoon a generous amount of strawberries on top of the biscuit bottoms and top with a small amount of whipped cream. Add the biscuit tops, plus more strawberries and a dollop of whipped cream, and serve.


Extra biscuits can be enjoyed on their own—they are delicious with butter. They can also be wrapped in a double layer of plastic bags and frozen for up to 2 months.

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