How to Make Queen Elizabeth’s Pancake Recipe (aka Drop Scones)

Queen Elizabeth liked this recipe so much that she mailed it to a U.S. president. You can make her drop scones, too—they're wonderful with jam and hot tea.

The recent death of Queen Elizabeth II sparked renewed interest in her long and historic life, especially the food and drinks she loved. Although the Queen was not as adventurous with food as her late husband, she did have meals she loved to eat—like her own recipe for drop scones, also known as Scottish pancakes.

Queen Elizabeth’s pancake recipe recently surfaced on Reddit where it quickly went viral.

What Are Drop Scones?

Drop scones got their name because spoonfuls of batter are literally dropped into a hot skillet to cook, rather than being shaped and baked. This classic British food is also sometimes referred to as “Scottish pancakes.”

Both of these names can be confusing, though, since drop scones aren’t thin like American-style pancakes and don’t have the biscuit-like texture of baked scones. Drop scones look like small versions of pancakes but with a thick, almost spongy texture.

How to Make Queen Elizabeth’s Pancakes

top view of ingredients measured out into small bowlsNancy Mock for Taste of Home

The ingredients below are from Queen Elizabeth’s own recipe, one she loved so much that she mailed a copy to President Eisenhower after meeting him at the White House in 1957. Included here are translations for U.S. measurements and ingredients. The recipe makes 12-14 pancakes.

Ingredients

  • 4 teacups flour (3 regular cups all-purpose flour)
  • 3 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teacups milk (12 ounces or 1-1/2 cups)
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 4 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter (plus more to grease the pan)

Editor’s Tip: Caster sugar is more popular in Britain than it is in the States. You can use either superfine or granulated sugar in this recipe.

Directions

Step 1: Separately mix the dry and wet ingredients

two bowls size by side on a counter, one with wet ingredients and a whisk and the other with dry ingredients and a wooden spoon on the sideNancy Mock for Taste of Home

Whisk together the flour, cream of tartar and baking soda in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together 1 cup of the milk with the eggs and sugar.

Step 2: Combine the dry and wet ingredients

pancake mix in a bowl and a wooden spoon, view from aboveNancy Mock for Taste of Home

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry mixture and stir to thoroughly combine them. Add in more milk a little at a time until the batter has the right consistency; it should be similar to pancake batter but thicker. Fold in the melted butter.

Step 3: Prepare the pan

Place a cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium heat. When it’s hot, brush the bottom with a little melted butter.

Step 4: Cook the pancakes

the golden brown side on a pan while cooking a pancakeNancy Mock for Taste of Home

Use a large spoon (or cookie scoop) to add a dollop of batter to the hot pan, and nudge the top of the batter so that it flattens out a little to an even thickness. Cook the pancake for about 2 minutes, then flip it and cook the other side for another 2 minutes. The pancake should be golden brown on both sides, puffed and cooked through.

Move it to a plate and continue cooking the rest of the pancakes. Serve them warm or at room temperature with butter, jam, English golden syrup or maple syrup. They’re wonderful with Queen Elizabeth’s favorite tea.

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Nancy Mock
Discovering restaurants, tasting bakery treats, finding inspiration in new flavors and regional specialties—no wonder Nancy loves being a food and travel writer. She and her family live in Vermont and enjoy all things food, as well as the beautiful outdoors, game nights, Avengers movies and plenty of maple syrup. Find Nancy’s writing and recipes at her website: Hungry Enough To Eat Six.