The Queen’s Recipe for Drop Scones

We’ve had some recipes from some well-known chefs, but none of them as famous as this one – Queen Elizabeth II. This recipe is said to have been sent by The Queen to President Eisenhower around 1960. It’s for a type of small pancake made all over the world and often known as a ‘drop scone’ or ‘Scotch pancake’ – very similar to American breakfast pancakes. They’re a nice little item to get the kids to help with, under supervision, and you can enjoy them with butter, jam or maple syrup.

Photograph: Lisa Linder © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2020


  • 1 free-range egg
  • 2 tablespoons unrefined caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 250ml full-fat milk
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 240g plain flour
  • 2.5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1.5 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 100g clarified unsalted butter

Equipment: Pancake griddle or non-stick frying pan

See also: The Queen’s Tea Bread Recipe


  • In a mixing bowl sieve together the dry ingredients: flour, bicarbonate of soda, cream of tartar and sugar. Add to this the milk and egg and whisk to a smooth batter, finally adding the warm melted butter.
  • Pass through a sieve to get rid of any lumps and if necessary thin with more milk. The batter should have a dropping consistency, but remain thick enough to retain its shape on the griddle.
  • Heat the griddle (or frying pan) over a medium heat and grease with clarified butter. Using a dessert spoon or small ladle, carefully pour spoonfuls of the batter on to the griddle. After one side has cooked, flip the scones with a palette knife to cook the other.
  • Once you feel more confident you can cook a few scones at a time, being careful not to let them over-cook on either side.

Have your butler serve them warm with butter and home-made preserves.

See also: Tofu and Mushroom Hotpot Recipe for Veganuary

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