The Queen's Recipe For Drop Scones


When they're Her Majesty's own recipe for drop scones, you know they're going to be good...

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  • Serves 8

  • Prep time 10 mins

  • Cooking time 10 mins

  • Total time 20 mins

  • Skill level Easy


  • 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
  • pancake griddle, or non-stick frying pan


This recipe features in ‘Royal Teas: Seasonal Recipes from Buckingham Palace’, a new cookbook of recipes that the Queen herself is said to enjoy at the Palace. These drop scones were served by Her Majesty to President Eisenhower at Balmoral, and he enjoyed them so much that she sent him the recipe.

This type of small pancake,dropped on to a hot griddle to cook, has a place in almost every cuisine in the world. The drop scone, or ‘Scotch pancake’ is very similar to American breakfast pancakes, and can be eaten with melted butter, spread with jam, or served with maple syrup – all are equally good!


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Serve warm with butter and home-made preserves.

Recipes and images courtesy of Royal Collection Trust/ © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2017. Photographer Lisa Linder.