Shrove Tuesday aka Pancake Day!

What could be better to celebrate Shrove Tuesday in the Queen’s Sapphire Jubilee than a recipe based on one the Queen herself is a dab hand at?

Drop scones, also known as Scotch pancakes are a perfect alternative to traditional pancakes.

Many years ago during the early years of her reign, the Queen received President Dwight Eisenhower, and his wife Mamie, at Balmoral. During their visit she made them drop scones, using her own family recipe. These were rapturously received and once the couple had returned home, the Queen sent them the recipe.

Showing an instinctive grasp of baking, she gave them a few tips including: "I think the mixture needs a great deal of beating while making, and shouldn't stand about too long before cooking.”

And quite right too, aerating the batter well would make her scones lovely and light and although standard pancake batter benefits from a bit of a rest, drop scone batter contains raising agents and works best within 15 minutes of mixing.

Here’s a similar recipe to the Queen’s version, although Her Majesty adds a little caster sugar to hers.

Serve warm with butter and jam, honey or golden syrup, or with soft fruit or jam and whipped or clotted cream. Less sweet jams work best such as raspberry, blueberry or blackcurrant.

Makes 16-18

  • 4oz (110g) plain flour
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 level teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 large egg, beaten with ¼ pint (150ml) semi-skimmed milk
  • ½oz (12g) salted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • Oil for cooking plus extra butter

Sift flour and raising agents into bowl. Make central well, stir in egg and milk gradually with a dinner fork. Change to whisk as mixture loosens. Whisk in butter and continue to beat the mixture well, as the Queen advises.

Heat pan until moderately hot. Add a small amount of oil and butter and a tablespoon of batter. Cook for about a minute on each side until golden.


Avoid pressing the scones down in the pan with the spatula: you’ll knock all the air out and they’ll be flat instead of fluffy!

Ideally, serve each one straight from the pan, still crispy on the outside and moist in the middle: but they are still good kept warm until the whole batch is ready.

Happy Pancake Day!

PS Knew this charity shop butter curler would come in handy!