Here's How to Make the Recipe for Queen Elizabeth's Pancakes (2024)

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 foodis 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

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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 to 14 pancakes.


  • 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.


Step 1: Separately mix the dry and wet ingredients

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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

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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

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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. Learn how to make scones just as good as any bakery.

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.

Vintage British Desserts Worth Baking Today

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Scottish ShortbreadShortbread is a favorite across the United Kingdom, though it traces its roots back to Scotland. It's believed that a version of this cookie has been made since the Middle Ages and was popular with Mary Queen of Scots.The recipe has varied a bit across its long history, but these days you'll find most recipes call for simply butter, sugar and flour. And the secret to the best shortbread ever: letting the dough chill.Go to Recipe

Old English TrifleA traditional English trifle is made with sponge cake, custard, jelly, whipped cream and berries. This stunning-yet-simple dessert has been a favorite of the Brits for over 300 years.

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Mincemeat PieIn the Middle Ages, mincemeat pies were a way to serve preserved meat. These days, however, mincemeat (sometimes referred to as mince) is a sweet, meat-free filling made of apples, raisins, spices and sometimes nuts. This filling is popular in pies during the holiday season, though it's welcome during all cool months thanks to the classic apple-and-cinnamon flavor combination.

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Madeira CakeThis classic British dessert is often served with Madeira wine, which is how it got its name. Similar to a pound cake, it is commonly flavored with lemon and can also be served with tea or other sweet liqueurs.

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Steamed Plum PuddingPlum pudding has gone through a big transformation throughout the years. It was created in the 14th century as a savory dish made of beef, mutton, raisins and prunes. It became a dessert in the 16th century and is now made with brown sugar, currants, alcohol and spices. Some recipes use figs, hence the figgy pudding we sing about at Christmas.

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Jammy DodgersThese iconic treats, sold as Jammie Dodgers, can be found everywhere in the UK—much like you can find packaged chocolate chip cookies here in the US. These cookies—er biscuits—start with a tender butter base and are filled with the jam of your choice. Finish them off with a dusting of confectioners' sugar.

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Here's How to Make the Recipe for Queen Elizabeth's Pancakes (11)

Battenberg CakeBattenberg cake has made many an appearance on The Great British Baking Show. The traditional version of this cake is made with two shades of sponge cake with a jam filling and marzipan coating.This cake first came onto the scene in Great Britain when Queen Victoria's grandaughter (also named Victoria) married Prince Louis of Battenberg in 1884. Ever since it's been a regular cake at British celebrations.Go to Recipe

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Spotted DickPuddings are quite popular British desserts and have very interesting names! “Dick” is a common term for pudding, possibly derived from the word “dough.” A spotted dick is a boiled pudding “spotted” with raisins.Go to Recipe

Sticky Toffee Pudding with Butterscotch SauceIt’s been said that this recipe came from a Canadian Air Force officer during World War II. He asked a hotel manager to make it while he was in Britain. The dessert was soon adopted by another hotel, and its popularity eventually spread to the whole country. You might see it at Kensington Palace, as it is one of Kate Middleton’s favorite foods.

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Jam Roly PolyFond memories surround this classic school lunch dessert. It’s a rolled pudding with layers of fruity jam in every bite. Like most other British desserts, it’s served with hot custard. Our best cake rolls are very similar to this vintage treat.

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Brandy SnapsWe've seen brandy snaps time and time again on The Great British Baking Show. Contestant Lizzie Acker famously made a version that tasted like McDonald's apple pies (we adore Lizzie's blondie recipe, BTW). The classic version is made by making lacy cookies with golden syrup. The cookies are then rolled and filled with a brandy-spiked whipped cream.

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FoolA fool is a classic British and Irish dessert that's usually made with whipped cream and cooked fruit. This quick version uses rhubarb and berries.

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Treacle TartWe can’t talk about vintage British desserts without mentioning the treacle tart. Treacle is a sweet syrup similar to molasses and helps create a sticky, delicious filling for this treat.If you're a Potterhead, you'll know that this is Harry's favorite dessert. Be sure to check out our other

magical Harry Potter-inspired recipes

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Welsh CakesFire up the griddle to make these sweet treats from Wales. These cakes are a real vintage British dessert: They've been popular in Wales since the 1800s. They can be served warm or at room temperature. Typically you'll find them dusted with a bit of confectioners' sugar, but you can also top them with butter or a bit of jam like you would a scone.

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Bread and Butter PuddingIn the UK, folks call bread pudding bread and butter pudding. Depending on the baker, this British dessert can be made with cubed or sliced day-old bread. For a real British touch, top this with custard, though ice cream is good, too!

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Banoffee PieThe Banoffee Pie was invented in the 1970s by Ian Dowding and Nigel McKenzie, the chef and owner, respectively, of The Hungry Monk restaurant in East Sussex. The name combines the two main stars of the dessert: bananas and toffee.Go to Recipe

TMB studio

FruitcakeFruitcake dates back to the Middle Ages. It was easy to keep for a long time because the alcohol and fruit acted as preservatives (remember there was no refrigeration back then!). Fruitcake has long been the traditional cake at royal weddings.

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Taste of Home

Rice PuddingRice pudding is an old-fashioned British dessert that's still beloved today. Mixed with vanilla extract and cinnamon, it's the tastiest way to use up leftover rice.

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Here's How to Make the Recipe for Queen Elizabeth's Pancakes (2024)
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