Last Monday, Queen Elizabeth II was laid to rest at King George VI Memorial Chapel in Windsor Castle. As her nation and the world mourn her death, many people have been exploring historical archives to learn more about the Queen and her storied reign.
Redditors recently brought to light a letter that the queen wrote to President Dwight Eisenhower in 1960, which is kept in the National Archives. Apparently, during a 1959 trip to Balmoral Castle in Scotland, where the royal family has spent many summer holidays, the president loved the scones he was served there. The queen said she’d send him the recipe and finally did, five months later.
In the letter, the Queen wrote:
“Dear Mr. President. Seeing a picture of you in today’s newspaper, standing in front of a barbecue grilling quail, reminded me that I had never sent you the recipe of the drop scones which I promised you at Balmoral. I now hasten to do so, and I hope you will find them successful.”
Queen Elizabeth then included her recipe for drop scones. Drop scones are similar to what we in America would consider pancakes, and indeed, drop scones are sometimes called Scotch pancakes. So while the Queen probably wouldn’t have called her “drop scones” flapjacks, we Yanks are known for breaking the rules.
Here is the queen’s recipe that she famously shared with Ike over 60 years ago. As you can see, Queen Elizabeth measured with a teacup, which can prove tricky for Americans, especially as teacups can range widely in size. The Pioneer Woman suggests that 1 teacup should equal about 3/4 cup, so you can use this equation as you figure out your measurement.
Queen Elizabeth’s Drop Scones
4 teacups flour
4 tablespoons caster sugar (or granulated sugar)
2 teacups milk
2 whole eggs
2 teaspoons bicarbonate soda (or baking soda)
3 teaspoons cream of tartar
2 tablespoons melted butter
To prepare, the Queen writes:
“Beat eggs, sugar, and about half the milk together, add flour, and mix well together, adding remainder of milk as required, also bicarbonate and cream of tartar, fold in the melted butter.”
There the recipe ends — without cooking directions. But in her letter, the queen noted that the recipe makes enough for 16 people. When there are fewer pancakes needed, she simply reduces the amount of flour and milk. She also notes that treacle and golden syrup may be used in place of the sugar.
“I think the mixture needs a great deal of beating while making and shouldn’t stand about too long before cooking,” the queen added.
We recommend cooking these as you would traditional pancakes on the griddle or stovetop. These will be a bit thicker than traditional pancakes so they may require more heating time on each side. Serve with syrup and fresh fruit and your favorite pancake toppings. Cheerio!