Queen’s pancake recipe unearthed by Royals fans from 1960 letter she wrote to US president

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Royal fans have unearthed Queen Elizabeth II’s pancake recipe in the wake of her death.

Her Majesty penned a handwritten letter to US President Dwight D. Eisenhower in January 1960, along with her seven-ingredient recipe for “drop scones”, otherwise known as small, thick pancakes.

The Queen met the president and his wife Mamie at her Balmoral castle for the first time in late summer of 1957 when she was just 31 years old.

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The letter to Eisenhower read: “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 do hope you will find them successful.”

Royal fans have unearthed Queen Elizabeth II’s ‘drop scone’ pancake recipe in the wake of her death. Credit: US National Archives
Drop scones are a small, thick pancake made by dropping spoonfuls of batter on a fry pan (file image). Credit: Chaloner Woods/Getty Images

Her recipe, which makes enough to feed 16 people, calls for flour, caster sugar, milk, eggs, bicarb soda, cream of tartar and butter.

“Though the quantities are for 16 people, when there are fewer, I generally put in less flour and milk, but use the other ingredients as stated,” the Queen said in the letter to the president.

“I have also tried using golden syrup or treacle instead of only sugar and that can be very good, too.

“I think the mixture needs a great deal of beating while making, and shouldn’t stand about too long before cooking.”

Her recipe emerged on Reddit shortly after she died “peacefully” at the age of 96 on September 8.

Her Majesty sent her recipe to US President Dwight D. Eisenhower in January 1960 (pictured in July 1968). Credit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Many royal fanatics quickly pointed out the “drop scones” were not the traditional English scones.

“As an American, these are not the scones you know. They’re kind of a thick pancake type thing with a springy texture. Nice with butter and powdered sugar or toasted leftover with strawberry jam,” one said.

Another said: “Drop scones aren’t scones, they’re essentially Scotch pancakes. You tend to eat them with butter, maybe a little golden syrup if your sweet tooth is calling.”

Those who followed the recipe said they enjoyed the Queen’s pancakes.

“My sister and I went crazy for these when we were teenagers in the ‘80s. Drizzled with honey and slathered in melted butter,” one said.

Queen’s drop scones recipe


Serves 16

4 teacups flour

4 tablespoons caster sugar

2 teacups milk

2 whole eggs

2 teaspoons bi-carbonate soda

3 teaspoons cream of tartar

2 tablespoons melted butter


Beat eggs, sugar and about half the milk together.

Add flour, and mix well together adding remainder of milk as required, also bi-carbonate and cream of tartar, fold in the melted butter.

While the Queen’s recipe ends here, home cooks around the world have speculated the following method:

Heat a large frying pan and grease with oil.

Drop spoonfuls of batter on to the hot pan, spacing the mixture well apart to allow for them to spread.

When bubbles appear on the surface, turn the scones over with a spatula and cook on the other side for a further 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until they are lightly golden brown.

Transfer pancakes to a wire rack and cover to keep them soft. Continue cooking the batter in the same way.

Serve immediately with toppings of your choice.

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