These drop scones (Scotch pancakes) are exactly how my Granny used to make them. They are very easy to make and taste so good with butter and jam or golden syrup.
Pancakes. Drop Scones. Scotch Pancakes. Scottish Pancakes. Pikelets. Whatever you want to call them, a decent pancake recipe is always a very useful thing to have in your repertoire.
I know I already have a recipe for fluffy American pancakes that we all LOVE, but they are not the pancakes I grew up with. Granted, they are similar, but not the same.
When I was little, I would beg my Granny to make these. I used to sit at the kitchen table and watch her make them. Funnily enough, I was never that interested in helping back then – I just wanted to eat them!
I’ve been searching for a Scottish pancake recipe just like the one my Gran used to make for a long time. I had the recipe hastily scribbled down on a piece of paper and lost it some time ago.
After cursing myself for being careless and not writing the recipe down in my good notebook, I searched through my Gran’s old Good Housekeeping cookbooks. But it was to no avail and sadly, my Granny is no longer with us to ask for the recipe.
Drop Scones (Scotch Pancake recipe)
While reading through “Ma Broon’s Cookbook – for every day and special days” my attention was immediately drawn to the “drop scone” recipe. It was pretty much almost identical to my Gran’s recipe -the ingredients included a pound of flour (450g, or 454g for argument’s sake), bicarbonate of soda, cream of tartar and golden syrup.
I made them straight away. I was immediately transported back to my childhood. They are so incredibly good eaten warm with butter and jam or golden syrup. So simple, but very comforting.
Interested in seeing more Scottish bakes?
why are they called drop scones?
The name comes from they way the batter is, very simply “dropped” onto the hot cooking surface. Back in the day, a girdle would have been used to make pancakes and (girdle) scones.
(I want you to feel confident and prepared when making this recipe for the first time, so here’s a quick ingredient list. Keep scrolling to the bottom of the post to find printable recipe card!)
- Self Raising Flour. Plain (all purpose) flour can be used instead, but SR flour will give you a lighter, fluffier pancake.
- Bicarbonate of soda.
- Cream of tartar.
- A pinch of fine salt
- Caster sugar or golden syrup.
- 2 large eggs.
- A flavourless oil such as vegetable or sunflower. A drop of oil added to the batter stops the pancakes from drying out quickly.
- Milk. Whole or semi skimmed is best. You could also use buttermilk.
step by step instructions
Scroll to the bottom of the post to find printable recipe!
- Sieve all of the dry ingredients into a large bowl. If you’re using caster sugar, add it now.
- Make a well in the centre of the ingredients and crack in the eggs, followed by the oil, syrup if using and milk. Whisk well until you have a smooth, bubbly batter that’s neither too thick or too thin.
- Place a non stick frying pan on a medium heat. Lightly grease the pan with a little butter or oil and once the pan is nice and hot, pour spoonfuls (or pour from a jug) of batter into the pan.
- After 20-25 seconds or so, small bubbles should begin to appear on the surface of the pancake. This indicates that it’s time to turn the pancake. Cook on the other side for a further 1-2 minutes until golden.
- This recipe will give you approximately 24 pancakes, depending on how large you make them.
- The recipe can be easily halved.
- Pancakes are best eaten fresh and warm with butter, jam, golden or maple syrup.
- They are also good toasted the next day! I don’t recommend reheating pancakes in a microwave – it can make them rubbery.
can you freeze pancakes?
Yes the pancakes can be frozen. When they are completely cold, wrap them in cling film and place in a freezer suitable container. Freeze for up to two months. Defrost the pancakes at room temperature.
The pancakes can be reheated in a warm oven (150C/130Fan) for 5-10 minutes.
More Scottish recipes to try
did you make this recipe?
I would love to hear your thoughts! Leave a comment below and please rate the recipe by clicking on the stars in the recipe card.
- 450g self raising flour (you can use plain, but self raising gives a fluffier result)
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- pinch of fine salt
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 50g caster sugar or golden syrup
- 2 tablespoons flavourless oil, such as vegetable or sunflower
- Approximately 300ml whole milk or buttermilk (you might need to add a little more)
- Sieve the flour, bicarbonate of soda, cream of tartar and pinch of salt together in a large bowl. If you're using caster sugar instead of syrup, stir it in now.
- Make a well in the centre and crack in the eggs, then add the golden syrup (if using instead of caster sugar), oil and the milk.
- Whisk everything together well, drawing the flour into the liquid until you have a smooth, bubbly batter. If the batter seems quite thick (almost like cake batter) add a little more milk.
- Heat a non stick frying pan on a medium heat. When the pan is starting to become quite hot, lightly grease it with a little butter or oil - you don't need much, so go sparingly.
- Drop a spoonful of batter into the pan. I actually use a 60ml measuring cup, but you could make them smaller if you wish. If the pancake turns very dark golden stright away, the heat is too high. If bubbles start to form after about 20-25 seconds or so and the underside of the pancake is light golden brown, it's just right.
- When bubbles start to form on top of the pancakes, flip them over and cook for a further 1-2 minutes or until golden.
- Wrap the pancakes in a tea towel placed on a wire cooling rack until you're ready to serve.
This recipe can be easily halved if you don't want 20+ pancakes!
Serve the pancakes fresh and warm with butter, jam, golden or maple syrup.
They are pretty good toasted a day or two after making - not as good as fresh, but I wouldn't turn them down!
The pancakes can be frozen. When they are cold, wrap in cling film and place in a freezer suitable container. Freeze for up to two months. Defrost at room temperature before serving.
The pancakes can be reheated in a warm oven (150C/130F) for 5-10 minutes.
I wouldn't recommend reheating in a microwave as they can become quite rubbery.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 115Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 264mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 1gSugar: 5gProtein: 3g
Calories and nutritional information are provided by a third party application and should be viewed as indicative figures only.