Traditional Scotch Pancakes.

As I now have a home in Scotland, it's only natural I would want to share with you a traditional recipe for Scotch pancakes.  They're so simple and quick to make, taste delicious - and they're a great way of using your girls' delicious, healthy eggs.

Collection of eggs in a basket

They're also very inexpensive to make, particularly if you don't need to buy the eggs!

What are Scotch pancakes?

Also known as drop scones, they're very like the pancakes I've had for breakfast in America.  Thick, quite small, sweet and very light, they're very different to the English version - which in America would be called crêpes.  

Whereas in America these are usually eaten in the morning with syrup and sometimes fruit, in Scotland, Scotch pancakes are generally eaten at tea-time - mid to late afternoon - with butter and jam (jelly in the States - how confusing language can be!).

Scotch pancakes with syrup and orange juice.Eat them for breakfast, drizzled with honey and topped with fruit.

What's needed to make Scotch pancakes?

Although the ingredients are very simple - there are only four - you will need a griddle pan with a very heavy base.  

To cook the batter properly, it needs to be on a very high heat. Thinner-based pans won't work as well.

I personally use this one - in Scotland, it's known as a "girdle".  It's a stainless steel griddle pan with a non-stick cooking surface - and I love it! (Affiliate)

Scotch pancakes : ingredients.

This recipe makes about a dozen, depending on size.  If you want fewer - or more - it's easy to change the ingredients.  Simply make sure you use double the amount of flour to sugar, and alter the eggs and milk accordingly.


N. B. : In the USA, where self-raising flour is not as common as it is in the UK, use the same amount of plain flour and add one teaspoon of baking powder as the raising agent.

  • 200 grammes / 1½  cups self-raising flour 
  • 100 grammes /  ¾  cup caster sugar
  • 100ml /  ½  cup milk (approx)
  • 2 medium or large fresh eggs.

Scotch pancakes : method.

There's a free, print-friendly download of this recipe available here.

  • Set your oven to a warm (not hot) temperature.  This is just to keep the pancakes warm once they're made.
  • In a large mixing bowl, sieve together the flour and sugar.
  • Make a well in the centre of the flour and drop the eggs in.  There's no need to beat them beforehand.
Two eggs in flour.
  • I use a wooden spoon to combine the eggs and flour, which I find makes the batter less lumpy.  But you can use a hand whisk for an even faster result - the lumps should come out later, when you add the milk.
  • Starting with the flour nearest the eggs, mix the flour in bit by bit.  
Eggs mixing into flour
  • The batter at this point will become quite lumpy and dry.  That's entirely normal. 
Pancake batter.
  • When it starts to become so dry that it breaks apart, add in the milk, a little a time.  Don't be tempted to add it all at once, because you may not need it all.
Batter mix with milk
  • Keep adding the milk until the batter becomes about as thick as a double cream, so it drops off the spoon (or whisk) but isn't anything like as runny as water.
Batter mix.
  • When your batter has this consistency, it's ready to use.  Don't be tempted to add too much liquid.
  • Now take your pan.  It needs to have a thick base so it can be very hot - this is critically important for a good pancake!
  • Lightly grease the base, and place on a high heat setting.  I start off with induction setting number 7, reducing it to 5 or 6 as the pancakes cook and the griddle gets hotter.
Griddle pan
  • Once the pan is hot, take a spoonful of batter and allow it to drop onto the griddle (this is where the name "drop scones" came from).  Don't worry about the shape - it will miraculously become round.  If you're really picky, you can nudge it into an even rounder shape with your spoon.
Batter dropping into griddle pan
  • Don't use too much - it will cook unevenly if you do, so the outside will be cooked but the middle will still be batter.
  • This was one of my early attempts - too much batter on the spoon, so it splattered all over the pan.  The outside was cooked, but as you can see, the inside was not!
A Scotch pancake with too much batter.
  • Once the batter begins to bubble, it's time to turn it over.  Don't try any fancy flipping - just a gentle turn will be fine!
Batter bubbling
  • Leave the flip side to cook for no more than a minute or two.  As your griddle pan gets hotter, the pancakes will cook much more quickly so be careful not to over-cook them.
  • This is what it should look like on the cooked side.  
Cooked pancake
  • Once it's cooked on both sides, put it to warm in the oven while you make the rest. 
  • As you become more used to cooking them, you'll find you can make them look neater.  But it's not a battle to create the perfect shape - this is supposed to be fun!
  • Now all you have to do is decide how to eat them!  Drizzle them with syrup, coat them with icing sugar, top them with fruit - the choice is yours!  This is the traditional way in Scotland - warm, with butter and jam (jelly).
Two Scotch pancakes with butter and jam.


Looking for a recipe for English-style pancakes?

Thumbnail link with pancakes

Pancakes mean different things to different people all around the world.  The English version is larger, thin and usually rolled up and eaten with lemon and sugar, or syrup.  In America, it would probably be described as a crêpe.

I have a recipe for English pancakes which you can see by clicking on this pic.  

Would you like a free, downloadable version of the Scotch pancakes recipe?

No problem - here it is!

Download button

Clicking the green button will take you to a PDF file.  You'll need a programme called Adobe Acrobat to open it.  If you don't have it, just click here - it's free.

If you've enjoyed this recipe, here are some others you might like too!

Thumbnail Spanish omelette
Thumbnail banana muffin
Thumbnail Scotch eggs

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