As is often the case when someone passes, the death of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II has brought about a rush of remembrances and memorials. Among the many, many individuals and organizations that have paid tribute to Her Majesty was a release by the National Archives that included a genuinely sweet personal touch: the Queen's drop scone “pancake” recipe. Not surprisingly, the revived breakfast treat is already going viral.
The released correspondence was sent by QEII to former American president Dwight D. Eisenhower. It's expected that world leaders correspond regularly — after all, no one else could possibly know the position they're in except for another leader on the world's stage. What makes the mail so surprising and touching are its contents. Attached to the letter was the handwritten recipe from Queen Elizabeth for her drop scones. Drop scones are like thicker, smaller, and denser versions of American pancakes. Thus, the recipe has been dubbed "Queen Elizabeth's Pancakes." It's pretty simple and sounds delicious.
It appears the letter was sent in 1960, not long after President Eisenhower and his family visited the Queen at her Balmoral castle. The visit was viewed as quite a success at the time and was well-photographed. It appears, however, that one moment the press missed out on was Eisenhower's first taste of the drop scones.
He apparently liked them well enough that Queen Elizabeth promised to give him the recipe. At least, that's how her note to the late president reads. "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," she wrote. "I now hasten to do so, and I do hope you will find them successful."
It's unclear if Her Majesty actually prepared the pancakes for Eisenhower, though it seems unlikely. Nevertheless, her friend and world leader liked them enough that she took the time to scrawl a note and send the handwritten "pancake" recipe back to the United States.
The Queen's Pancake Recipe
- 4 teacups flour
- 4 tablespoons caster sugar
- 2 teacups milk
- 2 whole eggs
- 2 teaspoons bicarbonate 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 the remainder of milk as required, also bicarbonate and cream of tartar, fold in the melted butter," instructed Queen Elizabeth.
In her letter to Eisenhower, the Queen noted, "The mixture needs a great deal of beating while making and shouldn't stand about too long before cooking."
She also gave pointers for adjusting the recipe if you make fewer. "I have also tried using golden syrup or treacle instead of only sugar, and that can be very good too," she added, leaving readers to believe this was a favorite recipe for the queen to both prepare and enjoy.
Queen Elizabeth's Other Shared Breakfast Treat
Of course, this isn't the first time Her Majesty has been connected to beloved breakfast foods. In 2021, headlines publicized that she sent her great-grandson, Archie, a waffle iron for Christmas.
During an interview with late-night talk show host (and fellow Brit) James Cordon, Prince Harry spoke about the unique present and its impact on his family, currently living in the U.S. "My grandmother asked us what Archie wanted for Christmas, and Meg said a waffle maker," Harry shared. "She sent us a waffle maker for Archie... He loves it... Archie wakes up in the morning and literally just goes, 'Waffle?'"
Looks like a love of breakfast pastries might just run in the royal family's blood.