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Scotch Pancakes or ‘Drop Scones’ are seriously overlooked and chronically underestimated. Denser than their American cousins and smaller and thicker than their British and European equivalents, they’re as good doused in maple syrup as they are slathered in salty butter and eaten like toast.
I love pancakes. Thick, thin, sweet or savoury, I’m in. I’ll even extend that love to their near cousins the waffle too. And I’m not shy about having them for meals that aren’t breakfast or brunch either. And I certainly don’t reserve them just for Pancake Day.
This is a pretty classic scotch pancake recipe. Scotch pancakes are strangely also know as Drop Scones despite sharing almost nothing in common with Classic Scones. Except that they are damn moorish and lush served simply with butter.
How to Serve Scotch Pancakes
I serve around 4 scotch pancakes as a portion along with a serving of my Bourbon Peach Compote with Ginger and a little crème fraîche. The compote is sweet with a gorgeous hint of warming booze and ginger. The crème fraîche provides a welcome tang.
I also eat Scotch pancakes simply with a little butter. Or as with most things in my life, with a little bacon. Scotch Pancakes are sweet in themselves and are less adept at forming a savoury meal but the saltiness of bacon with a little maple syrup provides just the right balance.
Of course you could serve these pancakes with any of your usual favourite toppings like golden syrup, nutella or fruit and whipped cream.
Make Scotch Pancakes (Drop Scones) into a Feast
I truly believe that you can make any dish into a proper feast! Whether thats a feast for one after work on a Tuesday, a casual feast for four on a Friday evening or a feast for 12 for a special occasion!
I’ve included this recipe in two of my Brunch Feast Collections.
In my Alternative Brunch Feast the pancakes are paired with Peach Compote for a little sweetness. Poached Eggs, Asparagus & Prosciutto, Soda Bread and Avocado are also included to make a hearty brunch.
A smaller Everyday Brunch Feast simply suggests serving the Scotch Pancakes with the Peach Compote and some yoghurt. Who says a Feast has to be complicated?!
Don’t forget to head over to the Big Brunch Feast post for all of my tips and tricks to help you host a fun and stress-free feast. Plus remember to check out my other feast collections and all my brunch related recipes.
Ingredients for Scotch Pancakes (Drop Scones)
The flour used is crucial to the flavour of the pancakes. A standard white flour would be my preference over anything fancy. UK self-raising flour provides just the right amount of raising agent. US self-rising flour will need a little extra baking powder added as well as the salt omitting from the recipe.
If you only have plain flour available, add 1 tsp baking powder to each 75g of plain flour to make your own self-raising flour.
My recipe calls for skimmed milk as this is what I have always used. Feel free to use semi or whole milk. You may need to add a little more milk to get a dropping consistency to the batter or otherwise reduce the amount of milk and add a little water.
This is such a simple recipe with minimal ingredients that there are only minimal ways that you can be flexible. The joy of flexibility does really come with the toppings.
You could play around with the size of the pancakes. Make smaller ones like Silver Dollar Pancakes or larger ones like American pancakes if you wish.
Additions to the batter would be the last option. Adding fruit such as berries or chocolate chips/nuts would be an option. But really, I think you should just keep it simple!
Make it Vegetarian or Vegan
My Scotch Pancake recipe is suitable for Vegetarians.
A couple of substitutions are required to make the recipe suitable for vegans. Switch the skimmed milk for a plant based milk. If that milk is a little thicker, let it down with a little water.
Then omit the egg but add 1 tsp Baking Powder and 1 tbsp extra milk for each egg missed to make up for the lack of egg-based rise. Finally use vegetable oil to cook the pancakes in place of the butter.
Make it Allergy Friendly
These scotch pancakes are free from nuts.
Gluten Free: Substitute the self-raising four for a gluten free flour. Use 1 tsp baking powder for every 75g of gf flour if it doesn’t contain a raising agent. The texture will not be quite the same but it should be in a ball park.
Dairy Free: Switch the skimmed milk for a dairy free alternative. Use veg oil to cook the pancakes in place of the butter.
Egg Free: Replace each egg with 1 tbsp of extra milk and 1 tsp baking powder.
Please note that this recipe may contain other allergens not referred to above. For more information regarding any dietary information provided on this website, please refer to my Nutritional Disclaimer.
Equipment Notes for Scotch Pancakes (Drop Scones)
Your frying pan is going to be the most important piece of equipment that you use for this recipe. You are looking to have as large and flat bases as possible. Pans with more curvy sides have a reduced flat cooking area and so I tend to avoid them. Anything too high sided will hinder your flipping efforts so beware there too.
A pancake pan would be ideal if you already have one but I find then a little too single use so I don’t have one. A frying pan has a million more uses. I would however love one of these massive reversible griddles. There is loads that I could cook on that!
I only own silicone fish slices. They are perfect for flipping food without scratching non-stick surfaces and don’t melt when you leave them on the edge of the pan! Look for one with as thin an edge as possible so it slides easily under the pancakes.
To see more of my recommended equipment items for new bakers, have a look at my post featuring all the essential equipment you might need.
It is also perfect inspiration for gifts for a budding baker in your life!
A comprehensive list of the equipment used to make this recipe is included in the main recipe card below. Click on any item to see an example. There are no hard and fast rules so many items can be sensibly substituted to achieve the same results.
The Scotch Pancake batter can be made up to a day in advance and stored covered in the fridge. Just give it a quick whisk before starting to cook.
These pancakes are best cooked and eaten fresh. You could make them in advance and then just reheat them in a pan but it is not ideal if you can avoid it.
Leftover Scotch Pancakes
I would generally aim to only cook as many pancakes as you expect to eat. They can be rewarmed for 20 seconds in the microwave or in a dry pan and will keep for a couple of days if needed.
They will also freeze but to be honest, they are so easy to whip up a batch, I really wouldn’t bother if you can help it.
Scotch Pancakes (Drop Scones) Tips
Keep an eye on the temp of the pan. You want to the pancakes to be cooking in a couple of minutes each but you don’t want to be burning them. Too low and the pancakes may spread too much and end up too thin. You will get a feel for it, don’t worry.
Don’t be tempted to add more to your pan and overcrowd. You will hit one with your spatula whist trying to turn another and they will probably merge. I speak from experience!
Don’t forget to let me know in the comments if you try making this recipe – I want to know what you think and if you made any substitutions, how did it turn out?
Still Have Questions?
Simple! Just contact me and I will do my best to help as quickly as I am able. Head over to my Contact Me page, any of my social media channels or post a comment at the bottom of this page and I’ll see what I can do.
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Scotch Pancakes (Drop Scones)
- 125 g Self Raising Flour (Self-Rising)
- 2 tbsp Caster Sugar (Superfine Sugar)
- 0.5 tsp Sea Salt Flakes
- 1 Eggs
- 150 ml Skimmed Milk
- 1 tsp Salted Butter
- Measure 125g Self Raising Flour, 2 tbsp Caster Sugar and 0.5 tsp Sea Salt Flakes into a medium mixing bowl and stir to combine.
- Make a well in the centre of the bowl and add 1 Egg.
- Start adding 150ml Skimmed Milk bit by bit whilst whisking the batter to remove all lumps before adding more.
- Continue adding and whisking until all the milk is combined.
- Turn the oven onto a low heat to keep the batches of pancakes warm as you go along.
- Heat a medium frying pan to just smoking point then turn down to a medium heat.
- Add a quarter tsp of 1 tsp Salted Butter to the pan and swirl around until melted.
- Using a tablespoon of batter for each, make 4 piles of batter in the pan, leaving room for each to spread a little. If they spread and touch, it isn’t an issue but try to make them not touch for rounder pancakes.
- When little bubbles start to appear on the surface – about a minute, flip each pancake over. Start with the first one you put in the pan and work round in the same order.
- Leave the pancakes for another 30-60 seconds and check the colour underneath. when golden brown, remove from the pan and transfer to a plate in the oven to keep warm.
- Repeat the process until all of the batter is used, there should be circa 16 pancakes made in 4 batches.