Queen Elizabeth sends President Eisenhower her drop scones recipe (1960)

Queen Elizabeth sends Eisenhower her drop scones recipe (1960)

The story behind Queen Elizabeth’s drop scones recipe she shared with the President

This scone recipe was sent by Queen Elizabeth II to Dwight David Eisenhower, on January 24, 1960, in response to the President’s earlier request.

When President and Mrs Eisenhower visited the Royal Family at Balmoral Castle in Scotland in 1959, they apparently loved the little British breakfast treats, which were apparently more like thick pancakes than biscuit-type scones. 

Here’s the letter that accompanied the recipe:

Queen Elizabeth sends Eisenhower her drop scones recipe (1960)

Dear Mr. President,

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.

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.

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.

We have followed with intense interest and much admiration your tremendous journey to so many countries, but feel we shall never again be able to claim that we are being made to do too much on our future tours!

We remember with such pleasure your visit to Balmoral, and I hope the photograph will be a reminder of the very happy day you spent with us.

With all good wishes to you and Mrs. Eisenhower.

Yours sincerely
Elizabeth R

The Queen’s drop scones recipe

Queen Elizabeth's drop scones recipe

Queen Elizabeth's drop scones recipe

Yield: 16 servings


  • 4 teacups flour
  • 4 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 2 teacups milk
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • 3 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter


  1. Beat eggs, sugar and about half the milk together; add flour. Mix well, adding remainder of milk, bicarbonate and cream of tartar.
  2. Fold in butter.
  3. Heat skillet to medium-high. Grease the surface with butter.
  4. Pour batter into 3" to 4" circles.
  5. Let cook for about a minute, or until the bubbles on top begin to pop and create little holes.
  6. Flip and cook on the other side for 30 to 60 seconds, until the second side is browned to match the first.
  7. Serve with syrup, jam or powdered sugar.


We improvised on steps 3 and later in this recipe, because the cooking steps were not included in the original from Queen Elizabeth.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 165 Total Fat: 3g Saturated Fat: 2g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 30mg Sodium: 37mg Carbohydrates: 29g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 3g Protein: 5g
Click Americana offers approximate nutrition information as a general reference only, and we make no warranties regarding its accuracy. Please make any necessary calculations based on the actual ingredients used in your recipe, and consult with a qualified healthcare professional if you have dietary concerns.
Enough for 16 people.

Queen Elizabeth's drop scones recipe (1960)

More about the Queen’s trips to Balmoral (1968)

Britain’s Queen vacations; enjoys scones and cakes

By Margaret Saville in London, as published in The Kingston Daily Freeman (Kingston, New York) September 4, 1968

For a little while each summer, Queen Elizabeth II does what almost every woman occasionally longs to do — eat all the fattening goodies she wants.

The queen’s six weeks vacation at Balmoral Castle in the Scottish Highlands provides the occasion for this indulgence, and then it’s back on regime.

Elizabeth doesn’t diet to keep her slender figure, actually, but she does “watch the menus,” as she puts it.

Eisenhower & the rotary-dial telephone (1955)

At the age of 42, and after four children, she still has the same measurements she had at

Her figure is what British haute couture calls “the small lady,” an ideal 24-inch waist, 34-inch bust, 34-inch hips and a height of five feet four inches.

She rations her starch and sweets, cats plenty of salads and fresh fruit. At her meals in the privacy of Buckingham Palace or Windsor Castle at weekends, she drinks only tea or fresh orange juice diluted with soda water. Even at public Parties, she accepts a single glass of sherry as a cocktail and often leaves her glass of champagne or wine half-empty on the table.

But at her Scottish retreat, she gets so much open air exercise that she does not worry about putting on extra weight by eating what she pleases.

Queen Elizabeth - Drop scones recipe
Photo © Aga7ta | Dreamstime.com

She enjoys the Highland baking, the scones and cakes with honey and raisins.

The freshly-caught herrings are rolled in oatmeal before being fried. Salmon caught in the morning from the River Dee alongside the castle are served grilled.

She has coffee with cream, fruit pie with ice cream, and thick sandwiches filled with cheese and cold meat when she goes out on the moors surrounding Balmoral.

For all her necessary residence in London, the queen is essentially a fresh air lover and revels in the life at Balmoral. She rides every day, plays outside with her children. goes fishing, walks for hours stalking deer on the moors, scrambling over the rocks when an animal is sighted.

Every morning she exercises her four pet Corgi terriers, Heather, Whisky, Sherry and Jane, in Balmoral’s big wooded gardens.

As often as not, she dances after dinner for an hour or two. Balmoral is many miles from the nearest town and entertainment is home-made.

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