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Healthy Scotch Pancakes (Drop Scones) Recipe

Yvonne Spence loves to create healthy recipes and believes we don't have to give up enjoyment when we give up refined sugar.

A stack of Scotch pancakes topped with jam.

A stack of Scotch pancakes topped with jam.

A Healthier Recipe for Classic Scotch Pancakes (Dropped Scones)

Scotch pancakes, or dropped scones as they are often known, are similar to American pancakes in that they are thick and spongy. However, while in America pancakes tend to be a breakfast dish, in Scotland dropped scones are traditionally spread with butter and jam and eaten at teatime.

A Teatime Tradition

In Scotland, particularly in workers’ families, dinner was traditionally eaten in the middle of the day, while teatime happened around five or six in the evening. It consisted of a light main course, such as eggs, macaroni cheese or a salad. After this came items such as scones (biscuits to Americans) and pancakes.

Few Scots eat this kind of meal nowadays. Nowadays, if we eat pancakes, it’s likely to be at breakfast as in America or at afternoon tea, which occurs sometime between 2 and 5 pm, as in England.

Afternoon Tea: History and Revival

This English custom began in the mid 19th century. During an era when people were more active than most of us are today, the meal filled the gap between the midday meal and evening meal. Afternoon tea used to be a formal affair for the upper classes, but then it waned in popularity for many years. Lately, the custom has had a revival, with smart hotels serving dainty sandwiches and cakes on three-tier cake-stands, and ladies of the Church Women’s Guild serving home-bakes in church halls.

My Children Discover Scotch Pancakes

I hadn’t made pancakes since I was a teenager, so it was in a church hall that my children ate their first Scotch pancakes. They fell in love. Chocolate cake, fairy cakes and iced buns went unnoticed as the pancakes disappeared. The elderly serving ladies were delighted to see two tiny children with such good appetites!

And I soon relearned how to make pancakes.

Healthy Scotch Pancakes, made with a mold to create interesting shapes.

Healthy Scotch Pancakes, made with a mold to create interesting shapes.

Healthier Pancakes

Scotch Pancakes are traditionally made with pure white flour and refined sugar, but this recipe has a mix of half white, half wholegrain flour and muscovado sugar.

  • The wholegrain flour adds fiber, and making the mixture half and half means it is still light.
  • Muscovado sugar has more nutrients than refined sugar, containing calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and iron. It is also very tasty!
  • Another possible substitute is agave syrup.

Recipe for Adults and Kids to Cook Together

One of my daughters and her cousin made these pancakes, and they had some fun with them, as you will see!

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces/approximately 3/4 cup flour (either half white, half wholegrain as we did, or you could use unbleached white)
  • 1 tablespoon muscovado sugar or 1 tablespoon of agave syrup
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 pint of milk (you may need a little more or less depending on the flour you use; wholegrain flour needs more than white)
  • Oil for frying

Instructions

Kids' Jobs

  1. Sieve the flour and baking powder into a bowl.
  2. Add the sugar (if using.)
  3. Make a well in the dry ingredients. (Kids love this part.)
  4. Add the egg and most of the milk (and the agave syrup, if using that). Kids enjoy dropping the egg into the well, and older kids will manage this on their own. Little ones will probably need some help—if you crack the egg into a cup, your little one can tip it from there into the bowl.
  5. Mix all ingredients till no dry flour is visible, and then beat the mixture until smooth. (The traditional way is with a wooden spoon, but you could do as we did and use electric beaters.)
  6. The secret of how to make good pancakes is to get the consistency right. In the photos below, the mixture is sticking to the beaters, so it is too thick. The girls added more milk until the mixture dropped easily off a spoon. This is the right consistency.

Adult's Job

  1. Now that the pancakes are the right consistency, it’s time to cook. Add a little oil to a frying pan, or spray lightly.
  2. Children love to pour the batter onto the pan, and as long as you supervise them closely, they will be safe. Put the pan on a back burner to avoid any risk of the pan tipping over.

Adult and Kids' Jobs

  1. The girls decided they wanted their pancakes to be perfect circles, so they oiled an egg ring and poured the batter into that.
  2. If you don’t have an egg ring, you can still make the pancakes: Just drop spoonfuls of the mixture onto the pan. Each pancake will need 1 tablespoon of mixture.

Adult’s Jobs

  1. When bubbles form on the top of the pancake, it’s ready to turn.
  2. Cook for a few moments until the second side is golden brown.

Photo Tutorial

Sieve the flour and baking powder into a bowl. Add the sugar (if using).

Sieve the flour and baking powder into a bowl. Add the sugar (if using).

Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the egg and most of the milk.

Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the egg and most of the milk.

In this photo, the batter is sticking to the beaters, so it's too thick.

In this photo, the batter is sticking to the beaters, so it's too thick.

Add more milk until the batter achieves the right consistency. It should drop easily off a spoon.

Add more milk until the batter achieves the right consistency. It should drop easily off a spoon.

Oil an egg ring to make perfect circle pancakes.

Oil an egg ring to make perfect circle pancakes.

Pour the batter into the egg ring. When bubbles form on top, the pancake is ready to turn.

Pour the batter into the egg ring. When bubbles form on top, the pancake is ready to turn.

Flip the pancake and brown the other side.

Flip the pancake and brown the other side.

More Fun Pancake Shapes

The girls' circular pancakes came out great, but they wanted more variety, and so we used metal cookie cutters to create different shaped pancakes. Turning the cookie cutter pancakes was a bit of a challenge and required a spatula and a napkin!

However, it’s possible to buy heart-, star- and flower-shaped egg and pancake rings, which would make the job much easier.

All of the pancake shapes the girls made.

All of the pancake shapes the girls made.

Comments

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on June 17, 2013:

Glad you enjoyed the hub Charlie, and that it reminded you of home! Thanks for your comment.

Charlie Cheesman from England on June 17, 2013:

Great hub reminds me of home in Scotland back home after school and get one of these as with jam or bovril if warm. Aye Only one or spoil yer supper. Thanks

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on February 05, 2013:

Nifwiseirff, I can't take the credit, since my daughter and her cousin thought of it, but apparently it's quite common to do this, as I discovered when I looked on Amazon.

Thanks for stopping by.

Kymberly Fergusson from Germany on February 03, 2013:

Using cookie cutters as pancakes molds - I hadn't thought of that!

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on March 07, 2012:

Hi Rebecca, glad you enjoyed the preamble. I barely got to taste the pancakes they disappeared so fast, but yes they were tasty!

Thanks for your comment.

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on March 07, 2012:

I enjoyed reading about the differences in food culture and meal times in Scotland. Your pancakes look delicious, too!

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on March 07, 2012:

Hi Steph,

Glad you enjoyed the hub and I’m interested to see that you make pancakes for dinner since I thought they were mostly eaten at breakfast in the States. Have I got that wrong? Thanks for your kind comment.

Stephanie Marshall from Bend, Oregon on March 06, 2012:

Such a wonderful hub! I love making pancakes for dinner, and this recipe looks both delicious and fun to make with kids. Love all the cut-outs! Rated up - Best, Steph

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on March 06, 2012:

Thanks, fli8uk.

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on March 06, 2012:

Hi chspublish,

Glad you enjoyed the hub. I like afternoon tea too - we’ll have to have a Hubpages tea party some time soon! Thanks for your comment.

fli8uk from Pakistan on March 06, 2012:

yummy

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on March 06, 2012:

Hi Horatio Plot,

Thank you so much for your very kind comment. Hope you enjoy the pancakes! Do let me know how it goes.

Horatio Plot from Bedfordshire, England. on March 06, 2012:

What a great hub. Talk about good use of photos. That first picture made me want a pancake so much. If only more Hubbers would take the time to create such informative content. Right, I'm off to make Drop Scones...

chspublish from Ireland on March 06, 2012:

Love the ideas here and yes, bring back Afternoon Tea, if to just eat your delicious 'dropped scones.' Great!

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on March 06, 2012:

Hi Sueswan,

Thanks for you comment and vote up.

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on March 06, 2012:

Hi Deborah,

Glad you like the recipe, and thanks for sharing it!

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on March 06, 2012:

Hi homesteadbound,

I’m not sure why these are called dropped scones. I’d say they are more like American pancakes than scones, though the ingredients are similar to scones. We do have something called griddle scones in Scotland that my mother used to make and I loved, though I called them girdle scones as a kid! Now your comment has got me thinking I must try making them.

Thanks for your comment.

Sueswan on March 05, 2012:

These pancakes look yummy. I have bookmarked this one.

Voted up and awesome.

Deborah Brooks Langford from Brownsville,TX on March 05, 2012:

wow.. I love this.. this looks great.. I love pancakes and I have no doubt that I will love this. I am bookmarking this and sharing on Facebook.

Debbie

Cindy Murdoch from Texas on March 05, 2012:

Great hub! I love scones, so if these taste like scones, they will be absolutely yummy. Can't wait to try them. I love the shapes you used to make them festive and fun! This looks like something the kids would really enjoy!

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on March 05, 2012:

Hi Fiddleman,

Glad to hear you enjoyed it. Pity we can’t make virtual pancakes as tasty as the real thing. Hope you get some at your house, and thanks for your comment.

Fiddleman on March 05, 2012:

Wow, your recipe and photo's sure made my mouth water. Great hub Thanks for sharing I am going to put in a request for some of these at my house!

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on March 05, 2012:

Hi Dr.Ope, Hope you get make some soon to satisfy those cravings! i hadn’t thought of using different shapes until my daughter wanted to, but there are plenty of moulds so it must be quite common. Thanks for your kind comment.

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on March 05, 2012:

Thanks Maddie.

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on March 05, 2012:

Rob Allen, thanks for your kind comment.

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on March 05, 2012:

Ardie, I’m afraid the ideas came from the kids themselves, so my genius status will have to be passed to them! I was surprised to discover how many different shapes the rings come in, will be ordering a few ourselves as the ring is far easier than with the cookie cutters! Glad you enjoyed this, and thanks for your comment!

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on March 05, 2012:

Thanks, Randomcreative.

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on March 05, 2012:

Hi Nare Anthony,

White space is a challenge on cooking hubs, especially with step by step photos, but I think the advantages of the pictures outweigh the disadvantages of the spaces. Thank you for your kind comment about the pictures.

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on March 05, 2012:

Thanks Brian!

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on March 05, 2012:

Hi Simone, Glad you like them! We had fun cooking them that’s for sure. (And fun eating them.)

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on March 05, 2012:

Hi Stephanie,

You are right, kids do indeed love pancakes. Glad you found this useful and thanks for your kind comment.

Olive Ellis on March 05, 2012:

Yum,Yum! I am craving for some just now! I never thought that they could be done using different shapes like cookies. Great idea! Thank you so much and continue sharing!

Maddie Ruud from Oakland, CA on March 05, 2012:

I love the healthy twist on a classic!

rob_allen from MNL, PH on March 05, 2012:

Wow. what can I say? The molds are awesome! Kids will definitely like it. :) thanks for sharing! :)

Sondra from Neverland on March 05, 2012:

You. Are. Genius! I cannot wait to order some egg pancake rings and make these shaped pancakes with my kids. I especially like how you specified what the kids could do alone and what they need help with :)

Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on March 05, 2012:

The shapes are so cute! What a fun idea.

Nare Gevorgyan on March 05, 2012:

Ohh this is so cool! Cooking with kids is a real fun and the pancakes look awesome!!! But don't you think it would get a higher rank if you don't leave so much white space? Just a tip. The pictures are best, best, best :)

Brian Slater from England on March 05, 2012:

Everyone loves pancakes, love this hub, great pictures, good job! voted up:)

Simone Haruko Smith from San Francisco on March 05, 2012:

These look SO delicious! I love the molds you have, too. They create a much more professional looking shape than freestyling does!

Stephanie Henkel from USA on March 05, 2012:

Kids do love pancakes! The cute idea of baking them in shapes would be a lot of fun for kids who want to help. Your recipe layout is so useful for adults who are having young children help with the pancake making. Great step-by-step photos and fun for everyone!

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on March 05, 2012:

Hi Veronica, Good to see you here, and glad you enjoyed the hub. I’m doing a series of pancake hubs - going to do ones from different countries and accidentally published the first one - which was an American pancake recipe - on the US National Pancake day. I had no idea!

Hope you are well. And thanks for your comment.

Veronica Roberts from Ohio, USA on March 05, 2012:

So cool! One day last week (I think Wednesday?) was "National Pancake Day" in America. =]

This looks delicious, and I love that its versatile. I bookmarked this!