Queen Elizabeth II’s Scone Recipe

In 1960, Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain sent President Dwight D. Eisenhower her recipe for “Drop Scones,” which she had promised to give to him when he’d visited her at Balmoral Castle. Eisenhower was an avid cook.

Elizabeth II doesn’t seem like a likely cook, but she was an auto mechanic during World War II.  She could probably stir up a batch of scones, if called upon in the line of duty.

A photograph of the recipe she sent him is in a book about Eisenhower entitled, The Ike Files: Mementoes of the Man and His Era from the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum, which was published by Kansas City Star Books and the Dwight D. Eisenhower Foundation.

The Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum is in Abilene, Kansas, which is where Eisenhower grew up.  It was the first presidential library I ever visited, which makes sense since I lived in Kansas.  (Although many people never visit the sites in their own states.)

We already had a “history” with Eisenhower, though. My parents had taken me as a baby to Eisenhower’s presidential inaugural parade in 1953, when we lived in Alexandria, Virginia.

Here’s Queen Elizabeth’s scone recipe.


  • 4 teacups flour
  • 4 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 2 teacups milk
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 teaspoons bi-carbonate 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 remainder of milk as required, also bi-carbonate and cream of tartar, fold in the melted butter.

The recipe was typed, but at the bottom, written in ink and underlined, was the line: Enough for 16 people.

I don’t have the Queen’s instructions for what to do with the dough. Here’s a scone recipe from Epicurious.com that describes how to work, shape, cut and bake the dough.

Hearty Scottish Scones

Blogging friend Paula’s photos of scones and jam inspired me on this topic.  Here’s a link to Paula’s “Jamming” post.  She also included a recipe for scones and more information in her comment below.  Check it out.

To learn more about the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum, which sells the book, go to www.eisenhower.archives.gov  I don’t get any royalties. In fact, don’t tell them I sent you.


Filed under Books, Food, History, Howto, Humor, Kansas, Life, Personal, Presidents, Recipes, Royalty

8 responses to “Queen Elizabeth II’s Scone Recipe

  1. The first time I tasted scones was in Connecticut. I hated them, not enough sugar. Good post Cathy!


  2. Those look delicious. My Aunt/Uncle who live in Edinburgh, enjoy the occasional pastry (like your aforementioned scone) with some good ole’ Earl Grey. If I eat scones (which I hardly do), I prefer them with milk…they provide a nice balance to each other.

    BTW, did you catch Ike’s granddaughter speak at the Democrat Convention? She’s a natural, like her granddad was. 😆


  3. Catherine,
    Did you see the movie The Queen? I did and really liked it. Queen Elizabeth probably did and does make scones. The movie showed she liked to live like an ordinary person during her private time. I like it when royals do that, but I don’t like it when they become too earthy. I think they should stay a cut above the rest since they are royalty:)


  4. I’m Scottish (and Irish too) and what my family know as dropscones, or Scotch pancakes, is quite different. Our family recipe is simple:-
    1 egg
    425ml (3/4 pint) milk
    225g (1/2lb)self-raising flour
    25g (1oz)sugar
    1/2tsp salt
    Makes about 20
    Beat egg and milk. Place flour in another bowl, gradually beat in milk and egg mixture. Add rest of ingredients and beat well.
    Heat large frying pan/griddle and oil well. Drop in dessertspoons of the batter. Let the little pancakes cook on one side till set, then turn and brown the other side.
    As they are cooked put them inside a folded napkin on a heated dish to keep warm and soft, and eat at once with lashings of butter and honey.
    These are eaten all over Scotland for High Tea.

    Ballater Scones, similar to the West Country ones (which are eaten with clotted cream and jam), are baked in an oven, not griddled.

    I’ll be interested to try the above recipe.


  5. Catherine Sherman

    I love scones, but I’ve never made them. Thanks for the recipe, Paula. I will try to make them. I’ve had scones and jam on my mind ever since I saw your photos. Thanks for the explanation about the differences, too.

    I’m not even sure what real scones should taste like because the ones I’ve eaten most recently here (Kansas City) were sweet and had various embellishments. You would have liked those sweet ones, Sandy.

    Long ago, I ate a few in London, but I gobbled them so quickly I’m not sure I could tell you much about them — except they were delicious!

    Sincerae, I did see “The Queen” and enjoyed it very much. I can’t imagine always being “on duty” to a public the way royalty are and could see how working in the kitchen out of view might be a relief.

    drcorner, milk, earl grey with milk and strong coffee with milk, it’s all good. Unfortunately, I didn’t see Eisenhower’s granddaughter speak. Maybe I can find her online.


  6. The Scotch pancakes above are very different from the scones in my photo. I’ve tried many scone recipes and I think this is the best; it’s a Delia Smith one. So if you want to try real scones with clotted cream and jam – this is it!
    8oz(225g) self-raising flour
    11/2oz(40g) caster sugar – add a little more for the sweet-toothed
    pinch of salt
    3oz(75g) butter at room temperature
    1 egg beaten
    3-4tbsp milk or buttermilk to mix

    Put sifted flour, salt and sugar in a bowl; rub in butter till mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Mix in beaten egg and milk or buttermilk with knife and finish off with your hands. The dough should be soft, not sticky so add milk a little at a time if it seems too dry.
    Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and either press or roll into a round at least 1 inch thick. Cut out scones with cutter dipped in flour. Place on greased baking tray, glaze with a little egg or milk and bake in the top half of a pre-heated oven gas 7, 425F, 220C, for approx. 10-12 minutes till well risen and golden.
    Remove to cool slightly. Serve very fresh, split and served with copious quantities of clotted cream and jam. Fabulous after a long walk on the moor or along the coast!
    I always double up the quantities.
    And bless you Cathy for mentioning my post – you didn’t have to. I’m always intrigued about the differences in our cooking/eating methods/habits and our names for things too.


  7. Yeah, US Scones do taste sweeter than their European counterparts.

    My Aunt/Uncle in Edinburgh never say what type of scones they eat, but they did enjoy it with marmalade (orange I think)…they hardly eat it anymore though.


  8. Thanks for the recipe! It looks wonderful.


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