Mrs Green makes scotch pancakes

Filed in Blog by on March 16, 2010 16 Comments
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Scotch pancakes are back on the menu

Scotch pancakes are back on the menu

A packet of scotch pancakes used to be something I’d treat myself to on a regular basis. I introduced them to Little miss Green when she was younger and she loved them too.

Mr Green, never having eaten them before he met me, was similarly smitten when they were introduced to his palate; spread thickly with butter of course.

Now we’re true zero wasters, the packaging of these delightful treats is a problem. They come in unmarked heat sealed plastic which seems to be impossible to recycle.

The other day I was browsing my “Good Granny Cookbook” following my post about the Imperial War Museum’s exhibition by the Ministry of Food. In the book, there are supposedly lots of war time recipes for making the most of rations and one of them was for drop scones.

I dutifully mixed up the batter and when I was cooking them, suddenly realised I was making scotch pancakes – duh! They’re a kind of cross between a crumpet and thick pancake or as Little miss Green put it “they have the texture of chewy mashed potatoes”. Eek!

Still, these lumps of chewy mashed potato once topped with lemon juice and agave syrup (LMG) or butter and jam or chocolate icing (Mr G, the chocoholic) or mashed bananas and cream soon disappeared. In fact 12 of them disappeared in one sitting …

They’re frugal too. My batter mix, listed below made 24 pancakes (or drop scones as we’re now arguing about) and they are much more fun and less hassle to make than ordinary pancakes. No, you can’t roll them, but at least they keep LMG going while I make the next batch. With pancakes I’m exhausted by the end of it because no sooner have I served a couple on her plate, she is standing at the frying pan, looking like Oliver from the opening scene.

So if you fancy a treat in the kitchen, here’s the recipe I’ve used


  • 8oz plain flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tbsp fructose (go ahead and use sugar)
  • 2 small eggs
  • around 1/4 pint milk


  • Mix all the dry ingredients together
  • Beat in the 2 eggs and enough milk to make a smooth batter
  • Drop tablespoons of the mix onto a hot frying pan
  • When bubbles appear on the one side, flip them over and cook the other side

We decided these would benefit from some lemon rind and raisins too.

What about you – what previously prepacked food have you managed to make yourself at home to avoid unnecessary packaging?


About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (16)

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  1. Alyson says:

    Jaffa cakes.Actually, it’s probably more of a jaffa slab, but I cut it into fingers.And we all think it tastes better. That’s because there’s more chocolate.It’s really easy. whisk up a fatless sponge,smear it with shredless marmalade and cover with chocolate.Not cheap,it’s the chocolate, but great fun. Last week I made ring doughnuts.Yummy and I’m going to have another attempt at making croissants. I’ve warned the family and they are not looking forward to it. My previous attempts have been…well…heavy.

  2. Jane says:

    Scotch pancakes are easy quick and fun family cookery. We’d make our own initials first with help and then on our own.

  3. Nathalie says:

    We make these regularly – even when camping we measure out the mix for 1 egg before going and take it in a plastic bag – makes a great breakfast on camp!

    Last time I added in frozen blueberries but all manner of fresh fruit in the mix would be scrummy

  4. Eunice says:

    We love making these after school and the children love to add all sorts of toppings to them. I often add a well mashed over ripe banana to the batter to make them even tastier and a wee bit healthy! If you do add banana try topping them with syrup and serving as a pudding, what a treat. I must confess to being lazy though as I usually make a huge batch and freeze several tubs of them, they taste lovely taken out of the freezer and toasted!

  5. magdalena says:

    We eat these all the time in America! House of Pancakes! Yes, the good old “American” pancake – should have known it was Scots to start, because you can feed a whole family on two eggs and a quarter cup of milk. We eat them with maple syrup, which is expensive but the best tasting non-corn syrup in the world.

    And that’s something I’ve made myself, but not recently, since I don’t have a stand of sugar maples anywhere near. I understand the Scandinavians do the same thing with birch sap.

  6. Sarah says:

    I know these as Welsh cakes or Griddle scones, and yes very tasty and easy to make. I add a handful of sultanas and a sprinkle of cinnamon to my mixture.

  7. sandy says:

    I freeze my welsh cakes, can I freeze scotch pancakes, as there are too many in the receipe for only two of us ?
    sorry Sarah they are not welsh cakes

  8. Jane says:

    Mmm hot with butter just melting on them. We never get as far as getting the jam out! It’s disappointing to see so many readymade ones when they are so easy to make and you get so much more – the smell, and anticipation and the satisfaction with no plastic packaging.

  9. Eunice says:

    Sandy, I freeze my scotch pancakes with great success. I just pop as much as required into a tub and when I want I take them out (they defrost very quickley) and I warm them in the toaster. They also keep in a tub for a few days and I just refresh them, again in the toaster.

  10. Jane says:

    Making pancakes should be considered a life skill! Boys too – their stomachs rule.

  11. Hazel says:

    Much of our non-recyclable packaging is from bread products (other than bread), so 2 weeks ago I made English muffins. Very nice, not quite like the shop ones, but good enough that I won’t miss them. I’ll try a different recipe next time. they froze well too. DH loves crumpets, so pikelets are on the list for this WE. And then pitta bread. I’ve made naan and other flat breads before, just need to see if I can make pittas with a pocket for packed lunches. With a stock of all these in the freezer, that should cut the plastic down in our bin :0).
    And I have to agree, love Scotch/American pancakes (will try freezing these too, thanks for the tip) but they’re not Welsh cakes. Welsh cakes have dried fruit in and are crumbly to eat because you have to roll and cut the dough out rather than drop dollops of it on the griddle.

  12. I made these the day you posted this. I had to look up the recipe here in the us because of the measurements but they turned out so darn good! Thank you so much for introducing me to these. My kids love them because they are thicker and super fluffy. I love them because they are super easy to make!

  13. Mrs Green says:

    @Alyson: Fantastic about the jaffa cakes. I am so going to try that! I’m making my own marmalade, so I’ll be able to use that!!

    @Jane: Glad you like them too – they were totally new to me and I can’t believe we’ve been missing out all these years! I hear you though, it is hard to get the toppings on before they get eaten!

    @Nathalie: Love the camping ideas and the addition of fresh blueberries – yummy.

    @Eunice: Thanks for the freezing tip; I wasn’t sure about this. I like your banana idea too.

    @magdalena: Interesting about the birch sap. I picked up something the other day sweetened with xylitol for LMG and learned that it came from birch

    @Sarah: Cinnamon sounds great too, that would be nice with stewed apple. Mmmmmm.

    @Hazel: Oh Hazel, you have so many delicious sounding things planned. Will you come back and share any successful recipes with me – I can post them on the site if they work for me too πŸ™‚

    @surviving and thriving on pennies: Fantastic! I’m so happy you made them and enjoyed them. I will smile everyt ime I make these now, thinking of you across the pond tucking into yours πŸ™‚

  14. I’ve never ever heard of Scotch pancakes! They look a lot like American pancakes, except thicker.

  15. Jo says:

    With a few minor differences, these are what I grew up with (in Canada) as pancakes. I add mashed banana or blueberries to the batter, or sometimes raspberries. We add butter and/or maple syrup, corn syrup, or molasses when they are done.

    The pictures I’ve seen on other myzerowaste posts in reference to pancakes remind me more of what we call crepes; they are thin and easily rolled, hence the ability to use fillings in them. If I tried to roll one of my pancakes it would break! Mine look like the picture in this post instead.

    So interesting to hear about all the types of pancakes in different countries!

  16. Mrs Green says:

    @[email protected]: Hi Kristen, nice to see you. These could well be what you call American pancakes; I wouldn’t know!

    @Jo: Hi Jo, mashing fruit into the batter sounds lovely; don’t they spit a lot when you cook them? Crepes is a word we use too, to describe the thin pancakes; crepes is the posh word used by restaurants πŸ˜‰

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