Pancakes for breakfast, tea…any time at all

Apple pancakes with cinnamon butter, a variation on a traditional Scottish theme, went down well at World Kitchen in Leith events this year, here’s the recipe from Fay Young.

Ok, I know dropped scones are really meant for teatime. But they can be good at breakfast too – perhaps, sinfully, fried with bacon and served with maple syrup as a Scottish variation on the Canadian theme.

So when I was helping to organise a World Kitchen in Leith multicultural brunch earlier this year, dropped scones sprang to mind.  Not quite the simple kind my granny used to make in her tiny flat in Glasgow, where Barr’s Ginger Beer was delivered by horse and cart once a week (I was very young!).

Granny’s recipe was just flour, egg mixed to a thick batter with a little milk then dropped on to a sizzling hot griddle and served with butter

This is a slightly posher version by Lady Claire MacDonald who lives somewhere altogether grander on Skye.  She adds apple, sugar, butter and spice to the recipe and you can eat the pancakes just like that but the real magic touch is the cinnamon butter she spreads on top.

I lost count of how many apple pancakes I made for the brunch (and again for the World Kitchen lunch on World Food Day in October] They went like hot cakes but they do also freeze well.  Here’s the recipe, adding lemon rind and juice is a very slight adjustment of my own.


225g (8oz) plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

60g (2oz) caster sugar

0.5 tsp ground cinnamon

60g (20z) butter, melted

2 eggs, beaten

300ml (0.5 pint) milk

2 tasty apples peeled and cored

grated rind and juice of half lemon

mild oil for frying

Cinnamon butter:

120g (4oz) butter

2 tsp ground cinnamon

120 (4oz) soft brown sugar


First make cinnamon butter, beating all ingredients until smooth. Keep covered in fridge, until you want to serve pancakes, will last for at least 2 weeks (longer, I find).

For pancakes, sift flour and baking powder into bowl, add sugar and cinnamon. Beat in melted butter, beaten eggs and milk. Grate apples into mixture and mix well.

Oil a griddle, hot plate or frying pan. Drop spoonfuls of batter on to hot surface, roughly 2-3inches or 5-7.5 cm across (you can make pancakes bigger or smaller depending on spoon).  Cook for about 2 minutes until small bubbles rise to surface then flip over with palette knife and cook on other side.  (I find it can take a bit of trial and error to get the temperature right, the first couple of pancakes might be either too dark or too pale…but still good to eat).

Remove cooked pancakes to keep warm on plate, covered with cloth.  Serve hot with cinnamon butter.  (They freeze and reheat well). Plate soon empty.

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