Savoury Drop Scones with Cheddar and Jalapeño

Drop scones, also known as Scotch pancakes, are made to be 'dropped' onto a hot pan by the spoonful. Copywriter Nikkitha adapted recipes from Nigel Slater, Mary Berry and River Cottage to put a 'Tex-Mex' spin on it. This recipe is very forgiving and endlessly adaptable (see 'BK Tips'), and would be wonderful served with eggs. Whatever combination you choose, make sure you have a good crêpe pan to cook them in.

Makes 6 medium or 9 small pancakes


150ml whole milk
50ml sour cream
1 clove garlic, finely grated (use a Microplane)
1/4 tsp cumin
1 lime, zested
150g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder (8g)
1 tsp salt (5g)
25g quick-cooking polenta or cornmeal
1 egg
1-2 jalapeños, roughly chopped
40g cheddar cheese, grated
Butter or oil, for frying

Serve with: sour cream, blistered corn, salsa, guacamole, hot honey


  1. Set an empty baking tray in the oven and heat the oven to 100°C. (This is for storing the pancakes after they are made, so they stay warm.)
  2. In a small pitcher or bowl, add milk, sour cream, garlic, cumin and lime zest. Whisk to combine and set aside so the flavours infuse.
  3. Sieve the flour, baking powder, polenta and salt into a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the egg. Whisk gently until the yolk and white are combined. Then add the milk-sour cream mixture in thirds and fold into the flour to make a batter. The batter should be loose and runny. (Do not overmix; lumps are okay!) Add the cheddar and jalapeños into the batter and fold until combined.
  4. Melt butter in a medium to large frying pan. Drop one spoonful (small pancakes) or two spoonfuls (medium pancakes) to the pan; repeat for as many pancakes that will fit, making sure not to overcrowd. Let the pancakes be for 3-4 minutes, until you see the undersides browning to the hue you like. Carefully flip over to repeat the process on the other side, adding more butter or oil to the pan if needed. Every time a pancake is done on both sides, add it to the baking tray in the oven to keep warm until serving.

BK Tips

  • If you don't have quick-cooking polenta or cornmeal on hand, swap it with equal parts flour. It won't have the same subtle crunch but will still be delicious. 

  • Swap the cheese and mix-in's for any flavour profile you'd like, for example, Manchego and olives, or Comté and asparagus—make sure to adjust the other ingredients accordingly too, i.e., swapping cumin for pimientón or thyme.