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Cooking Up the Past 1: Soda Scones from Atholl Crescent

Join Vicky and Oliver from the Auld Reekie Retold project team at Museums & Galleries Edinburgh as they attempt to make soda scones from a 1932 recipe book while exploring the history of the Edinburgh College of Domestic Science, known locally as ‘Atholl Crescent’.

This video was made during Covid pandemic restrictions, so most scenes are filmed at home using phone cameras. We hope any minor quality issues don’t spoil your enjoyment.

We’d love to see your attempts at baking from historic recipe books – you can tag us on Facebook Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #AuldReekieRetold

Bake along with us! Here is the recipe for the soda scones:

½ pound (225g) of plain flour

½ tsp of bicarbonate of soda

½ tsp of cream of tartar

½ tsp of salt

1 gill (118 mil) of buttermilk


Sieve dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Add enough buttermilk to form a soft dough.

Knead the dough lightly on a floured board/ surface. Roll to ½ inch (roughly 1.5 cm).

Cut into four pieces. Warm a griddle or heavy-bottomed pan. Add scones and cook until risen and light brown underneath. Turn and cook until dry in the centre.

No serving suggestions are provided in the recipe, but we enjoyed our scones buttered, and even cut in half and fried, together with some crispy bacon or an egg!


Auld Reekie Retold is a major three year project funded by the City of Edinburgh Council and Museums Galleries Scotland. We aim to connect objects, stories and people using Museums & Galleries Edinburgh’s collection of over 200,000 objects. You can find out more about the project, plus access blogs, event booking information, podcasts and more here


Cooking Up the Past 1: Soda Scones from Atholl Crescent

Cooking Up the Past 1: Soda Scones from Atholl Crescent


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