Homemade Canadian Fried Dough -Beaver Tails Recipe

Canadian Fried Dough: Beaver Tails recipe for a Canadian classic, fried donut like flat pastries with cinnamon sugar sprinkled on top.

Canadian Fried Dough: Beaver Tails are a Canadian classic, enjoy these delicious donut like pastries with cinnamon sugar sprinkled on top.

Happy Canada Day! What better way to celebrate than with a beaver tails recipe. Beaver Tails are a Canadian classic!  They are a favourite around here, so we thought we’d give our own version of Canadian Fried Dough a try -and they were a big hit!

Canadian Fried Dough: Beaver Tails

This Canadian fried dough has few different names.  It’s something called beaver tails, and something called elephant ears. They are a large flat pastry that resembles a beaver’s tail, thus the name.  They’re the kind of special treat that you get at county fairs.  They’re similar to funnel cakes -get our recipe for homemade funnel cakes here.  

The dough for these donut-like friend dough pieces is traditionally made from whole wheat flour, and adds a delicious flavour to them. They are made with a yeast dough, which makes a wonderful soft dough and tender treat.  Baking with yeast can be a little bit intimidating, but for best results just follow the recipe closely.

how to make beaver tails

The dough rises, to a lovely soft, and smooth consistency. Then the dough is formed into the beaver tail, or canoe paddle shape.  Next it’s fried to a lovely light brown and then topped with a delicious topping.

beaver tail recipe


After frying, there are all different ways to top these off, but we kept to the traditional and my favorite topping of cinnamon and sugar, and they were so, so yummy!  This is my personal first choice when it comes favorite toppings.  But there are lots of other fun possibilities.  You might like to try one or a combination of any of these ideas:

  • chocolate hazelnut spread
  • powdered sugar
  • banana slices
  • caramel sauce
  • cream cheese
  • vanilla icing
  • mini m and m’s
  • sprinkles
  • apple pie filling
  • maple butter
  • maple syrup
  • jam
  • chocolate bar pieces
  • chocolate chips
  • brownie pieces
  • cookie pieces

Canadian Fried Dough beaver tails recipe

Yield: 20

Canadian Fried Dough -Beaver Tails

Canadian Fried Dough -Beaver Tails
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes


  • 1/2 cup warm water (45 degrees C)
  • 5 tsp active dry yeast
  • pinch white sugar
  • 1 cup warm milk (45 degrees C)
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 5 - 6 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1-2 Liters of vegetable oil for frying
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon


    1. Combine warm water, yeast, and a pinch of sugar in the large bowl of stand mixer and let sit around 5 min. until the yeast begins to foam.
    2. Stir in warm milk, sugar, salt, vanilla, eggs, and oil. Add in flour, mixing, until dough is no longer sticky, using around 5 - 6 cups of flour. Mix with dough hook in stand mixer until the dough is smooth, and elastic and a sticky dough forms. Remove the dough from the bowl, and form it into a large ball. Oil a large mixing bowl and put the ball of dough inside the large greased bowl to rise, covered with greased plastic wrap, in a warm area, until the dough has doubled in size. This usually takes about an hour.
    3. Punch down the dough mixture and knead the dough back into shape. Divide the dough into small pieces, about egg sized portions and roll out with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface or stretch with your hands into an oval dough disk shape. The dough should be about 1/4 inch thick. Cover so the dough doesn't dry out while you finish shaping the rest.
    4. Heat the oil in a deep fryer to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
    5. In a shallow dish or plate, combine 2 cups of white sugar with cinnamon to make the cinnamon sugar topping.
    6. Fry the dough pieces in the hot oil, one at a time, for a few minutes per side, until golden brown. As soon as the fried dough pieces are removed from the fryer drain excess oil on a paper towel-lined plate. While still warm, coat the deep-fried bread dough in cinnamon sugar mixture, pressing it in and shaking to remove excess. These are best enjoyed fresh the day you make them.


(Adapted from AllRecipes.com)

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1567Total Fat: 101gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 87gCholesterol: 29mgSodium: 195mgCarbohydrates: 154gFiber: 20gSugar: 25gProtein: 26g
how to make beaver tails

This treat is best enjoyed the day that you make it.  If you have more dough than you need you can store the un-fried dough in the refrigerator in an airtight container for a few days and fry it anytime you want it.

This is such a wonderful sweet treat.  Weather you add lots of fun toppings or just use the traditional cinnamon sugar the best part is sharing it with family and friends.  This is sure to become one of your favorite recipes.  You might even want to set up a topping buffet so that your guests can top their own fried dough with their favorite thing each time.

With a wonderful homemade fried dough recipe like this, life really is a party!

More Recipe Inspiration

You might also like our Homemade Honey Cruller recipe here.

Also check our our Butter Tarts with Raisins recipe here.

Butter Tarts with Raisins Recipe: My grandma's famous recipe, a Canadian classic. We love our butter tarts with raisins added to them.

You might also enjoy our Donut Strawberry Shortcake recipe here.

Donut Strawberry Shortcake -the easiest, best Strawberry Shortcake ever! You'll never go back to your old version after trying this one.

One Comment

  1. That looks delicious. My boys would devour it! We’ve never had Canadian Fried Dough before. Happy belated Canada Day!

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