So Canadian…fried dough pastry

I originally shared this recipe a couple of years ago but had to take it down. I thought I would share it again with a modified name in order to avoid any law suits…(true story) 

This delicious fried dough dessert is also known as  beaver tails* and it’s  an Oh so Canadian pastry made of flour that is deep fried and (usually) topped with sugar and cinnamon. (Also known as Elephant ears in the US) There are many variations of other delectable toppings such as chocolate hazelnut, apples and cinnamon, strawberry syrup, Oreo cookies and melted chocolate etc.  They’re usually sold at fairs or amusement parks so it’s a once in a while treat for us. 
Their taste resembles that of a crispier, yet softer doughnut due to their moist texture.

As it’s a long weekend for us (Canada Day!), I thought it would be fitting to share with you – my fellow Canadians and neighbours to the south – this delicious recipe…

- In a large bowl, stir together the yeast, warm water and the pinch of sugar; let stand until it is a slightly foamy (approximately 5 minutes).
- Add the other 1/3 cup of sugar, milk, vanilla, eggs, oil and salt; stir it all until it is smooth.
- Mix in about half of the flour and continue stirring it, slowly adding the remaining flour.
- Turn the dough onto a floured surface when it is firm enough and knead for approximately 6-8 minutes. 
- Add more flour if you need it to form firm elastic dough.
- Place dough in a greased bowl and cover. 
- Let dough sit covered until it rises and doubles (approximately 1 hour).

- Lightly deflate the dough and pinch off a piece the size of a golf ball.
- On a floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll out the small ball of dough into an oval shape.  Put it aside and cover it with a tea towel while you continue to do the same with the remaining dough.
- Heat approximately 4 inches of oil in a deep-fryer (375 degrees) before placing the flattened dough into the oil.  Stretch them into ovals and thin them and enlarge them. Place the tails in the oil.
- Fry in the oil, turn them once until the tails are a deep brown (this process usually takes about 1 to 2 minutes per side); carefully remove the tail from the oil and let it drain on a paper towel. 
- Place left over sugar in a large bowl and add the cinnamon. Toss the beaver tail into the bowl while it is still hot.  Shake off any extra sugar and cinnamon mixture.

As mentioned, you can also add another topping of your choice (i.e. chocolate sauce, jam, garlic, cheese).

To all my fellow Canadians – Happy Canada Day tomorrow!  And to the rest of you beautiful ladies, happy new week! 

much love,
Note: This recipe is my own version and does not reflect the official 


  1. says

    That looks delicious! I must try this.Wish I could make it now.It would taste amazing with my coffee :-)

  2. says

    Happy Canada Day! This recipe looks wonderful and I love the name :-) It also reminds me of Indian Fry Bread, definitely a ‘Fair’ food and has to be limited or pay the consequences (in clothes fitting, lol). I never had a recipe to try, so I think we will have to try this one – thanks for sharing!


  3. says

    Without sugar and vanilla this is Lángos in Hungary and we rub it with garlic and eat it with grated cheese and sour creme :) But I’ll try this version too :) Thanx!

  4. says

    Looks wonderful! And I love the jpeg you did the recipe on! Too cute!
    It’s funny to read all the names for them. They are sold at all of the fairs and flea markets here!!
    Have a great Friday and weekend!

  5. says

    I used to look forward to the summer festivals and the Portuguese Feast where I grew up because there was at least one vendor making a version of this (malasadas in Portuguese). De-li-cious! And, definitely a festival-only kind of treat. However… we used to go to a lot of festivals in the summer :)

  6. says

    Late to the party, but these look delicious! Enjoy your long weekend :) I grew up just outside Detroit and some of my favorite field trips ever were to Point Pelee in Ontario. I heart Canada.

  7. says

    My favorite topping is squirting the juice of a lemon over top of the cinnamon sugar!!! To make at home when you don’t have a deep fryer can you use a large deep pot? Happy Canada day and thanks for posting this!!

  8. Jon Langevin says

    I’m from the US Southeast. The Dixie Classic Fair brings Elephant Ear vendors whenever they come to town. Otherwise, most any other event has only Funnel Cake vendors, which is *not* the same thing (despite what food illiterates may claim).

    During a trip to Boston, MA, I found they also have this same pastry, but they instead call it “Fried Dough”. Very creative name :-X

  9. Angela says

    My grandma makes these out of her bread dough, we call them swimmers.
    I can’t say for sure where the name comes from but I’d guess it’s that they “swim” in the oil.
    We shake them in sugar, and any time we discuss trying something new we just can’t give up our old faithful family favourite.

    Such wonderful memories of helping her when I was a little girl and now my boys help her when we visit.

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