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Homemade Beaver Tail Recipe

Indulge in the quintessential Canadian treat that’s as iconic as it is delicious – the Beaver Tail recipe. Perfect for cozy movie nights, patriotic celebrations, or spirited gatherings, this beloved dessert will transport you to the heart of Canada. The sweet, fried dough pastries, shaped like a beaver’s tail, are reminiscent of mini donuts, but with an added layer of warmth and comfort. Imagine sinking your teeth into one fresh from the fryer, coated in a generous helping of cinnamon sugar – it’s a taste sensation that’s sure to leave you pining for more. But why stop there? Take it up a notch by pairing yours with a drizzle of maple butter, rich hot chocolate sauce, or an extra dose of cinnamon sugar. The possibilities are endless, and the memories are just waiting to be made.

Why You’ll Love this Easy Sweet Canadian Treat

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Recreating the iconic Canadian BeaverTails™ is surprisingly straightforward. The magic happens when you combine the simplicity of the dough with the indulgence of frying and sweet toppings. The crispy, sugar-coated exterior is a crowd-pleaser, filling the air with an irresistible aroma that’s sure to tantalize taste buds. Whether you’re serving them at a fair or simply satisfying a sweet tooth, this recipe is sure to be a hit – just be prepared for requests as the demand is sure to skyrocket. For those who crave desserts like funnel cake and sugary pastries, this BeaverTails™ variation is a game-changer, offering a delicious take on the classic Canadian treat that’s sure to become a new favorite.

How to Make Beaver Tails at Home

To create these delicious treats, start by allowing yeast to bloom with warm milk, whisking in sugar, oil, butter, salt, and vanilla. Next, incorporate an egg into the mixture followed by flour, mixing until a dough forms. Allow the dough to rest, kneading it by hand or with a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook before letting it rise in a warm place covered with a tea towel. Once risen, divide the dough into pieces and shape each one into a ball. Let them rest again before forming each dough ball into a beaver tail – a long oval shape. Fry the beaver tails in hot oil until golden brown on both sides, then drain on paper towels. Finally, coat the fried beaver tails with a cinnamon sugar mixture, working in batches if needed.

Substitutions and Variations

While you can use any neutral cooking oil you prefer, consider an electric deep fryer or Dutch oven if available, as they maintain optimal oil temperatures. Feel free to substitute alternative flavors for vanilla or swap out cinnamon and white sugar with a dip of your choice. Whole wheat flour is also a viable option. The possibilities are endless! For added flair, incorporate marshmallows, a squeeze of lemon or lime juice, or even Nutella for chocolate lovers. Another winning combination features a tangy twist by pairing cinnamon and sugar with a burst of fresh lemon juice on top. Alternatively, serve with maple syrup and powdered sugar for a sweet treat. If you lean towards savory flavors, consider topping with garlic butter. As an added touch, use a knife to score the dough after shaping, creating a square pattern reminiscent of beaver tails.

History of Deep Fried Beaver Tails

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In Canada, a beloved pastry that’s often devoured while gliding along the Rideau Canal in Ottawa is none other than the beaver tail – a donut-bannock hybrid with an uncanny resemblance to elephant ears in the United States. With its rich history, this iconic treat has been delighting Canadians since the late 1970s when Grant and Pam Hooker started selling them at the Killaloe craft and community fair. The first BeaverTails™ store opened its doors in 1980, paving the way for the beloved brand that exists today.

What to Serve with Beaver Tails

Feel free to get creative and customize the cinnamon and sugar in this recipe by substituting it with caramel or fudge syrup, sliced fresh fruit (bananas are a great option), or any other topping that suits your taste buds. Consider serving these scrumptious flat donuts as an indulgent treat alongside a warm cup of coffee or hot chocolate. If you’re celebrating Canada Day, why not pair them with some classic Canadian treats like Nanaimo bars or butter tarts?

Deep Frying Safety Tips

When it comes to deep-frying, it’s essential to select an oil with a high smoke point. Vegetable oils like canola, corn, and peanut oil are excellent choices for their affordability and versatility. In my experience, using a Dutch oven is beneficial as it retains heat effectively; however, if you have access to a deep fryer, that’s even better. Always prioritize monitoring the hot oil, never leaving it unattended. If the oil does happen to catch fire, having the lid nearby can be a lifesaver – simply place it on top of the pot to smother the flames. Moreover, ensure that children and pets are kept at a safe distance from the deep-frying process to prevent any accidents.

Storage Instructions

While it’s true that freshly baked homemade beaver tails are at their best when served hot, they can still be enjoyed for up to three days if stored properly in an airtight container. If you do manage to have some leftovers, you’ll want to consume them within this timeframe to preserve their quality and texture.

If you’re looking to store your beaver tails for a longer period, freezing is also an option. However, it’s crucial not to add the cinnamon sugar topping beforehand, as this can affect the tail’s texture and overall appeal when thawed. Alternatively, you can freeze the dough itself and fry the beaver tails once they’ve thawed, allowing you to enjoy them at a later date.

Best Canadian Beaver Tail FAQs

Air frying beaver tails, a Canadian pastry tradition, is possible but may not be the most efficient method. If you prefer to air fry instead of deep frying, you can do so at 350°F for about 5 minutes, but be aware that you might need to cook them in batches depending on the size of your air fryer. In contrast, deep frying allows for simultaneous cooking of multiple beaver tails. Whether or not you have gluten intolerance, you can easily adapt this recipe by substituting traditional flour with a gluten-free measure-for-measure equivalent (1:1 ratio), ensuring that the end result remains delicious and authentic.

Homemade Beaver Tail Recipe

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Homemade Beaver Tail Recipe

Bella Bucchiotti shares a quintessential Canadian dessert recipe that’s sure to delight. This classic beaver tail, reminiscent of a miniature donut, is best enjoyed warm and generously coated with cinnamon sugar. Whether you’re hosting a movie night, Canada Day celebration, or casual get-together, this sweet treat is sure to impress. With a preparation time of 1 hour and 15 minutes, cooking time of 30 minutes, and a total time of 1 hour and 45 minutes, this recipe yields 12 servings that are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.


In the initial stages, combine warm milk with yeast in a large bowl or stand mixer. Allow the mixture to sit for eight minutes to allow the yeast to bloom. Once the yeast is activated, add light brown sugar, canola oil, melted butter, salt, and vanilla. Whisk until all ingredients are fully incorporated. Then, introduce the egg, whisking until smooth. Gradually add flour in two equal parts, mixing by hand or with a dough hook until the dough is soft yet not excessively sticky, adding extra flour as needed in small increments. Knead the dough for five minutes by hand or two to three minutes using a stand mixer. Cover and let it rise in a warm environment for 45 minutes or until it has doubled in size. Next, fill a medium-sized pot or Dutch oven with sufficient canola oil to reach at least 3 inches deep. Heat the oil over medium heat to a temperature ranging from 355°F to 365°F. As the oil reaches its optimal temperature, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide it into 12 equal portions. Form each portion into a ball by gently pulling the outer edges towards the center of the dough. Allow the dough balls to rest for 15 minutes, covered. Meanwhile, prepare a shallow dish with 2 cups of sugar and 2 tablespoons of cinnamon, mixing well. Place this mixture near your frying station along with a wire rack set over a baking sheet or paper towels to drain the fried dough. Once the oil is at the correct temperature and the dough has rested, use a rolling pin to flatten several of the dough balls into oblong shapes resembling beaver tails. These should be very thin, about 1/4 inch thick. Gently place each flattened dough ball into the hot oil, one at a time, frying for 30 to 60 seconds on each side using tongs or chopsticks to flip it. When cooked, use a pair of tongs or chopsticks to remove the beaver tail from the oil and immediately coat it in the cinnamon sugar mixture, ensuring complete coverage before placing it on the wire rack to cool. Taste this first batch and adjust cooking time or temperature as needed. Continuously monitor the oil’s temperature to prevent it from getting too hot or too cold. Repeat steps 11 to 14 until all of the dough has been fried and sugared.


When it comes to choosing a frying oil, you have a range of options to consider. You can opt for neutral-tasting oils like canola or vegetable oil, or go for something with more character, such as peanut oil. If you want to add an extra layer of richness to your dishes, you could even use lard. Whatever oil you choose, make sure you dispose of it responsibly when you’re finished cooking. Don’t pour cooled oil down the drain – instead, find a proper way to get rid of it and do your part for the environment.