Dessert, Recipes

Canadian Fried Dough

A unique doughnut made with whole-wheat flour and covered in cinnamon sugar from our great neighbors to the North.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about making Ricotta Doughnuts and getting over fears of deep frying.  What I may not have mentioned then is that I really like doughnuts.  And fried dough in general.  Zeppoles, lángos, crullers, whatever.  Savory or sweet, they’re all great.

These aren’t quite like anything I had ever had before.  They’re sort of like sweet lángos–more like bread or pizza dough than cake, with a perfectly golden brown exterior with just a slightly sweet interior, coated in cinnamon sugar that gets all over your hands as you eat.

fried dough beavertails

My roommate and I made these one evening for a cooking, cocktails, and movie night.  We were searching for a doughnut recipe when we came across this recipe.  I have to admit, I was initially hesitant about trying it out because it wasn’t a traditional doughnut but, oh man, am I glad that I did.  I loved watching them puff up and expand as they fried.  I loved that the original recipe called for whole wheat flour, but even if it didn’t I probably would’ve gone with half white and half whole wheat anyway.

fried dough beavertails04

According to the Internet, these are a take on a Canadian pastry called Beavertails.  While we coated all of ours in cinnamon sugar, purveyors serve them with a variety of toppings, such as butter, chocolate, and fruit.  I have no doubt any of those toppings would also be delicious, though perhaps less reminiscent of a doughnut.

A note on the recipe: we made a half recipe of the original, which is why there are somewhat unusual measurements like 1/6 of a cup.  I’d say this makes four large servings, though of course serving size is something that can be highly debated.

Canadian Fried Dough

Very slightly adapted from There’s a Newf in My Soup.


1/4 cup warm water

1 envelope active dry yeast

Pinch granulated sugar

1/6 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup warm milk

1 tsp vanilla

1 egg, beaten

1/6 cup canola oil

3/4 tsp salt

pinch cinnamon

pinch nutmeg

1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour

1 1/4 cup white flour

oil for frying, about 4 cups

cinnamon sugar for coating


In a large bowl, combine warm water, yeast, and the pinch of sugar.  Let sit for about five minutes until it bubbles.  Add in the sugar, milk, vanilla, egg, oil, and salt, and stir to combine.  Add in half the flour and once it is incorporated, add the remaining flour and stir until that is completely incorporated.

Flour your hands and a clean working surface.  Turn the dough onto the floured surface and knead for five minutes.  The dough will be sticky.  Oil a large bowl, shape the dough into a ball, and place the dough into the bowl.  Cover with a clean dish towel or plastic wrap and let rise for about 45 minutes.  It should double in size.

After 45 minutes, deflate the dough.  Begin heating oil in a deep fryer or large heavy bottomed pot (such as a dutch oven).

As with the naan I posted last week, there are several ways to go about the next step.  If you like, you can pinch off golf-ball sized pieces of dough and roll or stretch them into rounds all at once until you’ve used up all the dough before you start frying.  Or, you can make  around of one piece, place it in the fryer, and then get to work on making your next round.   Ours were more oval than round, and There’s A Newf in My Soup suggests the size of 4 x 7 inches, though ours definitely varied some from this.

When the oil reaches 375 degrees Fahrenheit, begin frying your dough.  Carefully lower a round/oval of dough into your oil (we used a slotted metal spatula) and let fry until golden brown, about 30 seconds per side.  Once fried on both sides, remove to a cooling rack placed over a cookie sheet or a paper-towel lined plate to let some of the excess oil drain off before tossing in cinnamon sugar.

These are best served warm, but can be stored in an airtight container for a day or two.

Happy frying!

Posted to Saturday Night Fever, Sugar and Dots’s What I Whipped Up Wednesday, Polkadots on Parade’s Wow Me Wednesday, and Miz Helen’s Country Cottage’s Full Plate Thursday!


4 thoughts on “Canadian Fried Dough”

  1. These look absolutely amazing! I’m always afraid of frying things, but I think that I need to get over it so I can start making things like these ‘beavertails’. Good call on the cinnamon sugar topping, it’s one of my favorites, although I’m sure they’d be great with other toppings as well.

  2. Oh my, I will just love your Canadian Fried Dough, can’t wait to try it. Thank you so much for sharing this awesome recipe with Full Plate Thursday. Hope you are having a great weekend and come back soon!
    Miz Helen

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