Fried Dough with Cinnamon-Sugar

August 24, 2015

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: Called a "beaver tail" or an "elephant ear" by Canadians, this flattened fried dough is brushed with butter and rolled in cinnamon sugar, taking their nicknames from a large size and flat shape.

Note: The small amount of whole wheat flour is important for texture purposes. This recipe is my own interpretation of a beaver tail, and not the company's trademarked recipe.
modest marce

Makes: 8


For the dough:

  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup warm whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • Oil, for deep frying


  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
In This Recipe


  1. In a large mixing bowl, add water, yeast, and sugar. Let stand for 5 minutes to allow the yeast to activate. If your yeast does not foam, start again (the water could be too hot or yeast could be expired).
  2. Stir in whole milk, salt, vanilla, egg, and oil. Mix until ingredients are well incorporated.
  3. Add flours one cup at a time and mix until a dough begins to form.
  4. Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead for 8 to 10 minutes, adding flour as needed until the dough is no longer wet and sticky.
  5. Form into a ball and let rise in a covered, greased bowl for 1 hour, or until dough as doubled in size.
  6. Once dough has risen, heat your oil to 350 to 375° F in a pot or frying pan that is high enough to allow the oil to be 2 inches deep.
  7. Meanwhile, place the melted butter in a bowl near the fryer. Mix together the cinnamon and the sugar and place in a bowl nearby.
  8. Cut dough into 8 equal portions and shape each into a ball.
  9. Roll out dough to into a flat oval shape that is between 1/2 to 1 centimeter thick. (The dough will puff up once it hits the fryer.)
  10. Fry dough for 1 minute on each side, until golden brown, then transfer to a paper towel to drain excess oil.
  11. Brush with melted butter and roll in cinnamon-sugar mixture.
  12. Repeat frying the ovals, one at a time, until you have used up all your dough.
  13. Close your eyes, pretend you are surrounded by ferris wheels and carnival games and take a bite into summer.

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Reviews (5) Questions (0)

5 Reviews

Susan September 2, 2016
Can you freeze the dough then thaw and roll out as instructed and still get the same results?
Sam G. November 7, 2015
Can u make this ahead of time? Either the dough for last minute frying when friends arrive and it's desert time or the actual fries ahead of time and serve cold or reheat quickly in oven?
belgravia September 7, 2015
I hit "love" and "save" on this so fast I almost sprained a finger. It might remind you of summer, but the combo of cinnamon sugar on hot, buttery dough will always mean wrapping up a skating session on the Rideau Canal in the middle of winter. Refreshing thoughts during a heat wave! Looking forward to making these when the temp cools down. :)
Chris G. September 5, 2015
One could of course become "inventive," and experiment with other sugar flavors, such as pumpkin pie spice or make your own changes, such as adding some<br />ground cloves, mace, ginger, or? The other thing I wanted to comment on, in making these you should watch the oil temperature very carefully so that the the <br />oil does not get to hot or to cool, so that you get the intended result, especially if you are doubling or tripling the batch? One more suggestion, for quicker easier <br />results, not the same of course, you could cut flour tortillas to an appropriate size, fry them and add the cinnamon sugar. (cooking time will be very quick!)<br />An instant read thermometer or infrared thermometer would be a great help. (or a deep fat fryer)
Nancy September 4, 2015
and for more fun foods typical at the Canadian National Exhibition (end of summer agricultural and fun fair) see<br />