Fried Dough with Cinnamon-Sugar

August 24, 2015
1 Ratings
Photo by modest marce
  • Makes 8
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

What You'll Need
  • 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
  • Topping:
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • rose
  • Susan
  • Sam Gardner
    Sam Gardner
  • belgravia

6 Reviews

rose January 27, 2019
Hello everybody :-)! I feel that I have to get this message out there because people's health is a major concern for me. Do you all remember whenever we went to the beach they would tell us, "Don't drink the sea water because the sea salt will make you crazy!" They even have movies where people are lost at sea and run out of water. Nobody drinks the sea water except for one person who goes crazy and tries to kill them all. So why is it that a lot restaurants only offer sea salt for consumption? Why is it for sale in markets? Why are many premade foods made with sea salt? And why are there recipes requiring sea salt? I don't know about you but I can't afford to take the chance of going crazy so a good substitute, and a healthy one, is to substitute sea salt for kosher salt and take salt packets with you to restaurants and also to not buy anything with sea salt. They didn't say it would make someone go crazy if they hadn't seen it happen. Hope this helps.
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
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
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
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!)
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