Truly Canadian and one of the best treats from my hometown, Beavertails are definitely worth making. This homemade Beavertail pastry recipe has become a favourite in our house for those times when we just can’t make it downtown to get a “real” Beavertail, as our kids say.
What is a Beavertail?
Don’t worry, there are no beavers hurt in the process of making this dessert. BeaverTails do not contain any real beaver tails. A Beavertail is a pastry that is fried, then topped with your choice of different topping combinations. My favourite is cinnamon sugar, but our kids like Nutella. And some people prefer garlic and butter on theirs.
Growing up in Ottawa, Ontario, you couldn’t go to the annual Winterlude without enjoying hot chocolate and a BeaverTail. It is a tradition that we still have with our kids.
Nowadays you can find BeaverTails across the city all year round. They have even opened shops throughout Canada and in parts of the United States.
For a full history of this delicious pastry that originated at the Killaloe Fair in 1978, check out their website.
Why Make Homemade Beavertail Pastry?
So why would I want to make them at home if the original is available just down the street from me? That is because it is not always easy to get to a Beavertails location. And during the pandemic of 2020 and 2021, most restaurants and shops were closed so we couldn’t enjoy our favourite treats. So making them at home became the only way to enjoy BeaverTails during that time.
My kids are always asking to go get Beavertails and to be honest, I would if I could, but sometimes it is just easier to make them at home. And when the kids have friends over, these homemade Beavertails are always a hit.
But I have had this recipe for a long time before the pandemic. It took me years to perfect this recipe and lots of taste testing over the years, not that my kids minded. I have never been able to completely replicate the recipe that Beavertails created, but this is close enough for us.
Toppings for Beavertails
There are endless possibilities when it comes to toppings. The most requested in our house is cinnamon sugar which is a classic Beavertail. But my kids also like to top theirs with Nutella.
Other toppings include but are not limited to:
- chocolate syrup
- strawberries and whipped cream
- garlic butter
- maple syrup ( this is what I call a Truly Canadian Beavertail)
- ice cream and caramel sauce
- Chocolate, peanuts, and marshmallows
These are just some suggestions. Get creative, my kids do and they come up with some wacky combinations sometimes. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family does.
Homemade Beavertail Pastry
- ¼ cup warm water
- 3 tsp traditional yeast
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 cup warm milk
- ¼ cup melted butter
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp salt
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- ½ cup whole wheat flour
- Vegetable oil for frying
- In a large bowl, mix together warm water, yeast and 1 tsp sugar
- Allow yeast to rest 5 minutes, until yeast is foamy.
- Once yeast is foamy, add the warm milk, melted butter, egg and vanilla extract.
- Whisk to combine.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together sugar, both flours and salt.
- Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir until all flour is mixed in.
- Cover bowl and allow dough to rise for 1 hour in a warm place.
- Once dough has risen to double in size, heat 3-4 inches of vegetable oil to 350°F in a large heavy bottomed pot.
- Punch down dough.
- Tear off a piece of dough the size of a golf ball or tennis ball, depending on the size of pastry you want.
- Pull dough ball into a long flat pastry in the shape of an oval, like a beaver tail.
- Place dough in heated oil, fry for 2-3 minutes per side.
- Remove from oil when lightly golden brown on both sides.
- Place dough on a cooling rack that is placed over a cookie sheet to drain off excess oil.
- Repeat last 5 steps until all the dough is cooked.
- Serve while still warm with toppings of choice.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container and reheat for 30 seconds in the microwave. Do not put toppings on them before storing.