Thera's Canadian Fried Dough


This beaver tails dessert is popular in Canada, especially in Ottawa, Ontario. Also known as pigs' ears, this whole wheat pastry is fried and covered in an assortment of goodies. I have perfected the recipe, so my friends and I no longer go out to get them — I just make them at home. Enjoy, eh!

close up view of a pile of Canadian Fried Dough on a platter
Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
20 mins
Additional Time:
1 hrs 5 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 55 mins
20 pastries


  • ½ cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)

  • 5 teaspoons active dry yeast

  • 1 pinch white sugar

  • 1 cup warm milk (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)

  • 3 large eggs, beaten

  • cup vegetable oil

  • cup white sugar

  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 5 cups whole wheat flour

  • 1 quart vegetable oil for frying

Cinnamon Sugar:

  • 2 cups white sugar

  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, or to taste


  1. Mix together warm water, yeast, and 1 pinch white sugar in a large bowl; let sit until creamy, about 5 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, grease a separate large bowl and set it aside.

  3. Stir warm milk, eggs, 1/3 cup vegetable oil, 1/3 cup white sugar, salt, and vanilla into yeast mixture until sugar is dissolved. Stir in 2 1/2 cups flour until no dry spots remain. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead in remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until dough is no longer sticky. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.

  4. Form dough into a ball and place it into the prepared bowl. Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

  5. Punch down dough and knead a few times to reshape it. Pinch off a piece of dough about the size of an egg, then roll into an oval shape, about 1/4-inch thick. Place on a dish towel, cover with another dish towel, and repeat with remaining dough.

  6. Heat 4 inches oil in a deep fryer or large saucepan to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

  7. Make cinnamon sugar: Combine white sugar and cinnamon in a shallow dish or pie plate; set aside.

  8. Lower dough carefully into hot oil in batches and fry until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Gently press fried dough into cinnamon sugar while still warm; shake off excess sugar.


You can cover the bowl of dough with a hot tea towel to speed up the rising process.

Flavor Variations: Add lemon zest to the dough in step 3, spread garlic butter and shredded sharp cheese on top of dough after frying, or if you can find it, cover fried dough with maple spread and drizzle with chocolate.

Editor's Note:

The nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of the sugar topping. The actual amount of the topping consumed will vary.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

284 Calories
10g Fat
46g Carbs
6g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 20
Calories 284
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 10g 12%
Saturated Fat 2g 8%
Cholesterol 29mg 10%
Sodium 192mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 46g 17%
Dietary Fiber 4g 14%
Total Sugars 24g
Protein 6g
Calcium 30mg 2%
Iron 2mg 8%
Potassium 171mg 4%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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