Whether it’s skating on the Rideau Canal, taking in the ice and snow sculptures at Confederation Park, or taking the kids down the snow slides of the Snowflake Kingdom at Jacques Cartier Park, no Winterlude experience is complete without Beaver Tails! In case you don’t know what they are (does anyone not?), Beaver Tails are fried pastry treats all done up with cinnamon and sugar or other tasty fixings. They are wildly popular; and while the small, family business originated in Ontario and are a hallmark of the National Capital region, they have spread across the country and even into the US!

My kids LOVE Beaver Tails, and we enjoy them annually when we visit Winterlude, Ottawa’s fabulous winter carnival. My husband grew up in the National Capital Region, and has enjoyed them all his life – and he was quite impressed with my homemade version! The kids were all smiles too, and I have a feeling they will be asking for them again soon! They were just as delicious in the sunshine as they are in snow!

So here is Learning Mama’s own Mock Beaver Tail Recipe!

(yields 10 tails)

  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
  • a pinch of white sugar
  • 1/2 cup warm milk
  • 2 tbsp + 2 tsp white sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cup white flour


  • oil for frying
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  1. Mix warm water, yeast, and 1 pinch of sugar in bread maker, and let stand until the yeast begins to foam and form a creamy layer, about 5 minutes. Add in milk, sugar, salt, vanilla extract, egg, and vegetable oil, and flours. Using the dough setting on your bread maker, have the dough mixed and rise in your machine (approx 2 hours).
  2. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and form the dough into 10 small balls. Using a rolling pin, flatten them out into long oval beaver tailed shapes.
  3. Hear oil in a pan, at least 2 inches deep (I used coconut). Do not heat oil too hot! I burned the first one and filled my kitchen with smoke!
  4. Using tongs,  lay one “tail” into the oil and cook until golden and flip; about 1 minute per side.
  5. Remove cooked “tail” and place into shallow dish filled with sugar/cinnamon mixture and cover, using a spoon if necessary. Remove to side plate.
  6. Repeat for each tail.Homemade Beaver Tail Recipe | www.learningmama.com
How great would these be, served after some winter play? Or maybe plan your own little winter carnival for the kids and serve these along with some hot chocolate to the participants!

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