Canadian Semiaquatic Rodent Posterior Doughnuts

beaver tails 3

There are certain unhealthy things you have to pull out of the closet once a year and make just for the sake of the day – or season – and most Canada days I make Nanaimo bars and butter tarts – so frequently, in fact, that I begin to crave both around the end of June. Ditto mini doughnuts – having grown up in Calgary, the first week of summer always smells like the midway. I’ve always been one to forego candy apples and cotton candy in lieu of fried dough in its many forms – this year I decided to combine the two holidays and make a batch of *Canadian Semiaquatic Rodent Posterior Doughnuts*, which have been around since the seventies, and if you’re in eastern Canada are as Canadian as any doughnut. (Mini or not.)

beaver tails 1

Yes, there is a trademarked name for yeast-risen fried dough made by an Ottawa company since 1978 – they come slathered in Nutella sometimes, or just doused in cinnamon-sugar, which is my preferred accessory for fried doughs. You could do whatever you like with it though – the oval shape makes it easy to top with other delicious things, and the scored top helps spreadable toppings grip. I imagine it would make an ideal mattress for ice cream and hot fudge sauce… perhaps the next batch.

beaver tails 2

This is a fairly classic yeasted doughnut dough, fried in oil and doused in sugar – you could really use most any yeasted doughnut dough – but these are based on a version in the Great Canadian Cookbook.

Canadian Semiaquatic Rodent Posterior Doughnuts


June 29, 2016


2 Tbsp sugar

2 1/2 tsp (1 pkg) active dry yeast

3/4 cup warm water or milk

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 Tbsp butter, softened or melted

1 large egg

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp salt

canola oil, for cooking

cinnamon sugar, for rolling


1In a large bowl stir a big pinch of the sugar and the yeast into the water or milk and leave for 5 minutes, until it starts to foam.

2Add the flour, butter, egg, vanilla and salt and knead until you have a soft dough. Continue to knead (or use the dough hook on your stand mixer) for 7-8 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.

3Place the dough back in the bowl, cover with a tea towel and let rise for an hour or two, until doubled in size. (If you want to make it ahead of time, refrigerate the dough for up to 12 hours to slow the rise.) When you’re ready to fry them, divide into 10 pieces and roll each into an oval. If you like, score a criss-cross pattern with a sharp knife. Cover and let rise another 1/2 hour.

4Heat an inch or two of canola oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat until it’s hot, but not smoking (350F is ideal if you have a thermometer - otherwise test with a scrap of bread to see if it bubbles) - cook the *Canadian Semiaquatic Rodent Posterior Doughnuts* without crowding the pan for a minute or two per side, until golden. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate, then douse in cinnamon sugar (put it in a baking dish or pie plate) while still warm.

5Makes about 10 Canadian Semiaquatic Rodent Posterior Doughnuts.


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34 comments on “Canadian Semiaquatic Rodent Posterior Doughnuts

  1. Carolyn
    June 30, 2016 at 10:56 am

    Totally agreed that some foods taste better/go with certain times of year. Christmas cake just doesn’t taste as good in July as it does in December, hot cross buns not as good in October as in April….

    So glad you posted this recipe! Need to find 9 friends to eat them with me!

    • Julie
      July 1, 2016 at 2:40 pm

      Yes!! definitely something to make when there are other people around…

  2. Marsha Lawson
    July 1, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    I’m in Kilaloe Ontario the home of the Beavertail.

    You know you’ve died and gone to heaven when you had a Kilaloe Sunrise Beavertail!

    Happy Canada Day !

    • Julie
      July 5, 2016 at 7:52 pm

      I have to come out and try the real thing someday!

  3. Emily @ Life on Food
    July 5, 2016 at 3:45 am

    I find this so funny. My husband has been telling me for years about the Beaver tails they used to sell at Disney world in the Canada section of Epcot. He loved them but the stand is no more. I have never seen them and I was almost to the point of thinking he was pulling my leg. Maybe I should make these for him as a special surprise.

    • Julie
      July 5, 2016 at 7:51 pm

      Ha! you should! and report back!

  4. Rachel
    June 4, 2017 at 12:18 am

    I live in Australia and just made these with my Canadian mother. Delicious! I like them more than regular doughnuts. They were quick and easy to make in the breadmaker too. 🙂

    • Julie
      November 24, 2017 at 8:12 am

      you’re in Australia?? You could call them platypus tails then!

  5. Alana
    November 21, 2017 at 7:22 pm

    As a blogger and the consumer of the semi-aquatic rodent posterior donuts’s namesakes here in Ottawa, this post made my night! I’ll have to make these with my kids because they looooove Beaver Tails. Oops, I said it. Now what? Lol.

    • Julie
      November 22, 2017 at 5:49 pm

      Ha! Yes, please do!

  6. Anonymous
    November 22, 2017 at 8:14 am

    Are these as good as Beavertails?

    • Julie
      November 22, 2017 at 5:48 pm

      To be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever eaten one from the chain! There aren’t any in Calgary I don’t think – only in Banff. I need to rectify that! 🙂

      • Vincent
        November 24, 2017 at 8:29 pm

        There used to be one in Calgary at the Eau Claire Market, downtown. Sadly it only lasted there a couple of years. Apparently, Edmonton has BeaverTails food truck now.

      • Julie
        November 24, 2017 at 9:41 pm

        And in Banff, and possibly Canmore?

  7. J
    November 22, 2017 at 6:14 pm

    Oh no! You still use the illicit word when you say to cook the Canadian Semiaquatic Rodent Posterior Doughnuts without crowding the pan. Yikes!

    Love the name.

  8. Debra
    November 23, 2017 at 10:11 am

    I spy the word “beaver tails” in the recipe. ?Ha, take that Beavertails! ? This reicpe is now on my list of things to try.?? Thank you for the recipe.??

    • Debra
      November 23, 2017 at 10:13 am

      Oops, sorry for all the question marks…I didn’t know emojis weren’t supported here.

      • Julie
        November 23, 2017 at 10:47 am

        Ha! it does that to me all the time! 🙂

    November 23, 2017 at 11:16 am

    Luv it! Who needs BeaverTails when you can have CSRPDs instead?

  10. Kate
    November 23, 2017 at 11:21 am

    Always wanted to try to make these. Heard about em’ but never actually got to eat one…. Love the new name but I’m still gonna try this recipe and call them Beaver Tails!! You have a terrific website Julie……

  11. James
    November 23, 2017 at 11:43 am

    Ridiculousness: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/beavertails-pastry-julie-van-rosendaal-calgary-alberta-1.4413821
    There’s a time and place in regards to the protection of corporate logos, trademarks and brands… then there is bullying of a food-blogger. Well done for taking it all in stride, Julie 🙂 I want my CSRPD!

  12. Teddy Boragina
    November 23, 2017 at 12:15 pm

    Reading this makes me terribly hungry

  13. Donald McKenzie
    November 23, 2017 at 2:15 pm

    Beaver Tail, Beaver Tail, Beaver Tail.

  14. Joanne Russell-Haas
    November 23, 2017 at 2:57 pm

    Have the last laugh…we Canadians are known for our sense of humour! You could carve out your own “kneesh” call them “Canadian Knee Slappers”!

  15. Anonymous
    November 23, 2017 at 3:12 pm

    Beavertails. Beavertails. Beavertails . There, sue me 🙂

  16. BusyBeaver
    November 23, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    I’ll set to work making these CastorQueues (TM) right away..Like the BusyBeaver (TM) I am, I also plan to trademark all the Great Lakes for my own personal use later today.

  17. BusyBeaver
    November 23, 2017 at 4:25 pm

    By the way, don’t ever use the word Stetson (TM). Kindly use “five-gallon hat”. Mere mention of the word Stetson (TM) will bring the TM- police to your blog. Oops. Sorry. Maybe I should trademark sorry, later today, too.Sorry (TM). And maple syrup (TM). Bwaahaahaa!

  18. BusyBeaver
    November 23, 2017 at 6:20 pm

    I’m glad to see BeaverTails has given its posterior a shake and apologized to Julie. How Canadian! They’re donating $ to the Calgary Food Bank for every retweet of their apology. As a sign of my beaver benevolence (castor kindness), I rescind my evil (but very clever) plan to trademark the most Canadian of words, “sorry”. Now I’m off to make me some RodentRumps/CastorQueues! I kind of like the alternate reality.

  19. K Kilburn
    November 24, 2017 at 10:08 am

    “as Canadian of a tale” Grammar police!!!

    (Yeah, I know, and it’s a good article. But this is a prevailing gripe.)

    Should be “as Canadian a tale”.

    “of” is generally used with quantity (“a basket of Canadian Semiaquatic Rodent Posterior Doughnuts”.

    A quality (like “Canadian”) doesn’t need, and doesn’t want any of yer “of”s.

    Thanks again for the article.

  20. Arthur McLeod
    December 30, 2017 at 9:38 am

    I printed the recipe after the CBC story and saved it for a family Christmas “craft”. Made a delicious, but rich, brunch for the holidays. I used as much of the rodent rump as possible, but had to resort to jam to get the desired raspberry flavor. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castoreum

  21. Jenny
    November 11, 2019 at 11:02 pm

    Posted this before but you evidently took it down. I tried your recipe, it was terrible. How can you imitate beavertails without ever having tried one?! Like a plagiarist who’s illiterate! You should have apologized to Beavertails, not the other way around. In fact you should apologize to anyone who tried your recipe because I’d rather eat an actual rodents posterior.

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