Beaver Tails are an extremely popular pastry in Canada. This Gluten-Free Beaver Tail is delicious, and passes for the real, whole-wheat thing!
Note: This recipe was first posted on my original blog, Celebration Generation, on August 2, 2017. It was transferred over to this blog - existing comments and all - on 3/4/2021
Back when I first wrote this post, we were just ahead of the release date of my Magnum Opus, “More Than Poutine: Favourite Foods from my Home and Native Land”.
A homemade Beaver Tails recipe was one of the HUGE requests I had for the cookbook, so obviously, it had to be included (Albeit with a different name!).
To date, “More Than Poutine” is not only my favourite cookbook project, it’s probably the most ambitious concept I’ve taken on for a cookbook project.
Not only was the scope pretty big - Canadian food! - but I provided gluten-free versions for (almost) everything in it, as well!
Gluten Free Canadian Recipes
The vast majority of the recipes in More Than Poutine are gluten-free by default.
Many have a very easy swap, such as using a GF soy sauce instead of a regular soy sauce.
Most of the rest have a note at the end with ingredient substitutions, etc to make a gluten-free version.
I think only 2-3 of the 120+ recipes do not have a gluten-free version. It’s kinda hard to make a gluten-free version of Winnipeg Style Rye bread, for instance, given that rye itself is glutenny!
Doing it this way guarantees the best results, and tends to turn out a product that’s as good as the real thing, if not *completely* indistinguishable from the original.
Gluten-Free Beaver Tail Recipe
These pastries are based on a well-known, extremely popular pastry, widely available at festivals and fairs across Canada.
In the source material, whole wheat dough is stretched out to long ovals and fried, then topped with a variety of goodies. You can go as basic as a brushing of melted butter and sprinkle of cinnamon sugar, or go more wild.
More on that in a bit.
Anyway, when it came to making a gluten-free version, the challenge was twofold: Make a bread product that has a great texture (soft, not gummy or chalky!), AND that replicates the taste of whole wheat.
Well, I’m proud to say I succeeded in both! This dough makes a very soft BeaverTail, with none of the “gluten-free” texture issues.
The use of rice bran and flax meal is a combination I came up with when developing Beyond Flour 2, when creating legitimate graham crackers... and it worked beautifully here to mimic the flavour and character of whole wheat flour.
So, whether the source material here is something you miss from pre-gluten-free days, or whether it's something you've never been able to have - and always wanted to try - this recipe will serve you well!
Toppings for Beaver Tails
As I’d mentioned earlier, you can keep it simple, or go more wild when it comes to topping your Beaver Tails.
On the "more wild" end, the pastries are usually spread with something sweet - Nutella, peanut butter, Jam, Maple butter, etc - before being sprinkled with candies, chopped nuts, sliced fruits, etc.
You can even follow up with a drizzle of more sugar - chocolate sauce, caramel, etc!
So, to break this down a bit, I like to classify toppings into categories: Spreads, toppings, drizzles, and garnish.
For the sake of avoiding redundancy, I’m listing spreads and drizzles together. Almost any spread can be a drizzle, but some require heating up first (peanut butter, Nutella, frosting, etc)
You can mix and match from any of these categories, or even use them as a springboard for other ideas. For starters, though:
Beaver Tails Spreads / Drizzles
Peanut butter, Sunflower butter, or any other nut butter
Biscoff or other Cookie Butters
Jam, jelly, marmalade
Pie filling - apple, cherry, blueberry, whatever
"No Bake Cheesecake"*
* You can usually buy this premade in a tub in the refrigerated section, or as a powdered mix in with the gelatin/pudding powder mixes.
Beaver Tails Toppings
Chopped up Oreos or other cookies
Chunks of candy bars
Beaver Tails Garnishes
Small candies like Reese's Pieces
Finely crushed bars, like Skor
Topping Combination Suggestions
- Go traditional: cinnamon sugar, squeeze a lemon slice over it.
- Cheesecake: No-bake cheesecake filling, top with a drizzle of fruit sauce or pie filling.
- Banana Split: Nutella spread, sliced bananas and strawberries, whipped cream
- Nutella spread, Banana slices. One of my favs!
- Vanilla frosting, smashed up Oreo cookies.
Savoury Beaver Tails
This might be a controversial subject, but I SWEAR I remember savoury Beaver Tails being an option when I was younger.
Very specifically, I vaguely remember getting one that involved salsa and cheese at The Forks in Winnipeg, probably mid to late 90s. I wish I could remember the details.
Was it an off-brand company? Was it an option that was retired? I have no idea.
However, I wanted to bring it up as an option for those without a massive sweet tooth. A few ideas:
- Spreading your beaver tail with garlic butter and then sprinkling finely shredded cheese over it.
- Salsa, cheese, maybe some grilled chicken slices.
- Spread with hummus, top with kalamata olives, feta, and fresh dill.
- BBQ sauce and pulled pork or pulled chicken. Maybe some chopped pickles, crumbled bacon, cheese...
A Few Notes on this Beaver Tail Recipe
- As with all recipes based on a commercial source material, this recipe is named something else in “More Than Poutine”.
- With regards to the nutritional info provided, this is for the dough itself, and doesn’t take into account the deep frying (the software just isn’t smart enough!).
Additionally, toppings are not counted in the nutritional calculations, as that info will vary *wildly* based on what you choose to use, and how much of it you use.
Beaver Tails are not diet food, LOL. Worth a caloric splurge every once in a while, though!
More Canadian Recipes!
Looking for more recipes from the ‘great white north’? Look no further!
Chow Chow Relish
Gluten-Free Bacon Poutine Pizza
Gluten Free Butter Tart Bars
Gluten-Free Butter Tarts
Gluten-Free Cod Au Gratin
Gluten-Free Cod Cheeks & Dressing
Gluten-Free Chicken Mushroom Tourtiere
Gluten-Free Imperial Cookies Recipe
Gluten-Free Nanaimo Bar Brownies
Gluten-Free Puffed Rice Bars
Gluten-Free Schmoo Torte
Looking for even more Canadian recipes? Check out our full Gluten-Free Canadian Recipes list!
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Anyway, on to the Gluten Free Beaver Tail recipe!
Gluten Free Beavertails
- ¾ cup Warm - not hot - milk
- ⅓ cup Brown sugar packed
- 2 ½ teaspoon Active dry yeast
- ¾ cup Light Buckwheat Flour
- ½ cup Rice Bran
- ½ cup Unflavoured Whey Protein Powder
- ½ cup Sweet Rice Flour
- 2 tablespoon Flax Meal
- 2 teaspoon Xanthan gum
- ¾ teaspoon Salt
- 2 tablespoon Canola oil
- 1 Large egg
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
- Canola oil
- Combine warm milk with brown sugar, stir until sugar is almost dissolved. Add yeast, stirring until incorporated. Set aside in a warm place for 10 minutes, or until foamy.
- In a large bowl, combine flours, rice bran, protein powder, flax meal, xanthan gum, and salt. Add canola oil, stirring until well distributed.
- Pour in yeast/milk mixture, egg, and vanilla extract; stir until well combined. .
- Cover with plastic wrap, set aside in a warm spot to rise for an hour or two, until about doubled in size
- In a large, deep pot, heat 2-3″ of canola oil to 350 F (180 C). While oil is heating, divide dough into 6 equal sized pieces.
- Use clean, wet hands to flatten and shape each dough ball into a long, thin oval, about ¼-1/2″ thick. Allow each to rest on a clean work surface as you form the rest.
- Working with one pastry at a time, carefully transfer to the preheated oil. Allow to fry for 1-2 minutes , or until golden on the underside. Gently flip and repeat, cooking until evenly golden.
- Transfer fried pastry to a baking sheet lined with paper towels, blot to remove excess oil.
- Spread and top as desired, serve immediately!