Canadian Sourdough Beavertails (GF/V)

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This allergen-friendly donut treat is easy to make if you have a GF sourdough starter. Enjoy my twist on the Canadian-style beavertail shaped donuts. See instructions for frying and baking options.

Gluten-free vegan beavertail donuts cooled and decorated on a wire rack.

Where do I even begin with this one-of-a-kind Canadian Sourdough Beavertail recipe? The city I live in (Ottawa, Ontario) celebrates Winterlude with a similar donut treat! This is my take on the recipe and it so happens to be gluten-free, vegan, nut-free and also allergen-friendly!

Let me inform you that I am not a deep-frying expert but I did experiment with this recipe. I know deep-fried food is not good for you but this donut does taste pretty darn good when fried. Don’t worry you can still cook the dough like a pancake or even in the oven for a healthier alternative.

Make sure to watch the short step-by-step Canadian Sourdough Beavertails video to help you with this recipe.

Canadian Sourdough Beavertails (GF/V)

Making this recipe will be easy if you already have a gluten-free sourdough starter. I used a brown rice sourdough starter but a sorghum starter should also work well.

What You Need

You don’t need too many things to make this recipe but the following tools will make it easier for you.

  • 5-quart Dutch oven (deep-fried option)
  • Skillet or baking sheet (baked option)
  • Mixing bowl
  • Unbleached parchment paper
  • Candy thermometer
  • Thin spatula
  • Slotted spoon
  • Wire rack

The Steps are Simple

The recipe is as simple as mixing the ingredients in a bowl and letting the dough mixture rest for 30 minutes. The next step is to heat your oil and start shaping your dough into flash oval shapes.

Picture showing process steps to make GF vegan sourdough beavertail fried donuts.

If you decide to pan cook them (like pancakes) you will need a skillet. For the oven version, I suggest lining a baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper. See recipe notes below for details.

You can divide the dough into six or twelve portions for smaller donuts. The large ones look impressive but the smaller ones are a perfect snack size!

Decorating Your Beavertails

Have fun with this part! Do let them cool before eating one but you can decorate them soon after they are cooled to the touch.

Here are some toppings suggestions:

  • Organic powdered sugar
  • Organic maple sugar
  • Pure maple syrup
  • Cinnamon
  • Pure vanilla bean powder
  • Seed butter
  • Chocolate spread
  • Homemade jam
  • Fresh fruit
Freshly baked GF vegan sourdough beavertail donuts cooling on wire rack and ready to decorate.

Best Enjoyed Fresh!

Like many types of donuts, these are best enjoyed fresh or on the same day! Gluten-free and vegan baked goods tend to get dry much faster.

Bite shot of GF vegan sourdough Canadian-style beavertail donut.

Previously on Fresh is Real

The last recipe on the blog was the revised How to Make Grain-Free Bread post. I updated the information and added details on how to tweak the recipe to include some sourdough starter.

Sliced GF, grain-free and vegan sourdough bread

Questions Before You Start?

The best way to ask your recipe questions is in the comments of this post (scroll to the bottom) or the Facebook group.

The group is a great place to ask allergen-friendly baking questions, get tips, inspiration and share recipes! Join our amazing and friendly Gluten-Free Vegan Baking by Fresh is Real Facebook Group

Did You Make This Recipe?

Once you try this recipe, remember to take a picture and share it with us on Instagram Tag it @Freshisreal_ #freshisreal

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Cooled and decorated GF vegan Canadian Sourdough Beavertails donuts on a wire rack.

Canadian Sourdough Beavertails (GF/V)

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.7 from 3 reviews
  • Author: Chantal | Fresh is Real
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes (30-min rest)
  • Cook Time: Frying: 2.5-5 mins, Baking: 3-5 mins per side
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 6 or 12 minis 1x
  • Category: Treats
  • Method: Deep-friend, baked
  • Cuisine: Plant-Based, Gluten-Free, Vegan, Nut-Free, Allergen-Friendly
  • Diet: Gluten Free


This donut treat is easy to make if you have a GF sourdough starter. Enjoy my twist on the Canadian-style beavertail shaped donuts. See notes below for healthier baking options.

Tools: A 5-quart Dutch oven, candy thermometer, mixing bowl, slotted spoon, thin spatula, unbleached parchment paper, wire rack. You will need a skillet or baking sheet if pan frying or oven baking the beavertails/donuts.



Beavertail Dough Mixture

  • 1 cup fed (active) GF sourdough starter (265g)*
  • 3/4 cup brown rice flour (100g)
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot starch (30g)
  • 1/4 cup potato starch (40g)
  • 1/4 cup coconut palm sugar (36g)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil or soft/melted vegan butter (36g)
  • 1/2 tablespoon GF baking powder**
  • 2 teaspoons whole psyllium husk*** 
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup homemade hemp milk (58g)****

High smoke point oil for frying
I tested organic unrefined canola oil

Decoration (optional but recommended)
Organic powdered sugar, organic maple sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon,
pure vanilla bean powder, seed butter, chocolate spread, jam, fresh fruit


Before you start, watch the short Canadian Sourdough Beavertails video tutorial.

Step 1 – In a medium bowl, mix all 10 dough mixture ingredients until well combined. Cover your bowl and let the dough rest for 30 minutes. Note: You can let the dough rest for up to 2 hours if your kitchen is cooler. 

Step 2 – Get a 5-quart Dutch oven-ready and fill it with 1 inch of oil. Attach the candy thermometer to the inside of your pot with the bottom tip in the oil. Heat your Dutch oven and oil on the stovetop on medium heat until it reaches 360°-375° F.

Step 3 – Place a sheet of unbleached parchment paper on your kitchen counter. Roughly divide your dough right in the bowl into 6 (or 12 for mini beavertails). You can dust the parchment paper with a little brown rice flour to prevent sticking if you choose to flatten and shape your dough on the counter. Or you can also gently roll one portion of dough with your hands to then shape it in a flatter ovalish shape. If it’s helpful, you can also use a spatula to gently lift the dough from the paper. Shape your dough in whichever method is the easiest for you. Of course, the smaller beavertails are easier to shape and drop in the hot oil. Shaping one at a time is recommended, while another one is frying.

Step 4 – Once your oil reaches 360°- 375° F you can start frying. Carefully drop one flat piece of dough into the oil. You’ll want to fry each side for a few minutes. On average mine fried for a total of 3 to 4 minutes. Larger ones could take 5 minutes if you like crispier donuts. Once ready use a slotted spoon to lift the donut from the oil. Let the excess oil drip in the pot. Carefully transfer it to a wire rack while you fry the remaining beavertails.

Step 5 – Have fun decorating your beavertails with your choice of sweet toppings! Enjoy them while they are fresh!


Tips: You can place the fried beavertails/donuts on a wire rack to cool and then on brown paper/paper towels to help absorb any excess oil. 
Skillet/pan option: If you want to try cooking the dough in a pan, that’s fine but keep in mind that it won’t necessarily have the crispiness of a fried donut. You can most definitely add a bit of oil or vegan butter to prevent sticking and help create some crispiness. The end product might end up being more like a pancake or sweet naan bread. Cook each side for a few minutes as you would a pancake. 
Oven-baked option: To bake this dough in the oven, I would recommend shaping the beavertails/donuts the same way as you would when frying them. Placing them on a parchment-lined baking sheet is highly recommended to bake them in the oven. The baking time would be approx. 3-5 minutes per side at 450° F. To get them a little crispier, you could consider brushing some oil on the parchment paper and even the tops of the dough but keep in mind that I did not test this method yet. 

*Make sure to refresh your GF sourdough starter at least once or twice before using it. I used a brown rice sourdough starter but a sorghum starter should be fine.
** GF baking powder ingredients: Tapioca starch, cream of tartar, baking soda.
***Sub with 2 tablespoons golden flaxseed meal.
**** Homemade plant milk (hemp, oat, seed/nut milk) works best. If you find your dough mixture too dry it’s ok to add 1 or 2 extra tablespoons of hemp milk. The consistency of the dough needs to be thick enough to be manipulated by hand. To make homemade milk: blend seeds, grains or nuts of choice with water.  On average it’s about 1/3 cup of seeds/nuts to 1-1/4 cups of water. If the seeds/nuts you choose are harder, soak them for a few hours before blending them. Strain milk for a smooth finish.


  1. I don’t usually leave reviews, but this recipe is absolutely amazing! I am the only GF person in my house, due to a wheat intolerance. Visiting PEI each summer, we always got beaver tails at the boardwalk. They hold great memories and are so delicious. I really missed them, one of the only things I have truly missed since going GF. We recently started making our own sour dough, including a GF starter for me, so when I found this recipe, it was perfect! Everyone else in the family lived them too! My 17 year old son has asked me EVERY SINGLE DAY if I am making these and when will make these for him again. I played around and shaped some of my beaver tails thin like the original ones, and some a bit thicker, as pictured here. It seem to be a personal preference for each family member as to what they preferred. Personally, I liked them a little bit thicker, they had the flavour of a beaver tail, but the texture that was reminiscent of my grandma‘s homemade donuts growing up. Absolutely delicious and not a complicated recipe at all! I’m making a couple batches today and plan to try freezing one of them. I’m going to try letting them thaw, then reheating and topping as we want to enjoy them. I’ll update if it works well!

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  2. Chantel, thanks for sharing your recipe! I made it this evening, replaced brown rice with buckwheat flour, and had to add a tad more liquid, perhaps due to buckwheat flour absorbed more liquid? Also I found the temperature was too high at 360°F. As soon as I dropped the dough in the hot oil, they get brown very fast. I wonder if I lowered to 275°F and let it cook slowly will be better. Thanks for your advice!

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    • Hi! Thank you for trying this recipe! I am not an expert at deep frying but from my experience the oil has to be hot enough or the donuts will absorb too much oil and result in greasy and soggy donuts. Ideally 350-375°F. The temperature will drop a bit once the dough is cooking. Are you cooking on a gas or electric stove? Did you use a candy thermometer to check the temperature of the oil? I mean if yours were getting too dark too fast, lower the temperature even more next time to see if it’s better.

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