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Otter Tails {aka Elephant Ears}

Otter tails or scones--no matter what you call them, they are a delicious treat! Be sure to serve these warm and fresh!

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword otter tails, scones
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 8 Servings
Calories 219kcal
Author Lauren


  • 1/4 cup hot tap water
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • .25 oz quick rise yeast 1 packet
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2-2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • any light colored oil for frying such as canola, vegetable or peanut oil 

sweet toppings:

  • sugar
  • cinnamon
  • lemon juice
  • nutella


  • 1. In large bowl pour in hot water and 1 teaspoon of the measured sugar. Sprinkle yeast over top and stir. Set aside to proof, about 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in microwave safe bowl, heat milk, butter and remaining sugar to melt butter and dissolve sugar. Stir to cool--you want it to be a little warmer than room temperature, but not scalding to kill the yeast.
  • Pour butter liquid into yeast mixture and stir. Whisk in egg and salt. Stir in flour using 1/2 cup increments until it forms a dough. Knead dough 2-3 minutes until a slightly sticky dough has formed, adding more flour when necessary.
  • Place dough into bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Store in a draft free, warm spot in your kitchen for an hour or so to let dough rise. Punch dough down and cut into 8 equal pieces.
  • Preheat oil in fryer or deep skillet to 350 degrees, or medium heat on the stove top. Roll dough out to be long ovals that are 1/4-1/8 inch thick...or should I say thin. And, they don't have to be perfect looking either. Mine weren't: Carefully place in hot oil and fry 20-30 seconds per side. (See recipe tips at bottom)
  • Once dough has finished cooking remove from oil and hold it over the pan to let the excess oil drip off of it. Then immediately coat in cinnamon sugar--a classic combination! You could also place on paper towels and then spread on Nutella as well. Another favorite way is coating it in sugar and then adding a little lemon juice. So tasty! Be sure to serve these warm and fresh!


Your oil should be hot enough to get a medium to lightly dark brown color on them within 30 seconds. The dough will puff up, so you may want to cut a slit in the middle to cook the dough evenly. You could also press the middle down into the oil using tongs.


Calories: 219kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 33mg | Sodium: 341mg | Potassium: 68mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 173IU | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 2mg