Wanting a sweet tooth? Try these small-bite Canada-style desserts.
The cuisine of this place is a massive cultural poutine of distinct dishes that range across the country, with influences from England, Scotland, France, America, and indigenous nations.
Here are the top 30 Canadian desserts you need to try:
1. Nanaimo bars
This is named after the city in British Columbia where it originated, making it possibly the most famous of Canadian desserts. Its gooey sweetness is world-renowned, and it is simply made from a coconut-graham, custard filling, cracker-nut crust, and chocolate ganache topping.
2. Butter tarts
Should you raisin or not raisin? That is the point of contention when discussing butter tarts, Canada’s other most famous dessert. Many people believe that there is nothing more Canadian than these tarts made of butter, syrup, sugar, egg, and possibly raisins in pastry, depending on which side of the debate the chef is on.
Every country has flatbread, but this one comes from Scotland. It’s a simple bread with many flavor options that can be baked or fried. Baking produces heavier, more filling bread, whereas frying produces light and fluffy bread. It’s delicious either way.
What began as a simple doughnut treat in Tim Horton’s and was named after the national hockey league player of the same name grew into an internationally known treasure with a multi-billion dollar franchise.
The blueberry goodness of this dessert may make you grunt in delight, but the name comes from the grunting sound the blueberries make while cooking beneath the soft, biscuit-like dough. This stovetop cobbler can be made with strawberries, saskatoon berries, or rhubarb, in addition to blueberries, which are abundant in the summer.
6. Date squares
Dates are one of the most delicious, nutritious, and underappreciated fruits available. Sandwich-cooked dates between layers of a crumbly oat base and topping for a delectable treat that’s almost too healthy to call dessert.
7. Newfoundland snowballs
These no-bake treats are the most searched-for recipe from Newfoundland on the internet, and it’s easy to see why. These soft, fudgy, and chewy holiday treats are made on the stovetop by combining milk, chocolate, butter, and sugar, then adding oats and rolling in coconut. They are delicious bite-sized treats; try not to eat more than five!
8. Persian rolls
These are a popular sweet roll found in thunder bay, Ontario, named after a world war I general who visited the inventor while he was making his dough. It’s a fried doughnut in the shape of a round or oval, similar to a cinnamon bun, but with a lightly sweet pink berry icing.
9. Flapper pie
If you enjoy cream pies, you’ll enjoy flapper pie. It was once a staple in prairie homes, but not so much anymore. It is delicious and very simple to make! It was created during the flapper era, hence the name, and is a light dessert with a classic graham crumb crust, delicious vanilla custard, and light meringue on top.
10. Sugar pie
This pie’s main ingredients are sugar and maple syrup, making it a sweet tooth’s paradise. To make it better, add butter and cream, some salt and vanilla for flavor, and a flaky pie crust on top. This pie is delicious, served alone or with ice cream or whipped cream.
11. Ice cream
You wouldn’t think that a country with six or more months of winter in some cities would enjoy ice cream, but this treat is so popular that Canada has developed two unique flavors that you won’t find anywhere else. Tiger tail is made by combining orange ice cream and black licorice ribbons to create black stripes; thus, the name. Moon mist ice cream, an unusual but delicious blend of banana, grape, and bubblegum that creates a beautifully colorful swirl that has inspired other foods, yarn, and even hair colors, is especially popular on Nova Scotia’s east coast.
12. Grandpères (Quebec style)
Grandpères are made with butter, but if you want to be authentic and aren’t vegetarian, make pork rinds and use the leftover lard for the dumplings. Naturally, you then smother them in maple syrup.
13. Saskatoon berry pie
All kinds of delicious berries can be found in the few short months of Canadian summer. Saskatoons, on the other hand, are a pome fruit, not a berry! Because these fruits are high in antioxidants, vitamins, and other nutrients, they were likely used as medicine. Saskatoons, which resemble blueberries in appearance, have a sweet, nutty flavor, making this pie, which originated on the Canadian prairies, a unique favorite.
14. Figgy duff
The name of this traditional Newfoundland steamed pudding in a bag comes from two old Cornish colloquialisms, figgy, which means raisins, and duff, which means pudding or dough. Breadcrumbs, raisins, brown sugar, molasses, butter, flour, and spices are steamed in a bag with the Sunday dinner vegetables until it resembles bread. It can be topped with maple syrup, whipped cream, or custard. The figgy duff is such a popular Newfoundland dessert that a Newfie rock band was named after it.
Let’s be a little loose with the term dessert, shall we, so we can also discuss some of Canada’s best candy and confections? Molasses makes them soft, chewy, and hearty, and they’re sometimes zhuzhed with cocoa powder or icing.
16. Pouding chômeur
While the word chômeur in french means “unemployment,” this dessert is rich in sweetness and warmth. During the great depression, québécois factory workers invented it by using stale bread as the base and pouring it over a maple syrup custard.
While baking, the custard syrup sinks through the bread to the bottom, resulting in a creamy, soft, and sweet bread pudding.
17. Tire sur la neige (maple taffy)
Snow and maple syrup are two of the main things that come to mind when you think of Canada. When you combine the two, you get tire sur la neige. Pour maple syrup over snow until it’s gooey; roll it on a popsicle stick to make maple taffy!
18. Maple syrup
You can find recipes for almost anything, including pancakes, pies, cupcakes, cookies, candy, toffee, fudge, and so on. In these recipes, you can use maple-flavored syrup, but nothing beats real maple syrup from a sugar maple tree.
19. Ganong chocolates and candy
Ganong brothers, Canada’s oldest candy company, was founded in 1873 and had a long history of success. In 1895, they created their signature candy, chicken bones, a pink, cinnamon-flavored hard candy filled with bittersweet chocolate; in 1895, they created the first Canadian lollipop; in 1909, they were the first to sell milk chocolate nut bars, which are still produced today under the brand name pal-o-mine.
20. Morden’s mints
Morden’s of Winnipeg, Manitoba, is another well-known Canadian confectioner and chocolatier. Russian mints, their signature treat, are premium milk chocolate filled with a smooth mint filling.
21. Coffee crisp
Add a layer of vanilla wafers with a layer of foamy coffee cream and a layer of milk chocolate to make this 80-year-old Canadian chocolate bar. Canadian expats all over the world, including some Americans, lament the fact that it is only found in Canada, demonstrating how much it is adored.
22. Laura Secord chocolate
In 1913, a small candy store named after Laura Secord, the Canadian heroine who helped the British win the war of 1812, opened in Toronto. The shop had nothing to do with her, and in fact, most Canadians are more familiar with the Laura Secord chocolate and ice cream shops than they are with the woman. Laura Secord has expanded to over 100 locations and has become Canada’s largest and most well-known chocolatier, with over 400 products.
23. Mackintosh toffee
In 1890, John Mackintosh and his wife, Violet, moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia, with the intention of creating their own specialty toffee. What they came up with was a timeless, memorable cross between English butterscotch hard candies and American soft caramel, resulting in a delectable treat that starts hard and softens as you eat it. Soften it first and then bite into it, or smack the mack to break it up into smaller pieces. Eating delicious candy is always enjoyable.
24. Joe Louis
This is not related to the American boxer Joe Louis but rather to Joseph and Louis Vachon of the Vachon company, who created this confection in 1932. These cream-filled snack cakes are encased in a milk chocolate shell and made with red velvet cake before it was a thing.
25. Matrimonial cake
The name of this lovingly paired combination of a crumbly oatmeal base and the sweet and chewy date filling is derived from an old custom of breaking the cake over the heads of newlyweds. However, a matrimonial cake is known by various names across Canada, including date squares and date crumbles.
This humble dessert is thought to have originated when people couldn’t afford more expensive flour, so rolled oats were always used as a base, and fruit or sweetmeat was used for the filling.
This hand-stretched fried piece of dough is popular across the country. The dough is stretched into the shape of a beaver’s tail and dusted with cinnamon sugar before being served with a variety of interesting toppings. Toppings for one of Canada’s most popular desserts include Nutella, bananas, caramel, M&M’s, and crushed Oreo cookies. There are an infinite number of delectable toppings that can be paired with this golden, heavenly dessert.
27. Sucre à la crème
To put it another way, fudge! Fudge that is sweet, creamy, and gooey. No one will blame you if you eat this all year instead of just around Christmas.
Only vanilla extract is used to flavor this fudge, allowing the butter and sugar to shine! It’s decadent and sweet, and it’ll be gone before you know it! Bring a tray of sugar à la crème to your next gathering for an elegant dessert that will disappear quickly.
28. Puffed wheat squares
These are similar to rice krispies treats but with a heartier substitution. For a crunchy twist, substitute puffed wheat cereal for the rice krispies.
However, butter and marshmallows are still used in this recipe to keep the cereal together.
These molasses cookies will not disappoint! Their soft and chewy texture complements a hot cup of tea and a roaring fire.
Don’t be fooled by their rustic appearance. Molasses flavor pervades these cookies.
30. Maple butter tart liqueur
This liqueur combines all of the flavors from the previous recipes into one delicious drink. Traditional, rich maple is combined with elegant vanilla and savory butter to create a liqueur that is equal parts drink and dessert. Brew with patience, as this liqueur takes at least two weeks to mature.
Canadian desserts, like their American counterparts, come in both baked and unbaked varieties. And they’re all simple to make. So, don’t be afraid to learn something new. You could throw a party full of Canadian treats for your relatives!