canadian desserts

15 must-try desserts that are uniquely Canadian

Canadian desserts are definitely something that our country isn't apologizing for. From decadent pies to hearty bread puddings, Canada sure does sweet treats right, eh?

Here are some of the most unique desserts that had their humble beginnings in Canada.

Butter Tarts

Ah, butter tarts: a classic Canadian pastry filled with buttery goodness. The question of whether to add raisins to the tart has divided families for generations.

Nanaimo Bars

Who didn't bring these little bars to backyard barbecues growing up? Layered with a crumb base, custard icing and a chocolate ganache, this B.C. treat is a Canadian classic.


How could these world famous Canadian pastries not make the list? Whether you prefer your fried dough dipped in cinnamon sugar or coated in chocolate, you really can't go wrong with a BeaverTail.

Tarte au Sucre (Sugar Pie)

This delicious Quebecois pie is a rich, maple-y delight.  It's actually very similar to pies in France and America, but with the addition of maple sugar or syrup, because obviously.

Maple Taffy on Snow

Boiled maple sap that's hardened on fresh snow? Yes, please. It really doesn't get more Canadian than this dessert.

Pouding Chômeur

Translating to "poor man's pudding" in English, this dessert originated in Quebec during the depression. It's basically a cake batter with a generous drizzle of maple syrup on top of it, and dang, it's tasty.

Flapper Pie

This vanilla custard pie originated in Canada's Prairie provinces during the early 20th century. It isn't commonly made today, but the graham cracker crust and dreamy custard filling sure do make it sound appealing.

Nova Scotia Oatcakes

These flat, shortbread cookies are Scottish in origin, but the Canadian versions are usually a little crisper; they're an essential ingredient for an impressive afternoon tea.

Figgy Duff

Hailing from Newfoundland, this raisin-stuffed bread pudding is traditionally served as part of a Jiggs dinner (that's a hearty Sunday roast, for all of you non-Newfoundlanders out there).

Saskatoon Berry Pie

This Canadian classic shouldn't be confused with its cousin, the blueberry pie. They may look similar, but Saskatoon berries are just a little bit chewier.

Tiger Tail Ice Cream

Most Canadians had a scoop of this orange-flavoured gelato growing up — but did you realize that it was originally made in Canada? You won't find it almost anywhere else.

Persian Rolls

If you know, you know; Thunder Bay, Ont. residents will have certainly sampled one of these fried cinnamon rolls topped with pink berry icing. The rest of Canada is missing out.

Matrimonial Cake

The term "cake" is a little misleading here because the dessert is actually an oat bar filled with dates. In fact, plenty of Canadians call these "date squares" — it's only some Western Canadians that use the other term.

Blueberry Grunt

This Nova Scotia dessert is named after the sound that blueberries make when they cook. It's kind of like a cobbler, and kind of like tea biscuits drowned in blueberries. Whatever it is, it's delicious.


These little fried dough balls are a staple during any great Canadian road trip. Canadians just love their Timmy's, eh?

Canadian desserts aren't just delicious treats — they're also essential for storing up fat to survive the freezing, icy winters. Start whipping up those butter tarts now, Canada.

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez

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