Amazing Mammoth Elephant Ears Recipe

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Mammoth Elephant Ears

Making homemade mammoth elephant ears is a very easy process and makes the perfect treat for you to enjoy! I am excited to share this super simple recipe with you, and have you get to taste the delicious reward from your efforts!

Elephant Ear close up

Elephant Ears

I always look forward to the onset of fall. Not only does it mean that cooler temperatures will soon be coming, but I also love watching the leaves change colors. This season also ushers in a change in foods as well, foods like soup, bread, and one of my favorites is gigantic elephant ears! Today, I am excited to share with you, a very easy way to make these mammoth elephant ears, right in your own kitchen, for a low cost, and in a way that everyone is going to love. 

Learn About Elephant Ears

Perhaps you are not familiar with the food, known as elephant ears. Elephant ears are made from basic bread dough or sometimes sweet dough. The dough is formed into a flat type of bread.

Typically, elephant ears are then taken and placed into warm frying oil and deep-fried on both sides until the bread is fully cooked. After the bread has been cooked and removed from the frying oil. It is then topped with items such as brown sugar, cinnamon, powdered sugar, or pretty much anything else you can dream of. Making this a very delicious treat that can be enjoyed by everyone.

Origins of Elephant Ears as Food

Elephant ears have quite a complicated history. Their origins can be traced back to the Navajo tribe of the Native Americans who lived in the Arizona and New Mexico territories. During the mid-19th century, it is said that out of necessity Native Americans created what was known as fry bread. Fry bread was created in sweet and savory versions as a means of survival. The fried bread transitioned over the years to become a fair food favorite.   

Top State Fair Food: Elephant Ears

When you visit any state fair today, you will most likely think of the typical fair foods. The most common type of fair foods though is those that are fried. The most popular type of food at any state fair is usually the elephant ears. 

County Fair Elephant Ears Recipe

One of my family’s fall traditions has been to visit one of our local county fairs. I always love the smell of fresh elephant ears. Those elephant ears are one of the main attractions of the fair. Not only do those elephant ears look and smell amazing, but they are also mammoth! I mean, they are so huge, that they are larger than the size of a person’s face!

Fried Elephant Ears

Every year, after drooling over the fried elephant ears at the fair, I typically end up coming home and making some for the entire family. The great thing is, I can easily make enough for the whole family, for less than the cost of one from the fair. Not only is the cost lower, but they turn out to be just as huge, and just as delicious. Plus, we have more time to sit down, and fully enjoy the tasty treat. Let’s take a look at just how easy these are to make at home. 

Elephant Ears cherry topping out a bit

Easy Elephant Ears Recipe: How to Make It

Making your own fried elephant ears at home is surprisingly easy. There are only a few ingredients you will need to gather for the basic elephant ear. Then you have all the freedom in the world to add whatever toppings sound good to you. 

How To Make Elephant Ears

What You’ll Need:

Frozen bread dough, that has been thawed
Canola oil for frying
Your choice of toppings (see list below for ideas)
Tongs
Paper towel
Large pot
Thermometer 

What to Do: 

Start off by dividing your thawed loaf of white bread dough into three (or four) sections. Flatten each section out and allow it to rise in a warm location for about 30 minutes. 

Pour your oil into a large, deep pot. Allow it to heat up over medium heat. Be sure to have a thermometer in your oil at all times to monitor your temperature. Do not allow the oil to exceed 365°F. Try to maintain an oil temperature of 350°F. 

Once your oil is at 350°F, carefully add your first portion of flattened bread dough to your oil. CAUTION: your oil is very hot and can easily burn you if it splashes at all. I would recommend placing your dough into the oil using long tongs or a spatula. 

Allow your bread dough to cook until it is golden on the bottom, then flip and allow it to become golden on the remaining side. Once golden in color on both sides, remove it from the oil, using tongs, and place it onto a plate that is lined with a paper towel. 

Allow your elephant ear to rest on the paper towel before moving to a clean plate and add your toppings. Enjoy immediately after adding toppings. 

Topping Ideas

Brown sugar
Granulated sugar 
Cinnamon
Powdered sugar
Cherry pie filling
Apple pie filling 
Strawberry sauce
Whipped cream
Chocolate syrup
Hot fudge
Nutella 
Maple syrup
Cheese sauce
Garlic butter
Honey
Butter
Melted peanut butter
Fresh fruit

Elephant Ear cherry topping close up

Elephant Ears Recipe

Details

Rise Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 6 mammoth elephant ears

Kitchen Equipment

Deep pot
Tongs
Paper towel
Thermometer 

Ingredients

2 loaves frozen bread dough, thawed completely
48 oz canola oil

Cinnamon Topping

½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp cinnamon

Directions

Step 1

Divide each loaf of thawed bread dough into three or four even sections. Flatten the sections of dough out as flat as you can make them. Cover them and place them in a warm dry area to rise for 30 minutes. 

Step 2

Pour oil into a large, deep pot and place over medium heat with a thermometer to monitor the heat. Allow to warm to 350°F. Do not allow the temperature to pass 375°F for canola oil. See What Is An Oil’s Smoke Point for details. 

Step 3

Once the oil is around 350°F, take one of your flattened pieces of bread dough that has had a chance to rest for 30 minutes and carefully add it into the hot oil. WARNING be very careful because the oil can easily burn you. To be safe, we recommend using tongs or a spatula to gingerly place the dough into the oil without splashing it. 

Step 4

Allow the bread dough to cook until it is golden in color on each side. Once the bottom is golden, flip and allow the remaining side to cook until it is golden. 

Step 5

When both sides appear to be golden in color, remove the cooked bread dough from the oil, using tongs, and place it on a plate lined with a paper towel. Allow it to rest for a moment, before moving it to a clean plate and adding your desired toppings. Serve immediately and enjoy! 

Note

Use extreme caution when working with hot oil. Be very careful to avoid burning yourself. Also, be very aware of the temperature of your oil.

You will want to be careful to maintain your temperature as you cook, but not overheat your oil, as it will catch on fire if it is too warm. Please note that if a grease fire does occur, you will want to use a fire extinguisher, or baking soda to put it out. Do not use water. In extreme cases, the fire department will need to be called. However, if you carefully monitor the oil temperature, you will be able to cook these without any mishaps. 

Elephant Ear raw bread dough
Elephant Ear dough in oil
Elephant Ear resting
Elephant Ear close up

Tips & Tricks

Some of the biggest challenges to making mammoth elephant ears include maintaining the oil temperature, knowing when your elephant ears are done, the trick to making them mammoth in size, and what to do if you don’t have a thermometer. 

Maintaining The Oil Temp

First, let’s look at maintaining the oil temperature. This is key because you don’t want your oil to get so hot, that it catches on fire, but you also don’t want it to cool off, because then your elephant ear won’t cook properly, and will become bogged down with oil. Using a cooking thermometer will help you with this. Also, pay attention to how the oil is reacting to your bread dough. As long as it keeps up a steady stream of bubbles, you are good. If these seem to slack off, try increasing your temperature slightly. 

Fully Cooked

Knowing when your elephant ear is done is another thing that can be hard to judge if you are new to working with oil. The best way to tell is to watch the color of your elephant ear. For best results, your elephant ear will be about the color of honey when it is fully cooked on both sides. 

Mammoth In Size

The trick to making them mammoth in size lies in two different aspects of the cooking process. The first step you will want to be sure to follow is to allow them time to rise after your dough has been pressed. The second is to maintain your oil temperature. You may notice that the more you make, the bigger your elephant ears become. This tends to be because your dough has had time to rest, and your oil has fully heated up. 

No Thermometer

What if you don’t have a thermometer? Never fear. If you do not have a thermometer to monitor the temperature, don’t worry. There is a trick you can use, however, it might be wise to go find a thermometer if you are a newbie to deep frying. If you have some experience under your belt, you can take a piece of raw dough and break it off. As you think your oil is getting warm, drop the small ball of dough into the oil and watch to see if it begins to cook. As it starts to turn golden, you will know that your oil is close to being ready to use. 

Nutrition Facts

We estimate that one loaf of bread can be divided into three large elephant ears, allowing this recipe to make a total of six elephant ears. These nutritional facts are based upon the serving of one elephant ear. Please note that these nutritional facts may change, depending on what kind of bread dough and oil you use. 

We estimate that one mammoth elephant ear contains a total of 551 calories. We also estimate that it contains 25.3g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 564mg sodium, 70g carbohydrates, and 10.1g protein. 

Elephant Ear top down

Elephant Ears Food Recipes

There are a few different variations on how you can enjoy mammoth elephant ears, that you might be interested in trying out. Below are a few summaries of these different ideas. 

Baked Elephant Ears Recipe: How to Make It

If you prefer, you can also make baked elephant ears, using the above recipe. Simply place your pieces of dough onto a cookie sheet, and brush both sides with oil. Bake at 400°F for 8 minutes, or until they are golden brown. 

Country Fair Fried Dough

To make these, you can use a frying pan, that is lightly coated in oil. Add your bread dough, and fry on both sides, until your dough is fully cooked. Remove and add your toppings, before you serve and enjoy the treat. 

Cinnamon Elephant Ears

Cinnamon elephant ears are one of my favorites. Simply prepare your elephant ears as instructed above. Then when finished cooking, add brush your finished bread dough with cinnamon, along with any other toppings you wish for. You may also create a glaze to drizzle on top by combining powdered sugar, cinnamon, and milk. 

Mini Elephant Ears | Baby Elephant Ears Recipe

Mini elephant ears may be enjoyed instead of mammoth ones if you prefer. Simply divide the bread dough into much smaller portions, before following the above recipe. I would recommend dividing the bread dough into eight pieces of dough instead of three, to make mini elephant ears. 

Elephant Ears Biscuit Recipe

This idea allows you to make biscuits that are shaped like elephant heads! To make these you will need a can of biscuits and the cinnamon sugar topping outlined above. To make each elephant, you will need two biscuits. Start off by cutting one of the biscuits into three horizontal pieces, and leaving one biscuit whole. Place the whole biscuit on a greased cookie sheet, and press the biscuit that is intact out on the cookie sheet. Next, take the two outside pieces of the cut biscuit, and press them into the place of the elephant’s ears. Press to attach to the whole biscuit. Finally, take the straight piece from the center of your cut biscuit, and press it to the whole biscuit in place of the nose. If desired, add a slight twist to the trunk. Sprinkle your cinnamon sugar mixture on top and bake according to instructions. Place chocolate chips on the elephant for the eyes. Now you have a treat, that all the little people in your life will enjoy. 

Elephant Ear Cookies | French Palmier Cookies (Elephant Ears)

Elephant ear cookies, also known as French palmier cookies can be made using bread dough, or using puff pastry dough. To make these cookies, you will want to roll your dough out, then brush with melted butter. Next, sprinkle with cinnamon and brown sugar.  Working from both outside edges, take your dough and start rolling it, until you reach the center. Repeat with the opposite side, until you meet in the center. Cut into cookies, and place on a baking sheet. Freeze for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 450°F and bake for 5-6 minutes. Flip over, flatten with a spatula, and cook for another 2-5 minutes. Sprinkle with additional toppings if desired, serve and enjoy. 

FAQ

What are elephant ears?

Elephant ears are a portion of bread dough that has been flattened, deep-fried, and topped with your favorite goodies. 

Is there a recipe for self-rising flour?

Yes, you can make your own self-rising flour using 1 cup all-purpose flour, ¼ tsp salt, and 1 ½ tsp baking powder. 

Can elephant ears be made ahead of time?

While elephant ears can be made ahead of time, they are best when fresh. 

What toppings go on deep-fried elephant ears?

Any toppings may be added that you desire. The most common toppings include: cinnamon, brown sugar, granulated sugar, powdered sugar, chocolate sauce, caramel syrup, fruit sauce, pie filling, Nutella, peanut butter, butter, garlic butter, cheese sauce, and pretty much anything you can dream up. 

Can I make the biscuits homemade instead of using store-bought?

Yes! For sure you can. See our biscuit recipe for instructions on how to make it. 

Can I Add Anything To This Elephant Ears Biscuit Recipe?

Yes! Feel free to use your imagination and add anything you wish! 

What is the best recipe for elephant ears?

I am biased to our recipe given above, because it is super easy, and makes the best elephant ears I have ever had. Give it a try to see for yourself! 

How do you make elephant ear cookies?

You can make elephant ear cookies using puff pastry dough or bread dough, roll them up like a cinnamon roll, and cut the dough into thin cookie-like slices before baking. 

What is elephant ear fried dough?

Elephant ear fried dough is basically fried bread dough. It can be made from a sweet bread base, or a basic white bread. Either way, you are in for a treat! 

What is an elephant ear cookie?

An elephant ear cookie is a cookie made from puff pastry dough, or bread dough, and rolled with a cinnamon and sugar mixture, before being baked. 

What Would You Serve This Elephant Ears Recipe With?

There are many things you can serve with elephant ears. However, elephant ears probably are best enjoyed as snacks, appetizers, or as desserts!

Homemade Elephant Ears!

Homemade elephant ears are the best treat ever! They are easy to make using two ingredients and can be topped with anything you can dream up! When you make them at home, you get to enjoy them while they are super fresh, and that makes them amazing. 

Best Elephant Ear I’ve Ever Had

Ready to try the best elephant ears you have ever had? I am so excited to get to share with you, my all-time favorite recipe for the best elephant ears I have ever had. They are so simple to make, and taste so delicious. These will hit the spot for you! 

Mammoth Elephant Ears Recipe

Our amazing mammoth elephant ears recipe is very simple to make and will be a new favorite! This recipe only requires two ingredients, plus gives you creative license to top these amazing treats with anything you desire. Give them a try today and let us know what you think! 

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