Nanaimo Bars

Nanaimo Bars are a true Canadian classic. Delicious layers of chocolate coconut crumb, custard filling and chocolate coating.

Nanaimo Bars

I don’t know any Canadian baker that doesn’t have this recipe somewhere in one of their fund-raiser cookbooks, recipe cards, or scribbled in a notebook. These tasty little bars bring back fond memories of childhood as they were always prepared for holidays and special occasions by someone in our large family.

Nanaimo Bars

I omitted the nuts when I prepared them as my son is allergic to nuts. It was actually the good old Nanaimo Bar that gave him his first allergic reaction at three years old. We went from having a great time at a Christmas party to the Emergency Ward! If your fine with nuts I would add either finely chopped almonds or walnuts.

Nanaimo Bars

Nanaimo Bars
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 36
  • Layer 1
  • ½ cup butter
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 5 tablespoons cocoa
  • 1¾ cups graham wafer crumbs
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ½ cup finely chopped walnuts or almonds (optional)
  • Layer 2
  • ½ cup soft butter
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla custard powder ( I like Bird's Brand)
  • 2 cups icing sugar (confectioners' sugar)
  • Layer 3
  • 4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  1. Bottom layer
  2. Melt butter, sugar and cocoa in heavy saucepan (medium-low heat).
  3. Add egg and stir to cook and thicken.
  4. Remove from heat, stir in graham crumbs and coconut (also nuts if you use).
  5. Press firmly into ungreased 9x9 inch pan.
  6. Second Layer
  7. With mixer cream butter until fluffy.
  8. Add milk, custard powder and icing sugar.
  9. Beat until light and well combined.
  10. Spread over bottom layer.
  11. Third Layer
  12. Melt chocolate chips and butter over low heat.
  13. Cool, but only to point chocolate is still runny.
  14. Spread over second layer.
  15. Refrigerate until set.
  16. Cut with sharp knife into 36 squares.
*if chocolate hardens too much, leave sit at room temperature for a while to prevent chocolate from cracking apart.

Some more great treats to enjoy! Old Fashioned Butter Tarts, Date Squares and Chocolate Caramel Rice Krispie Squares

Chocolate Caramel Rice KrispiesOld Fashioned Butter TartsDate Squares
Nanaimo Bars


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