Nanaimo Bars

Nanaimo Bars Recipe

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Marie E


I object to the fact that "Canadian" is not an option in the obligatory regional field of the recipe categories section. For this reason, this recipe is listed as "Cajun", as it's the closest alphabetically to where "Canadian" should be in the list.

I got this recipe from the website for Canadian Living (I guess it was published in their July 2009 issue). Nanaimo Bars are a popular dessert in Western Canada. We usually eat them more often around the Christmas season, but they're appropriate all year round.


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I have an enormous sweet tooth-- this recipe could serve as few as 1. But it could also serve as ma
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  • 1 c
    graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 c
    sweetened, flaked or shredded coconut
  • 1/3 c
    finely chopped walnut halves (optional)
  • 1/4 c
    cocoa powder
  • 1/4 c
    granulated sugar
  • 1/3 c
    butter, melted
  • 1
    egg, lightly beaten

  • 1/4 c
  • 2 Tbsp
    vanilla custard powder or instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1/2 tsp
    vanilla extract
  • 2 c
    icing sugar
  • 2 Tbsp
    milk (approximately)

  • 4 oz
    semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp

How to Make Nanaimo Bars


  1. For the bottom layer, mix all ingredients together and press into a square 9x9 pan. Bake in preheated 350F oven for 7-10 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.
  2. Mix together the ingredients for the middle layer. You may have to add more milk or more powdered sugar to reach the desired consistency. And as far as consistency goes, remember that it needs to be spreadable. Once you've got the consistency right, spread it over the middle layer. The traditional Nanaimo Bar recipe is the one I've posted here, but you can get creative by adding some mint extract, some chopped maraschino cherries, or anything else you can dream up for this layer. Once you've spread this layer over the bottom layer, cool in the fridge until cold and a little hard.
  3. Melt together the ingredients for the top layer and, working quickly, spread this layer over the middle layer. You have to work quickly to avoid melting the butter in the middle layer. Return to refrigerator and allow chocolate to set. Once set, cut into bars and enjoy.

Printable Recipe Card

About Nanaimo Bars

Course/Dish: Cakes, Cookies, Chocolate
Main Ingredient: Sugar
Regional Style: Cajun/Creole
Other Tag: For Kids

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