Nanaimo Bars

Nanaimo Bars

This tasty treat is a traditional Canadian dessert. What I didn’t realize was that it was actually from Canada. Silly me had grown up in Washington state, and just thought everyone had these tasty treats. Naturally they were at the local Starbucks-so wouldn’t all of the Starbucks carry them? Apparently not, it appears that only the Pacific Northwest and Canada has this. Well now all of you Texans can try something new and bite into one of these super sweet and rich Nanaimo bars.


Chocolate Coconut Layer

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup Sweet coconut
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts

Custard Buttercream Layer

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream or milk
  • 2 tablespoons custard powder or Vanilla Jello Pudding Powder
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Chocolate Layer

  • 4 (1 ounce) squares semisweet baking chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons butter


  1. Coconut Layer: Beat the egg in a small bowl and put aside. In the top of a double boiler, combine 1/2 cup butter, white sugar and cocoa powder. Stir occasionally until melted and smooth. Temper the egg by slowly adding a 1/4 cup of the warm chocolate mixture to the egg, whisking constantly. Add the egg back into the remaining chocolate mixture, whisking constantly until combined. Stir mixture until thick, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and mix in the graham cracker crumbs, coconut and almonds. Press into the bottom of an ungreased 8×8 inch pan.
  2. Custard Layer: Cream together 1/2 cup butter, heavy cream and custard powder until light and fluffy. Mix in the confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Spread over the bottom layer in the pan. Chill to set.
  3. Chocolate Layer: While the second layer is chilling, melt the semisweet chocolate and 2 tablespoons butter together in a double boiler. Let cool until no longer hot to the touch. Spread over the chilled bars. Let the chocolate set in refrigerator before cutting into squares. (I let it set about 2 hours before cutting it, when the chocolate was no longer oozing, but was not quite hard yet.)