Nanaimo Bars

Original Nanaimo Bars RecipeTruth be told, both the Hubby and I didn’t start to like Nanaimo Bars until just a few years ago and I’ve never made them before. But I saw this newspaper clipping for the original Nanaimo Bars recipe and decided to give the recipe a try.

They were delicious! I did make a very small change due to ingredient availability, where I used 1 ounce of dark baking chocolate with 3 ounces of semi-sweet baking chocolate. The bars are not overly sweet and I think I might even up the 1 ounce of dark chocolate to 2. Other than that small change, the Nanaimo bars were perfect.

It looks like a fussy recipe, but there is no baking involved, just the use of a bain marie (and I even used the microwave to melt the chocolate!)

Nanaimo Bars

Nanaimo Bars


Bottom Layer

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 5 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 3/4 cups graham wafer crumbs
  • 1/2 cup almonds chopped fine*
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Middle Layer

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons heavy cream (yes 2tbs + 2 tsp!)
  • 2 tablespoons custard powder **
  • 2 cups icing sugar

Top Layer

  • 2 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate
  • 2 ounces dark baking chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter


Bottom Layer

  • In a bain marie, melt the the butter, sugar, and cocoa. Mixing until the sugar is incorporated. Remove from the heat.
  • In a small bowl, beat the egg and slowly drizzle into the mix, whisking to combine.
  • Stir in crumbs, almonds, and coconut.
  • Line 2 sides and the bottom of an 8x8 pan with parchment paper, letting the side pieces hang over (to give you handles to lift the bars out),
  • Press the mix firmly into the pan until level.

Middle Layer

  • Cream all ingredients, beating for approximately 2 minutes, until fluffy and light. Note that it is a very thick batter!
  • Spread over the bottom layer, making an even layer.

Top Layer

  • Melt the chocolate and butter, stirring until combined. Let cool for a few minutes and then spread over the middle layer.
  • Set in refrigerator until completely cooled.
  • Use a knife to gently release from the 2 sides not covered by parchment paper and lift out of the pan to cut desired portions.


* I used slivered almonds that I needed to use up and it worked out fine!
** I used Birds Custard Powder found in the British section of the grocery store.
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