nanaimo bars

Oh Nanaimo bars...why are you so delicious?!  My sister is the queen of nanaimo bars, and this recipe is her baby.  They are just so good!

Now I'd have to say that the most difficult part about making Nanaimo Bars is having patience.  None of the steps are very difficult at all, but waiting for each layer to set can be torture!

If you're not familiar with them, Nanaimo bars are a no-bake dessert with three layers: a graham wafer crust, a custardy-icing layer, and then topped with chocolate.  So delish.  And Nanaimo bars actually originated from Nanaimo, British Columbia (although you might find the odd person that disagrees with this attribution).

n a n a i m o   b a r s

by: Jordyn Siemens

Bottom Layer:

1/2 cup butter [very soft]

2 tablespoons cocoa

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

5 tablespoons white sugar

1 tablespoon ground flax seed mixed with

3 tablespoon of water

2 cups graham wafer crumbs

Middle Layer:

4 tablespoons softened butter

3 tablespoons milk (or cream)

2 tablespoons vanilla custard powder

2 cups icing sugar

Top Layer:

1 cup chocolate chips [or 6 baking squares]

1 tablespoon shortening


1.  Place melted butter, cocoa, vanilla, sugar, and flax seed mixture in a bowl.  Stir mixture until creamy.

2.  Mix wafer crumbs and coconut into the cocoa mixture.  

3. Pack into an 8x8 pan.  I usually line the pan with parchment paper, and when I am ready to cut the bars, I just lift it out, and place it on a cutting board.

4.  Refrigerate until the bottom is solid (about 30 mins).

5.  In a seperate bowl, mix butter, milk, custard powder and icing sugar together.  

6.  Spread over bottom layer.

7.  Melt chocolate chips and shortening together either in a saucepan or in the microwave; be careful not to burn! The shortening will ensure that the chocolate layer isn't too solid, so it wont crack when cutting.

8.  Spread chocolate evenly over middle layer.

9.  Refrigerate for approximately 5 mins.  

10.  Once the chocolate has begun to harden, I like to score it with my knife.  This makes it easier to cut after it has totally hardened. 

11.  Place nanaimo bars back in the fridge for at least 30 mins.

12.  Once they have completely hardened, lift the parchment out of the pan onto a cutting board, and using a large knife, cut the nanaimo bars all the way.

Store in the fridge in an airtight container.

Lining your pan with parchment is the biggest pain in the butt, but it will save you so much grief later!  Once the chocolate has set, you can just lift the whole thing out onto a cutting board!  Be sure to score the chocolate first to help make the cutting even easier.  If your chocolate starts to crack, make your scores deeper, or let it sit on the counter for a few minutes to let the chocolate soften a bit.

nanaimo bars-42.jpg

Try mixing up the flavour of the icing layer if you want them to be super special.  I've done mint, which is amazing!  And I've seen people do raspberry as well, which I think would be super yummy.

Happy baking!