Saturday, September 1, 2012

Nanaimo Bars

I rediscovered these a few years ago.  My mom made them growing up and my dad repeatedly tells the story of how he ate half a pan of them as a kid and now can't go near them.  I, however, can go near them.  They are pretty much to.die.for. There's butter in all three layers.  They are rich and sweet and go down nicely with a glass of milk.  This recipe makes a 9 x 13 pan, but they are pretty thick so I cut them fairly small so they go a long way.  Share with friends and/or co-workers and they will love you forever. 

I cut these ones even smaller than normal and put lettering on them for a baby shower a while back. 


Bottom Layer:
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup cocoa
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 cups graham cracker crumbs (one 14.4 ounce box)
  • 2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes 
  • 1 cup walnuts, finely chopped (Use a food processor if you have one.)
Melt butter, sugar, and cocoa in a bowl set over hot water on medium heat or in a double boiler.  Mix well.   

Remove from heat and add eggs and vanilla.   
Place graham cracker crumbs, coconut, and walnuts in a large bowl.

Add cocoa/butter mixture and mix well. 

Line 9 x 13 pan with parchment with handles hanging over the edge.  This makes removing the bars MUCH easier when they're done. 

It should look something like this:


Press firmly into a 9 x 13 pan using your fingers and/or a tart tamper.
Place in refrigerator while mixing the next layer.

Second Layer:
  • 1 cup butter
  • 4 tablespoons custard powder
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Cream butter and custard powder.

Add powdered sugar a little at a time. 

Add milk and beat until light and creamy.

Spread on top of bottom layer.

Place in refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.

NOTE:  Scrape the bowl well a time or two while you're mixing this layer. 

Top Layer:
  • 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
  • 4 tablespoons butter

Melt chocolate and butter together in a bowl set over hot water on medium heat or in a double boiler.

Mix well and spread on top.

Chill in refrigerator.

NOTE:  I think these taste better at room temperature, but I still keep them in the refrigerator until it's time to serve them.  Let them sit out for a bit before eating. 


  1. Oh MAN these look amazing. Do you think I could sub another nut for the walnuts? How do you think macadamia nuts or almonds would be? (I can't eat walnuts, pecans, or hazelnuts... sad day.)

  2. I've definitely read about people using almonds instead of walnuts. I actually think that would be tasty! I love almonds. I'm sure macadamia nuts would be great too. These will be worth the points, I promise!