Looking for an easy no-bake treat? Give this favorite Canadian dessert a try! You’ll love the crunchy, creamy, and chocolatey layers – not to mention how easy Nanaimo Bars are to make.
- 1 😍 About This Recipe
- 2 👍 Recipe Variations, Notes & Tips
- 3 😍 Best Canadian Nanaimo Bar Recipe
- 4 👋 New to International Baking & Dessert Making?
- 5 👀 Looking for More Chocolate Recipes?
- 6 Ultimate Canadian Nanaimo Bars
- 7 Make More Easy No-Bake Recipes
😍 About This Recipe
Turns out I’ve been pronouncing the name of this delicious Canadian dessert incorrectly since I was six years old.
How do you pronounce Nanaimo bars? (Besides the obvious de-li-cious.)
Last summer, my Canadian friend, Sabrina, set me straight while visiting her in Vancouver, BC. Turns out they’re pronounced Na-NEYE-mo….not NAA-ni-mo – bars.
Glad to finally know that!
Nanaimo Bars are named after where they originated, namely the city of Nanaimo on Vancouver Island in British Columbia.
Having grown up eating peanut butter Nanaimo bars, I decided to try the custard variety when I got back to North Carolina.
Wow, these Nanaimo bars are tasty! I love the rich, dense, creamy, buttery custard.
The nutty chocolate crust balances out the sweet filling, and the chocolate topping just makes it rich and delicious.
Give these no bake Nanaimo bars a try! You only need a few simple ingredients, they’re easy to make, and are a definite crowd pleaser.
👍 Recipe Variations, Notes & Tips
- Double Boiler. You can use a double-boiler to melt the butter and chocolate, but I don’t have one, so I used a sauce pan over low heat and it worked just fine.
- Butter. Make sure the butter that you use for the filling is room temperature. Otherwise you may end up biting into chunks of butter in your bars!
- Unsweetened Coconut. Since these bars are already very sweet, I highly recommend unsweetened coconut. I prefer using the finely shredded coconut in this recipe.
- Dark Chocolate. I like to use dark chocolate in the top layer to balance the sweet middle layer but feel free to use milk chocolate if you prefer it.
- Bar Size. The recipe suggests cutting the bars into 9 slices. Those slices will be big! These bars are quite rich, so you might want to make them smaller. I often cut each of those 9 slices into 2 bars or 4 bite-sized pieces and find one of those more than enough.
- Tip: If you’re ever in Nanaimo, Canada, use this guide to follow the Nanaimo bar trail!
😍 Best Canadian Nanaimo Bar Recipe
This recipe has 3 layers. Each layer is quick and easy to make.
To make the bottom layer, melt butter in a large saucepan, then add cocoa powder and sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved.
Add one beaten egg. Stir well to cook egg while the mixture is hot.
Take the saucepan off heat and stir in shredded coconut, chopped almonds, and graham cracker crumbs. Stir until everything is well combined.
Press the coconut mixture into an ungreased 8×8 pan. I like to line my pan with parchment paper to make it easy to lift out of the pan.
Chill the bottom layer in the fridge while you make the filling. Doing so will make it easier to spread the filling on the bottom layer.
To make the filling, add softened butter, powdered sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla pudding mix (or custard powder) to a mixing bowl. Beat until light and fluffy. I love using my Breville hand mixer for this. I’m seriously in love with that mixer!
Spread the custard mixture over the bottom layer. Then chill in the fridge while you prepare the top layer.
The last step is to make the top layer. First, melt chocolate and butter in the microwave or on the stove using a double boiler or a heatproof bowl and a saucepan.
Let chocolate mixture cool slightly, then spread over the chilled custard filling. The chocolate is easiest to spread when the cream layer is well chilled.
Once you have all three layers, cover and chill in the fridge until solid. Then cut into 9 slices and enjoy!
👋 New to International Baking & Dessert Making?
Click here to download my FREE 9-Page Starter Kit so you can begin making delicious treats from Europe and beyond with confidence and ease! Or start with my 25 European Favorites cookbook. It’s filled with easy and delicious recipes that are perfect for beginners.
👀 Looking for More Chocolate Recipes?
- French Hot Chocolate
- Estonian Chocolate Strawberry Cookie Cake
- Dutch Hagelslag
- Salted Dark Chocolate Quark Mouse
- Easy German Rum Balls
- Homemade Nutella (Chocolate Hazelnut Spread)
- French Buche de Noel Cake
- Easy Chocolate Cake Mix Mug Cake
Make More Easy No-Bake Recipes
- Canadian Nanaimo Bars
- Estonian Strawberry Cake
- Easy Rice Krispie Cakes with Golden Syrup
- Healthy Mexican Strawberry Ice Pops
- Easy Homemade Vanilla Sugar