A great twist on the classic Nanaimo bar, these no-bake cherry Nanaimo bars are loved by my whole family.

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Ingredients

36
Original recipe yields 36 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Bottom Layer:
Middle Layer:
Top Layer:

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Heat 1/2 cup butter, white sugar, and cocoa powder in a saucepan over medium heat; cook and stir just until butter melts, about 2 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat; stir in beaten egg. Return pan to stove; cook and stir until cocoa mixture thickens slightly, about 3 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat.

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  • Stir graham cracker crumbs, coconut, and walnuts into cocoa mixture. Press mixture firmly into an ungreased 9x9-inch baking pan.

  • Beat 1/4 cup butter, confectioners' sugar, cherry juice, and almond extract in a bowl with an electric mixer until smooth; stir in cherries. Drop cherry mixture by spoonfuls over base layer, then spread evenly. Let cherry mixture layer stand until slightly firm, about 10 minutes. Using your hand, pat cherry mixture layer to smooth.

  • Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a small saucepan over low heat; stir in chocolate chips. Cook and stir mixture until melted and smooth, about 3 minutes. Pour chocolate mixture over middle layer. Working quickly, smooth chocolate with the back of a spoon. Chill before cutting into bars, about 30 minutes.

Nutrition Facts

117.5 calories; 1 g protein; 14.3 g carbohydrates; 16.2 mg cholesterol; 57.1 mg sodium. Full Nutrition

Reviews (17)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
03/20/2014
As a former Nanaimo resident I am very picky about keeping it authentic. But when I saw this Cherry Nanaimo bar I had to try it as I love cherries. It is delicious and it still retains that traditional Nanaimo Bar taste. I used almonds in the base layer I also find that goes nicely with the cherry flavor! This is a very sweet dessert the maraschino cherry juice makes it a little sweeter than a traditional Nanaimo bar. So if you are not a big sweet tooth person use just milk or cream in replacement of juice and puree the cherries so you still get a pink filling. This is a very festive and attractive dessert perfect for a Christmas cookie platter! Read More
(8)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 1 stars
02/16/2020
The amounts in this recipe are completely uneven. Plus the pan size is off as well. Why would confectioners sugar and a few cherries be a replacement for a pudding layer? I tried it and just increased the chocolate topping which was simple, but cant imagine what they'll taste like. That's what I get for not wanting to buy pudding powder!!! Read More
20 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 13
  • 4 star values: 5
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 2
Rating: 5 stars
03/20/2014
As a former Nanaimo resident I am very picky about keeping it authentic. But when I saw this Cherry Nanaimo bar I had to try it as I love cherries. It is delicious and it still retains that traditional Nanaimo Bar taste. I used almonds in the base layer I also find that goes nicely with the cherry flavor! This is a very sweet dessert the maraschino cherry juice makes it a little sweeter than a traditional Nanaimo bar. So if you are not a big sweet tooth person use just milk or cream in replacement of juice and puree the cherries so you still get a pink filling. This is a very festive and attractive dessert perfect for a Christmas cookie platter! Read More
(8)
Rating: 5 stars
03/20/2014
As a former Nanaimo resident I am very picky about keeping it authentic. But when I saw this Cherry Nanaimo bar I had to try it as I love cherries. It is delicious and it still retains that traditional Nanaimo Bar taste. I used almonds in the base layer I also find that goes nicely with the cherry flavor! This is a very sweet dessert the maraschino cherry juice makes it a little sweeter than a traditional Nanaimo bar. So if you are not a big sweet tooth person use just milk or cream in replacement of juice and puree the cherries so you still get a pink filling. This is a very festive and attractive dessert perfect for a Christmas cookie platter! Read More
(8)
Rating: 5 stars
01/23/2014
Delicious! I used almonds instead of walnuts and a mixture of graham cracker crumbs and chocolate cookie crumbs because that what I had on hand; I also doubled the topping as I like a thicker layer of chocolate on top - Fabulous! The whole family loved them! Read More
(6)
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Rating: 5 stars
07/03/2016
Made this for a family gathering and it was a big hit - I made one error and did not finely chop the nuts for the bottom layer but it was fine. I had a hard time getting a nice even layer of chocolate on top - still trying to figure out how to do that. Otherwise this is a great recipe! Read More
(1)
Rating: 4 stars
12/23/2013
these are sure to be a hit on Christmas. we have nut allergies in the family so we can't buy the store made version. I skipped the walnuts and I used artificial almond extract. I tried to make a Christmas colour combination by using green cherries and red dye in the middle layer sadly it turned beige but I'm sure the taste will be just fine. I used coconut oil instead of butter in the top layer and it melts and spreads really well. Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
11/28/2013
We made these in high school back in the 80's and I still use the recipe to this day! Its a family tradition now for my family. Lots of people never heard of this and are surprised at how yummy they are! A very good recipe! I recommend trying it! Read More
(1)
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Rating: 5 stars
03/26/2018
So good! Very easy to put together and very tasty. Mine were a bit thin as well but it didn't really matter. I will definitely make these again. What a great idea! Read More
Rating: 1 stars
12/23/2019
I'm sorry but this is not a very good recipe at all.. Looking past the fact that a true Nanaimo bar is made with custard powder the proportions do not seem correct in the slightest. Here are my gripes: -the base is way too thick and the amount of graham cracker crumbs it calls for is obscene. I added maybe one cup and that was still too much to the point where my base was so crumbly it just didn't even come together properly. -I like many here who have already commented used almonds instead of walnuts. Walnuts would be great in the traditional recipe but if you're already using almond extract in the filling why would you use walnuts in the base? -the cooking time for melting the butter together with the cocoa and sugar is way too much; as is the lack of direction around not adding the egg to the hot butter/cocoa/sugar mix -- you end up with scrambled eggs if you don't temper it. -they're really ought to have been more sugar and more cherry juice added to the middle layer. Also you need at least another teaspoon of almond extract if doing this. -you really need to double if not triple the quantities of chocolate top layer because the amounts called for here or not nearly enough. I am very disappointed with how this recipe turned out and I would not make it again... Serves me right for trying to make a recipe with a twist and not just following the tried-and-true original. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
05/16/2016
BEST THING EVER Read More
Rating: 4 stars
08/10/2016
The filling was very sweet but everyone loved them. I doubled the chocolate layer and was glad I did. Thanks for the tip. Read More
Rating: 1 stars
02/16/2020
The amounts in this recipe are completely uneven. Plus the pan size is off as well. Why would confectioners sugar and a few cherries be a replacement for a pudding layer? I tried it and just increased the chocolate topping which was simple, but cant imagine what they'll taste like. That's what I get for not wanting to buy pudding powder!!! Read More