Nanaimo Bars


These Nanaimo bars are three layers but worth the effort. My son is famous for making and taking these to work. I've heard other names, but everyone knows them as Nanaimo bars here in the Northwest. They are sold on British Columbia Ferries and at coffee stands. If you can't find custard powder, I've used instant pudding mix with good results.

Prep Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
30 mins
1 8x8-inch pan


  • 1 cup butter, softened, divided

  • 5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

  • ¼ cup white sugar

  • 1 egg, beaten

  • 1 ¾ cups graham cracker crumbs

  • 1 cup flaked coconut

  • ½ cup finely chopped almonds (Optional)

  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream

  • 2 tablespoons custard powder

  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar

  • 4 (1 ounce) squares semisweet baking chocolate

  • 2 teaspoons butter


  1. In the top of a double boiler, combine 1/2 cup softened butter, cocoa powder, and sugar. Stir occasionally until melted and smooth. Beat in egg and stir until thick, 2 to 3 minutes.

  2. Remove from the heat and mix in graham cracker crumbs, coconut, and almonds. Press into the bottom of an ungreased 8x8-inch pan.

  3. For the middle layer, beat remaining 1/2 cup softened butter, heavy cream, and custard powder until light and fluffy. Mix in confectioners' sugar until smooth. Spread over the bottom layer in the pan. Chill to set.

  4. While the second layer is chilling, melt semisweet chocolate and 2 teaspoons butter together in the microwave or over low heat.

  5. Spread melted chocolate mixture over chilled bars. Let the chocolate set before cutting into squares.

    close up view of a Nanaimo Bar
    Katie S


The magazine version of this recipe uses instant vanilla pudding powder instead of custard powder.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

311 Calories
20g Fat
34g Carbs
3g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 16
Calories 311
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 20g 25%
Saturated Fat 11g 56%
Cholesterol 47mg 16%
Sodium 160mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 34g 12%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Total Sugars 26g
Protein 3g
Calcium 19mg 1%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 87mg 2%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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