nanaimo bar

How To Make Nanaimo Bars

Nanaimo bars are a quintessentially Canadian dessert that has been around for more than 70 years. These rich and creamy treats are named after the city of Nanaimo in British Columbia, Canada, where they were first created.

The classic Nanaimo bar consists of three layers: a crumbly chocolate and coconut base, a smooth vanilla custard middle, and a layer of chocolate on top. They are easy to make, require only a few ingredients, and are a hit with everyone who tries them.

In this blog post, we will take a closer look at the history of Nanaimo bars, provide a recipe, and share some tips and tricks to help you make the perfect Nanaimo bars.

The History of Nanaimo Bars

The origin of Nanaimo bars is somewhat of a mystery. Some say that they were created by a housewife in Nanaimo, British Columbia, in the early 1950s. Others believe that the recipe was invented by the Nanaimo Hospital Ladies Auxiliary as a fundraiser in the 1950s.

Regardless of how they came to be, Nanaimo bars quickly became a staple dessert in Canada and have since become popular around the world.

How To Make Nanaimo Bar:

Here is a classic recipe for Nanaimo bars that you can try at home:


  • For the base:
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
  • For the filling:
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla custard powder
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk
  • For the topping:
  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter


1 ) In a medium-sized saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Add the sugar and cocoa powder and stir until combined.

2 ) Add the beaten egg to the mixture and stir until it thickens.

3 ) Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the graham cracker crumbs, shredded coconut, and chopped pecans (if using).

4 ) Press the mixture into an 8×8 inch baking dish lined with parchment paper. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

5 ) In a medium-sized mixing bowl, cream together the butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla custard powder until smooth. Add enough milk to achieve a spreadable consistency.

6 ) Spread the filling mixture over the chilled base, making sure to spread it evenly. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

7 ) Melt the chocolate and butter together in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir until smooth.

8 ) Pour the chocolate mixture over the filling and spread it evenly with a spatula.

9 ) Chill the bars in the refrigerator until the chocolate has set.

10 ) Once the chocolate has hardened, remove the bars from the refrigerator and let them sit at room temperature for a few minutes before slicing them into squares.

11 ) Tips and Tricks for the Best Nanaimo Bars

12 ) Use high-quality ingredients: Since Nanaimo bars only require a few ingredients, it’s important to use high-quality ingredients for the best results. Use unsalted butter, good quality cocoa powder, and fresh graham crackers for the base.

13 ) Chill the base and filling before adding the next layer: It’s important to chill the base and filling before adding the next layer, as this will help to prevent the layers from mixing


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Daven Klarsen is a technology writer and researcher. He's also an avid sports fan, especially when it comes to the LAL. When not working, you can usually find him tweaking his Android devices or watching soccer news.