Nanaimo Bars - BigOven 175699
Nanaimo Bars

Nanaimo Bars

Ready in 45 minutes
11 review(s) averaging 4.5. 80% would make again

Top-ranked recipe named "Nanaimo Bars"

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This popular Canadian bar cookie has a cake-like base made with graham cracker and nuts, a creamy filling of buttercream, and is covered with a brittle chocolate topping. Basically, Nanaimo bars are glorified brownies that are over the top with both butter and sugar. They're delicious, rich and indulgent...and would make for an irresistible addition to your holiday table or a memorable dessert to take to a potluck. Adapted from a recipe found in an old issue of Sunset Magazine.

"Nanaimo Bars have been a favorite of mine since childhood. This version was easy and fun-to-make with the kids. They turned out exceptionally--impressive and incredibly delicious!"

- foolishbaker


Are you making this? 
1 cup Unsalted butter; (2 sticks), softened, divided
2 1/4 cups Powdered sugar; divided
1/4 cup Unsweetened cocoa
1/8 teaspoon Salt
1 large Egg
1 3/4 cups Graham cracker crumbs
1 cup Sweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup pecans or walnuts; Chopped
3 ounces Bittersweet chocolate; chopped
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon Pure vanilla extract

Original recipe makes 25 Servings



Place oven shelf in center position and heat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter or grease an 8-inch baking pan, dust pan with flour, knocking out excess; set aside. Spread nuts on rimmed baking sheet and toast in oven, shaking pan occasionally, until fragrant and deep golden brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer nuts to a small bowl; set aside to cool.

In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt 6 tablespoons butter; let cool. Add 1/4 cup powdered sugar, cocoa, and salt and beat until completely incorporated. Add egg and beat until well blended. Stir in graham cracker crumbs, coconut and toasted nuts until well combined. Press mixture evenly into bottom of prepared baking pan. Bake until base begins to darken slightly, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely in pan, set on a wire rack.

Bring water to a boil in bottom of double-boiler. Place 2 tablespoons of butter and bittersweet chocolate in top of double-boiler set over steaming water and melt gently while stirring. When mostly melted, remove from heat and continue stirring until mixture is completely melted and smooth. Set aside and let cool to lukewarm.

In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat remaining 1/2 cup (1-stick) butter, remaining 2 cups powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla until smooth and fluffy. Spread mixture evenly over cooled crust. Spread melted chocolate mixture evenly over buttercream filling. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hour before cutting into squares. Stored in an airtight container, in the refrigerator, for up to 3 days.

Number of bars will depend on size you cut them.


Using the best quality sweet butter, cocoa and chocolate are the keys to the best tasting Nanaimo Bars.


Added on Award Medal
Verified by stevemur

A rich and indulgent combo of chocolate and buttercream...who can resist! photo by sgrishka sgrishka

Calories Per Serving: 225 Get detailed nutrition information, including line-by-line nutrition insights?  Try BigOven Pro for Free for 14 days!

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mandringa 1 month ago
Won rave reviews from friends! Thanks
CYAG 1 year ago
cmv013 1 year ago
pwnedbysosa 1 year ago
There are many different recipe variations for nanaimo bars. The original Canadian recipe does call for custard powder in the buttercream layer while other recipes substitute regular instant pudding powder (which is much easier to find in the US). This recipe is an Americanized version that has a few modifications from the original that makes it a little easier to duplicate in American kitchens...foremost being that it eliminates the custard powder altogether. Custard powder is, in fact, not a dried form of real custard but rather just a mixture of cornstarch and sugar that has been artificially colored and flavored. That being said, my family has enjoyed this recipe for many years! It's an easy recipe that, even without custard powder, produces a deliciously rich dessert bar that's sure to satisfy any sweet tooth.
sgrishka 3 years ago
Where is the custard powder?
Melisku 3 years ago
Nanaimo Bars have been a favorite of mine since childhood. This version was easy and fun-to-make with the kids. They turned out exceptionally--impressive and incredibly delicious!
foolishbaker 3 years ago
yumm what a great photo, just looking at this photo, i gained 5 lbs, thanks for sharing, CCheryl
CCheryl 3 years ago
Made this recipe and love it! I'm not fond of traditional nanaimo bars with mint flavoring so this was is a particular treat!
shaynesgirl 3 years ago
[I made edits to this recipe.]
sgrishka 4 years ago
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