Nanaimo Bars: A True Canadian Treat

These delicious bars are comprised of three layers: the coconut crumb crust, custard cream, and chocolate topping. If you have never tried one of these classic Canadian treats hailing from the small city of Nanaimo on Vancouver Island then you simply have to make them. They keep well in the fridge and look great when plated next to a cup of coffee. Plus, they are absolutely drool-worthy and full of sugary goodness.

Nanaimo Bars: A True Canadian Treat

Base Layer
½ Cup of Butter, Softened
¼ Cup of White Sugar
5 Tablespoons of Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 Egg
1 ¾ Cups of Graham Cracker Crumbs
1 Cup of Flaked Coconut

Custard Layer
½ Cup of Butter, Softened
3 Tablespoons of Heavy Cream
2 Tablespoons of Custard Powder

Chocolate Layer
2 Cups of Confectioners’ Sugar
4 Squares of Semi-sweet Baking Chocolate
2 Teaspoons of Butter


For the first layer, you will need to grab a double boiler and add the sugar, butter, and cocoa powder together. As everything heats up you will want to continuously stir everything until it is all melted together and there are no clumps. Next, beat the egg and add it to the mixture, as you stir it should start to thicken within 5 minutes. Once this is complete, remove the double boiler and add the graham cracker crumbs and coconut to the mix. The first layer is then ready to be placed in an 8 x 8-inch pan. You will need to press it in and make sure that it is evenly dispersed.

Now it is time to make the custard for the second layer. You will need an electric mixer to cream the butter, heavy cream and custard powder together. It should have a rather light appearance and be very fluffy. Once you have achieved this consistency add the confectioners’ sugar and make sure everything is well combined. You do not want to taste any granular bits. Smooth this layer on top of the now cool bottom layer.

Nanaimo Bars: A True Canadian Treat

Lastly, the third layer is one of the most important as it will seal the whole dessert together: the chocolate. You will want to place the pan in the fridge while you are making this one as it needs to chill and harden. Using a small saucepan or a microwaveable bowl, heat up the chocolate and butter together. Once the two are combined, remove the pan and pour the chocolate over the top until it covers all of the second custard layers. Put it back in the fridge and let everything firm up, then cut it into rectangles and serve it up.