Nanaimo Bars I Recipe -
Nanaimo Bars I Recipe

Nanaimo Bars I

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"These are a totally sinful concoction containing more calories than one would care to count. A decadent dessert! Will satisfy any sweet tooth!"

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 2 dozen Change Servings


  1. Mix 1/2 cup butter or margarine, white sugar, cocoa, egg and vanilla in a heavy sauce pan or double boiler. Stir over low heat until mixture is of custard like consistency.
  2. Combine graham crackers, coconut and walnuts and add to the melted mixture. Mix well and pack into buttered 9 inch square cake pan.
  3. Cream 1/4 cup butter, confectioners' sugar, vanilla custard powder and milk. Beat until creamy and spread over melted base.
  4. Refrigerate till hardened.
  5. Melt semi-sweet chocolate with 1 tablespoon butter and drizzle over custard icing. Refrigerate. When totally hard cut into square bars.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Feb 10, 2009

This recipe is the closest on this site to the official Nanaimo City recipe (which I later found). The only major differences are: Almonds in the original recipe rather than walnuts. Also, try using a total of 1/2 cup butter in the custard layer, and use heavy cream in place of the milk. On personal preference, I also use an extra square of chocolate in the top layer, just so I know it will cover the whole pan. While I'm not a Canadian, I am a native Northwesterner, and my dad was a truck driver and we often rode the ferry to Nanaimo (to deliver boats) when I was kid. These are served on the ferries. It's really too bad that this is such an obscure recipe outside the Northwest, becuase if people knew about it, it would quickly become one of their favorite desserts. As for custard powder, here is what I've found on accident. The Bird's Custard powder is in a yellow, red, and blue box. I hear it's easy to find in Canada, but not so easy to find here in the US. I was shopping at some Asian stores in my area, and low and behold, there was the Bird's Custard Powder. Although I've used vanilla pudding, I have to say, it's worth a trip to some International markets to try and find the stuff. You can also find it in large grocery stores that carry lots of specialty and organic items (even though it's not organic). Rosauers carries it here in WA, it's in a yellow/blue/red can in the baking aisle. You won't be disappointed. My mother and law also told me she has found

Most Helpful Critical Review
Sep 08, 2010

The ratios of ingredients were too off for me to use this recipe; I actually started over with a different recipe that had better ratios. I made the crust and regretted putting in the full 2 cups of graham cracker crumbs, it made it very dry and crumbly, not at all the consistency needed for a crust. The egg should have been whisked lightly before adding to the melted butter and chocolate (off heat) so that it didn't get all "eggy" or scrambled into the mixture. So, although Nanaimo bars are DELICIOUS, the ratios are off and the directions need tweaking in order to make them delicious. Sorry!

Dec 21, 2003

I've had Nanaimo bars many times and this recipe called for a bit too many graham cracker crumbs. IT made the crust a bit to dry. Next time I'll reduce it a little. My sister says to just add the crumbs slowly until you reach the texture you want.

Dec 02, 2007

This is a great recipe I remember it from Christmas' past. It was one of my mother's specialties and now it's mine. But a quick tip. Once the chocolate on top is hardened, take it out of the refridgerator and let stand 30-60 minutes before cutting into squares. This softenes the chocolate just enough so it won't crack under the pressure of the knife. Chill after. Also if you want to make to impress, double the custard icing and add a drizzle of white chocolate(melt 1/2 cup white chocolate chips with 1 tablespoon butter/margarine) on top while chocolate is still warm.

Dec 30, 2006

I actually entered the contest back in 1985 to find the "Ultimate Nanaimo Bar" recipe. I didn't win but it was a wonderful experience. I usually reduce the graham wafer crumbs to 1 3/4 cups and use 1/2 cup finely chopped almonds insead of walnuts. For the middle layer I use 1/2 cup unsalted butter and cream insead of milk. A wonderful sweet treat from my home town!!

Jun 08, 2003

Great recipe! I doubled the middle part - the butter, confectioners sugar, custard and milk. Made a nice thick middle to match the crust. Most delicious!

Nov 28, 2008

I use the same recipe, HOWEVER - I crush the chopped walnuts in a ziploc bag with a meat hammer, so they are not huge chunks. I also use 1-1/3 cup of butter in the crust, with 2 cups graham crumbs and 1/2 cup crushed walnuts in a 8x8 pan. Slowly add the crumbs to chocolate mixture to make for easy blending, and this gives a nice thick crust. The directions should tell you to mix the milk and the pudding mix prior to adding it to the butter (a key step) for the frosting. I personally make 50% more frosting. The crust also works well with pecans and almonds... NO coconut thank you!!

Sep 07, 2002

I've had this recipe in the family for years. Do youself a favour when you make it & omit the walnuts & coconut. We've probably made the recipe over 100 times in our family in the past. Tonight for the first time in years I put in the coconut & walnuts, big mistake. Only good thing is it will take about 5 times as long as normal for the Nanaimo bars to disappear. I like walnuts & coconut but NOT in this recipe.


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  • Calories
  • 389 kcal
  • 19%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 46.8 g
  • 15%
  • Cholesterol
  • 49 mg
  • 16%
  • Fat
  • 22.6 g
  • 35%
  • Fiber
  • 2.7 g
  • 11%
  • Protein
  • 3.8 g
  • 8%
  • Sodium
  • 199 mg
  • 8%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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