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Nanaimo bars

Discover the delectable taste of Nanaimo bars, a classic Canadian dessert! This easy-to-make treat consists of a buttery base, creamy custard filling, and a chocolate ganache topping.
4.75 from 4 votes
Course Brownies & Bars, Desserts


Bottom Layer

  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 5 tbsp. cocoa
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 ¼ cups graham cracker crumbs
  • ½ cups finely chopped almonds
  • 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut

Second Layer

  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbsp. and 2 Tsp. cream
  • 2 Tbsp. vanilla custard powder
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar

Third Layer

  • 5 squares semi-sweet chocolate 1 oz. each
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter


  • For the bottom layer, melt the butter, sugar and cocoa in a double boiler or a heatproof bowl set over simmering water. Stir until smooth.
  • Beat the egg in a small bowl, then stir in a couple of tablespoons of the chocolate mixture (this helps prevent curdling).
  • Whisk the egg mixture into the chocolate mixture. It will look like it's curdled and separated, but keep whisking until the mixture is thickened and smooth.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the graham cracker crumbs, almonds and coconut.
  • Firmly press the mixture into a ungreased 8" x 8" pan and set aside.
  • For the second layer, beat the butter, cream, custard powder and confectioners sugar together until light and fluffy. Spread the mixture over the bottom layer.
  • For the top layer, melt the chocolate and butter over low heat or in the microwave until smooth. Set aside until the mixture is cool but still liquid, then spread over the second layer.
  • Chill until firm.


About Step 3: I was definitely a bit worried when I stirred the egg mixture into the butter and sugar mixture in the double boiler. It separated immediately and definitely looked like it curdled, even though I tempered the eggs before adding them. Even after stirring it vigorously for a few minutes, it still looked pretty bad and I was about to toss it and start over. Then it suddenly came together and was smooth and creamy and thickened perfectly. So hang in there.
Keyword almonds, chocolate, cocoa, coconut, cookies, custard, Sweets