Nanaimo Bars – A Once a Year Canadian Treat

This ‘not so healthy’ family favorite is very popular in British Columbia, Canada where I grew up. Years ago a lady from Nanaimo, BC entered them into a baking contest and now there are over a hundred variations. I took my variation of the recipe to a Christmas party at our church and it won first prize. OK, I have to admit. I knew that one of the judges is from Canada . . . and I knew that one of his favorite treats ever was Nanaimo Bars . . . but I still won fare and square! If you decide to whip up a batch of this decadent, mouth watering treat, you’ll see why I enjoy taking it to gatherings and why this is a “once a year recipe”. This no-bake, three layered bar has a crumb base, followed by a layer of custard buttercream, and then a glossy layer of semi sweet chocolate. There is an uncommon ingredient that makes a huge difference so it’s worth the search. If you don’t find it in the baking or international section of the grocery store you can find it at who provided the photo of their product. By the way, Nanaimo Bars freeze well. I make a double batch and layer them with wax paper in between then stick them in the freezer so they’re ready to go to a party on the last minute. If you try this recipe I’d love to hear from you

On a much more important note you can visit my website at to learn how I help people clear the clutter from their minds and live free from what has been holding them back. See you there!

Bird's Custard Powder
Bird’s Custard Powder

Nanaimo Bars

1st Layer – combine the following and press firmly into a 9 by 9 inch pan and chill for 1/2 hour

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 T cocoa
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs (I blend wafers)
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or almonds

2nd Layer – Cream the butter and add cream or milk. Sift powdered sugar and Bird’s Custard Powder together and add to the butter mixture. Blend until light and fluffy. Spread over the 1st layer (try not to lick your fingers too much!). Chill.

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup cream or milk
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 T Bird’s Custard Powder (substitution: 3 T of vanilla pudding mix)
  • Variation: add 15 drops of edible mint essential oil and, if you must, 3 drops of green food coloring)

3rd Layer – Melt chocolate and butter together over a low heat, stir constantly. Carefully spread over the 2nd layer. Chill. This is a very rich dessert so cutting it into 1″ pieces is perfect. Dip a sharp knife into hot water, make one cut then wipe it clean and repeat until you’re finished.

  • 3 chocolate squares or 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips, you may prefer 1 1/2 cups
  • 1/4 cup butter


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