Nanaimo Bars

Popular during the holiday season, this Canadian classic square has a nutty chocolate cookie crumb base, bright yellow custard filling and chocolate top. A huge hit on any holiday baking tray.

Yield: Makes 25

Nanaimo Bars


  • 1 1/4 cups chocolate cookie crumbs
  • 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup salted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup salted butter, softened
  • 2 tbsp custard powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 3 tbsp milk (2%)
  • 4 oz (112 g) semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tbsp salted butter


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. To prepare crust, combine chocolate cookie crumbs, coconut, pecans, brown sugar and cocoa powder in a medium bowl. Add 1/3 cup melted butter and egg. Stir until combined. Press into a 9 inch square baking pan lined with parchment paper that overhangs by 2 inches.
  3. Bake until firm but not crisp, about 12 – 15 minutes. Cool completely in pan on a rack.
  4. To prepare custard filling, use medium speed of an electric mixer and beat together 1/4 cup butter, custard powder and vanilla. Beat in icing sugar alternately with milk to butter mixture until smooth. Spread custard filling over crust. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
  5. To prepare chocolate topping, place chocolate and 1 tbsp butter in a medium heatproof bowl. Set heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water to create a double boiler. Do not allow water to touch bowl. Stir constantly until melted. Remove from heat. Pour chocolate topping over custard filling and spread evenly. Refrigerate until almost set, about 30 minutes.
  6. Measure and score into even bars. Refrigerate until chocolate topping is set, about 1 hour. Using parchment paper as an aid, lift bar from pan and cut into bars.
Nutritional analysis per bar:


168 calories, 9.8 g fat, 1.1 g protein, 20.6 g carbohydrate, 0.9 g fibre, 79 mg sodium

Tip: We used Bird’s Custard Powder for the custard powder and Christie Oreo Baking Crumbs for the chocolate cookie crumbs in this recipe.