Nanaimo bar is a popular Canadian dessert that requires no baking and is named after the city in which it was first created. It consists of a wafer crumb-based bottom layer topped with a custard flavored butter icing which is finally covered with melted chocolate. There are quite a few variations to the base recipe and are made with different types of crumb, different flavors for the icing (like Nutella, peanut butter, mint etc) and different types of chocolate topping.
I used Cooking Classy’s recipe for Nanaimo bars almost to the T. But mine didn’t turn out as classy looking as hers — her layers are so distinct and clean. Mine kind of blended together, but the bars tasted awesome nonetheless. The only change I made was to use egg replacer instead of the 1 egg that is called for in the recipe.
These bars are very easy to make and except for a little bit of butter melting and mixing ingredients, don’t need any cooking. Most of the time is spent in chilling the layers. They are great to make on short notice and you have a tray full of these in just about no time 🙂
Canadian Nanaimo Bars
For the Bottom Layer:
- 1¾ cups Graham Cracker Crumbs
- 1 cup coconut Sweetened or unsweetened dry
- ½ cup Pecans almonds or , finely chopped
- ½ cup Unsalted Butter (1 stick)
- 3 tbsps Cocoa powder
- 1/3 cup Brown Sugar Light
- 1 tbsp Egg water replacer powder whisked in 3tbsp (or use 1 large egg)
- 1½ tsps Vanilla extract
For the Middle Layer:
- cup Unsalted Butter ⅓
- 2 tbsps Custard powder vanilla chocolate or / white instant pudding mix
- ¼ cup Heavy Cream
- 2 cups Sugar Confectioners
For the Top Layer:
- 2 tbsps Unsalted Butter
- 4 oz Chocolate . Semisweet (chips or chunks)
- Lightly butter a 8" or 9" baking pan and line the bottom with parchment. Make sure to leave some parchment hang over the edges for easy removal at the end.
- To make the Bottom Layer: Melt butter and add sugar and cocoa powder. Whisk until well combined. Slowly add the whisked egg replacer mixture (or the egg) and cook till the mixture thickens are little bit, about 1~2 minutes.
- Remove from heat and add the graham cracker crumbs, nuts, coconut and vanilla. Mix well to combine.
- Put this mixture into the prepared baking pan and press down into an even layer. Cover and place the baking pan in the fridge for 30 minutes for the layer to set.
- To make the Middle Layer: Beat butter, cream and custard/ instant pudding mix with a hand or stand mixer until soft and fluffy, about 2~3 minutes.
- Add the confectioners sugar and beat until sugar is incorporated about a minute. The mixture will look quite dry in the beginning, but it will come together in no time.
- Spread the custard mixture evenly over the bottom layer. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to set.
- To make the Top Layer: Melt butter and semi sweet chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave. Stir well and pour this over the custard layer. Spread into an even layer. Cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
- Carefully remove the bars holding the parchment overhang. Cut into bars using a sharp knife. Store in an airtight container and keep chilled until ready to serve.