September 8, 2015

Nanaimo Bars

Recipe: Amy Rosen

This now-classic recipe was entered into a contest held in the city of Nanaimo, B.C., in 1986 for the best bar recipe, and its buttery middle layer and thick chocolate crown made it an undeniable winner.


  • Bottom Layer
  • 1⁄2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1⁄4 cupsugar
  • 5 tbsp cocoa
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 11⁄4 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • 1⁄2 cup finely chopped almonds
  • Middle Layer
  • 1⁄2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp plus 2 tsp whipping cream (35%)
  • 2 tbsp vanilla custard powder
  • 2 cups icing sugar 
  • Top Layer
  • 4 1-oz.squares semisweet chocolate
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter


Yield: Makes 16 bars

  1. To make bottom layer, melt butter, sugar and cocoa in top of double boiler. Add egg and stir to cook and thicken. Remove from heat. Stir in graham crumbs, coconut and almonds. Press firmly into an ungreased 8″ x 8″ pan.
  2. To make middle layer, cream butter, cream, custard powder and icing sugar together well. Beat until light. Spread over bottom layer.
  3. For top layer, melt chocolate and butter over low heat. Let cool. Once cool but still liquid, pour over middle layer and chill in refrigerator until set. Cut into squares.

John Cullen


House & Home December 2011